Leadership Team

Doug Lenat (President and CEO)
President and CEO

Dr. Douglas B. Lenat is one of the world's leading computer scientists, and is the founder of the Cyc project and president of Cycorp.

Dr. Lenat has been a Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie-Mellon University and Stanford University and has received numerous honors including:

  • Awarded the bi-annual IJCAI Computers and Thought Award which is the highest honor in Artificial Intelligence;
  • Named the first Fellow of the AAAI, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

He is a prolific author, whose hundreds of publications include the following books:

  • Knowledge Based Systems in Artificial Intelligence (1982, McGraw-Hill)
  • Building Expert Systems (1983, Addison-Wesley)
  • Knowledge Representation (1988, Addison-Wesley)
  • Building Large Knowledge Based Systems (1989, Addison-Wesley)

His 1976 Stanford thesis earned him the bi-annual IJCAI Computers and Thought Award in 1977.

Dr. Lenat received his Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University and his BA and MS in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Michael Witbrock (Vice President of Research)
Vice President of Research

Michael has a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and currently is Vice President for Research at Cycorp. Before joining Cycorp, in 2001, to direct its knowledge formation and dialogue processing efforts, he had been Principal Scientist at Terra Lycos, working on integrating statistical and knowledge based approaches to understanding web user behavior, a research scientist at Just Systems Pittsburgh Research Center, working on statistical summarization, and a systems scientist at Carnegie Mellon on the Informedia spoken document information retrieval project. He also performed dissertation work in the area of speaker modeling. He is author of numerous publications in areas ranging across neural networks, parallel computer architecture, multimedia information retrieval, web browser design, genetic design, computational linguistics and speech recognition. A few relevant publications include:

  1. Witbrock, Michael., Baxter, David., Curtis, Jon., et al, “An Interactive Dialogue System for Knowledge Acquisition in Cyc” in Proceedings of the IJCAI-2003 Workshop on Mixed-Initiative Intelligent Systems, Acapulco, Aug 9, 2003.
  2. O’Hara, Tom., Witbrock, Michael., Aldag, Bjorn., Bertolo, Stefano., Salay, Nancy., Curtis, Jon., and Panton, Kathy “Inducing Criteria of Lexicalization of Parts of Speech using the Cyc KB” in Proceedings of IJCAI-03, Acapulco August 12-15, 2003.
  3. Mittal, Vibhu O. and Witbrock, Michael J. “Language Modeling Experiments in Non-Extractive Summarization”, Chapter 10 in Croft, W. Bruce and Lafferty, John “Language Modeling for Information Retrieval”, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrect, 2003.
  4. Banko, Michele, Mittal, Vibhu O., and Witbrock, Michael J., “Headline Generation Based on Statistical Translation” in ACL-2000, Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Hong Kong, Oct 3-6, 2000.
  5. Witbrock, M.J., and Mittal, V.O., Ultra-Summarization: A Statistical Approach to Generating Highly Condensed Non-Extractive Summaries., in SIGIR’99, Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval, Berkeley, CA, Aug 15-19, 1999.
Larry Lefkowitz (Executive Director of Business Solutions)
Executive Director of Business Solutions

Larry Lefkowitz is the Executive Director for Business Solutions at Cycorp and is responsible for the commercialization of the Cyc platform and development of Cyc applications. His AI research has focused on knowledge representation and acquisition, planning and plan recognition, and intelligent tutoring.

Prior to joining Cycorp, Larry had led a variety of knowledge-based system initiatives in both academia and industry. He co-founded the Laboratory for Computer-Supported Cooperative Work at the University of Massachusetts, where he directed research in the areas of artificial intelligence, knowledge representation, planning, and plan recognition. While with Bellcore’s Computer Technology Transfer organization, Larry led the development of a state-of-the-art Intelligent Tutoring System for training on telephony operations and use of complex operations support systems. He is the author of numerous technical publications and book chapters on an array of areas in Computer and Information Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Intelligent Tutoring Systems. In addition to his research and technology development efforts, Larry has consulted globally to assist companies in implementing technology-based solutions. He served as a Senior Director and Business Strategist at Telcordia Technologies’ Business Optimization Services business unit, where he developed and led multi-million dollar operational improvement and process and organizational optimization engagements in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Larry was a founding partner of Links Solutions Group, providing expertise in business modeling and business operations optimization.

Larry received his Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA) and his B.E. in Electrical Engineering at the Cooper Union (NYC).

Mary Shepherd (Senior Vice President of Operations)
Senior Vice President of Operations

Ms. Mary Shepherd is the Senior VP for Operations. Mary has been with the Cyc project since its inception at MCC in 1984 and is responsible for Cycorp's financial, personnel, facilities, and operations functions.