Thomas Robert (Tom) Gruber (born 1959) is an American computer scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur with a focus on systems for knowledge sharing and collective intelligence. He did foundational work in ontology engineering and is well known for his definition of ontologies in the context of Artificial Intelligence.
Gruber studied psychology and computer science at the Loyola University New Orleans, where he received a double major B.S. in 1981 and graduated summa cum laude. He had designed and implemented a computer-assisted instruction (CAI) system for programmed-curriculum courses. It was the first of its kind at the university, and is used routinely by the Psychology department for introductory courses. In 1984 he received a M.S. in Computer and Information Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His Master's research had resulted in the design and implementation of an intelligent communication prosthesis assistant, a computer system which enables people with severe physical disabilities who cannot otherwise speak to communicate in natural language presented in displayed, written, or spoken form. Four years later in 1988 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst he received a Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science with the dissertation "The Acquisition of Strategic Knowledge". His dissertation research had addressed a critical problem for Artificial Intelligence—knowledge acquisition—with a computer assistant that acquires strategic knowledge from experts.
From 1988 to 1994 Gruber was a Research Associate at the Knowledge Systems Laboratory of the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. He worked on the How Things Work, SHADE, and Knowledge Sharing Technology projects. In 1994 he became Senior Project Leader, Enterprise Integration Technologies and proposed and designed several projects using the Internet to create shared, virtual environments for collaborative learning and work (for ARPA, NASA, NIST). Proposed a business plan for corporate training. In 1995 he founded and became Chief Technology Officer of Intraspect Software, an enterprise software company that pioneered the space of collaborative knowledge management. Intraspect applications help professional people collaborate in large distributed communities, continuously contributing to a collective body of knowledge.
He has been a member of journal editorial boards of the "Knowledge Acquisition", "IEEE Expert" and "Internation Journal of Human-Computer Studies".
Gruber's research interests in the 1990s were in the field of developing intelligent networked software to support human collaboration and learning. Areas of specialty include: knowledge acquisition, knowledge representation, computer-supported collaborative work, computer-mediated communication for design, and knowledge sharing technology.
In 1994 he was responsible for the creation of hypermail, an email to web gateway software that saw extensive use after a rewrite by a different programmer.
See also 
Gruber published several articles and some books. A selection:
- 1989. The Acquisition of Strategic Knowledge. Dissertation University of Massachusetts. Academic Press.
Articles (a selection):
- 1992. "Toward Principles for the Design of Ontologies Used for Knowledge Sharing". In: International Journal Human-Computer Studies. Vol 43, p. 907-928.
- 1993. "A Translation Approach to Portable Ontology Specifications". In: Knowledge Acquisition, 5(2):199-220, 1993
- 2008, Ontology. Entry in the Encyclopedia of Database Systems, Ling Liu and M. Tamer Özsu (Eds.), Springer-Verlag, to appear in 2008.
- Tom Gruber Keynote at ISWC2006. Retrieved 6 Oktober 2008.
- Zhifeng Yang (2002). "Applying Information Retrieval Technology to Incremental Knowledge Management". In: Engineering and Deployment of Cooperative Information Systems: First International Conference, EDCIS 2002, Beijing, China, September 17–20, 2002 : Proceedings. Yanbo Han (Red.) p.117-120
- Thomas Robert Gruber. Home page at Stanford. Last updated 1995. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
- DBLP: Thomas R. Gruber.