James Hendler

James Hendler

Director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA), Tetherless World

Photo of James HendlerPhoto of James Hendler

Tetherless World Senior Constellation Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science, Head of the Computer Science Department

  • Ph.D., Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Brown University
  • Sc.M., Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Brown University
  • M.S., Cognitive Psychology, Human Factors Engineering, Southern Methodist University
  • B.S., Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Yale University

James Hendler has authored over 200 technical papers in the areas of Semantic Web, artificial intelligence, agent-based computing and high performance processing.

“My research focuses on the future of the World Wide Web,” Hendler said. “The Web is more than a network of computers, it is a network of billions of people interacting in a massively connected way across platforms, applications and interfaces.  If we are to understand the Web we must have a multidisciplinary approach that brings together people from many disciplines, combining engineers, humanities researchers, social scientists and many others.  The Web has changed our world and will continue to do so in new and complex ways, understanding modern society is simply impossible without a deeper understanding of the Web.”

One of the inventors of the Semantic web, Hendler was the recipient of a 1995 Fulbright Foundation Fellowship, is a former member of the US Air Force Science Advisory Board, and is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the British Computer Society, the IEEE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is also the former Chief Scientist of the Information Systems Office at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and was awarded a US Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal in 2002. He is the Editor-in-Chief emeritus of IEEE Intelligent Systems and is the first computer scientist to serve on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science. In 2010, Hendler was named one of the 20 most innovative professors in America by Playboy magazine. Hendler also serves as an "Internet Web Expert" for the U.S. government, providing guidance to the Data.gov project.

As part of his work with the Tetherless World Research Constellation at Rensselaer, Hendler helped develop and application that utilizes the U.S government data warehouse, Data.gov, to provide scientists with easy and direct access to government data sets relevant to their research. Prior to the launch of the project, billions of bits of raw data provided by government agencies around the world were available to the public, but frequently in formats so difficult to use or so widely spread around the Web that they were virtually unusable to the public and scientists.

Hendler is also a faculty affiliate of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Multimedia and Performing Arts Center serves as a Director and Trustee of the UK charity Web Science Trust and is a visiting Professor at DeMontfort University in Leicester, UK.