Denny Vrandečić

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Denny Vrandečić
Denny Vrandečić in 2015
Zdenko Vrandečić

(1978-02-27) 27 February 1978 (age 46)
Alma materKarlsruhe Institute of Technology (PhD)
Known forWikidata
Semantic MediaWiki
Scientific career
Semantic Web
Semantic wikis
Web-based collaborative systems[1]
Wikimedia Foundation
University of Southern California
ThesisOntology evaluation (2010)
Doctoral advisorRudi Studer[2]

Zdenko "Denny" Vrandečić (born 27 February 1978 in Stuttgart, Germany[citation needed]) is a Croatian computer scientist. He was a co-developer of Semantic MediaWiki and Wikidata, the lead developer of the Wikifunctions project, and an employee of the Wikimedia Foundation as a Head of Special Projects, Structured Content.[3] He published modules for the German role-playing game The Dark Eye.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, United States.[4]


Vrandečić attended the Geschwister-Scholl Gymnasium [de] in Stuttgart and from 1997 he studied computer science and philosophy at the University of Stuttgart. He received his doctorate in 2010 at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT),[2][5][6] where he was a research associate in the Knowledge Management Research Group at the Institute for Applied Computer Science and Formal Description Languages (AFIB), with Rudi Studer, from 2004 to 2012. In 2010, he visited the University of Southern California (ISI).[citation needed]

Career and research[edit]

Vrandečić is involved in knowledge bases, data mining, massive web-based collaboration, and the Semantic Web. In 2012/2013, he was project manager for Wikidata (Wikipedia sister project) at Wikimedia Germany.[7] Together with Markus Krötzsch (who was also at KIT in the Knowledge Management group), he is co-developer of the Semantic MediaWiki (SMW), which was also the inspiration for Wikidata.[8]

In 2013 Vrandečić worked as an ontologist at Google on the Knowledge Graph,[9] the knowledge base used by Google to compile its search engine results with semantic information from various sources.[10] In September 2019, Vrandečić announced that he was taking on a new role in Google's development department as Wikimedian in Residence, which consisted of explaining Wikimedia projects to other employees.[11]

In July 2020, he left Google to join the Wikimedia Foundation, where he has since been involved in building Wikifunctions and Abstract Wikipedia. It aims to use structured data from Wikidata to create a multilingual, machine-driven knowledge platform.[12] In his essay contribution to Wikipedia's 20th anniversary publication, Wikipedia @ 20 - Stories of an Unfinished Revolution, he elaborates both technical and personal reasoning on urgencies for smaller and even for bigger language Wikipedia editions.[13]

Vrandečić is one of the founders and administrators of Croatian Wikipedia. In 2008, he served as head of the scientific program of Wikimania. Vrandečić served on the Board of Trustees from 2015 to 2016.[14]


Vrandečić's publications[1][5] include:

Personal life[edit]

Vrandečić holds both Croatian and US citizenship.[15] He lives with his wife and daughter in the Bay Area.[4]


  1. ^ a b Denny Vrandečić publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b Vrandečić, Denny (2010). Ontology evaluation. (PhD thesis). Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. doi:10.5445/IR/1000018419. OCLC 1184439877.
  3. ^ Hilmar Schmundt: A Wikipedia for all. How the online encyclopedia Wikipedia wants to become a universal translation machine. In: Der Spiegel. No. 3, 16 January 2021, pp. 102–103 (about Abstract Wikipedia and Denny Vrandečić)
  4. ^ a b Contributors. PubPub. 15 October 2020. ISBN 978-0-262-53817-6. {{cite book}}: |journal= ignored (help)
  5. ^ a b Denny Vrandečić at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  6. ^ "Institute AIFB - Denny Vrandecic/en". Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Das Wikidata-Team". Wikimedia Deutschland Blog (in German). 4 April 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Inside the Alexa-Friendly World of Wikidata". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Denny Vrandečić at Google". Archived from the original on 5 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Denny Vrandecic". The Knowledge Graph Conference. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  11. ^ "personal announcement". Archived from the original on 20 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Abstract Wikipedia/July 2020 announcement – Meta". Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  13. ^ Vrandečić, Denny (15 October 2020). 12 Collaborating on the Sum of All Knowledge Across Languages. PubPub. ISBN 978-0-262-53817-6.
  14. ^ "Wikimedia Foundation elections 2015/Results". Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Eine Wikipedia für alle". Der Spiegel, Nr. 3, S. 102. 16 January 2021.