Sepandar Kamvar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Dog (programming language))
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sepandar "Sep" Kamvar
Sep Kamvar.jpg
Born1977 (age 43–44)
EducationPrinceton University (AB)
Stanford University (PhD)
OccupationProfessor at MIT

Sepandar David Kamvar (born 1977), also known as Sep Kamvar, is a computer scientist, artist, author and entrepreneur.[1][2][3][4] He is currently the founder of Celo, a cryptocurrency startup.[5][6] He was previously the LG Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, and director of the Social Computing group at the MIT Media Lab.[3][7]

Computer science[edit]

Kamvar's main contributions to computer science have been at the intersection of computer science and mathematics, particularly in the fields of personalized search, peer-to-peer networks, social search and data mining.[8][9][10][11]

Personalized search[edit]

As a graduate student at Stanford University, Kamvar developed tools that made it possible to compute personalized PageRank.[12] He also developed the first efficient algorithm for adding personal context to the internet search process.[8][12][13][14][15]

In 2003, Kamvar co-founded Kaltix, a personalized search engine company.[3][7][16] He was the CEO of Kaltix until Google acquired the company in September 2003.[17][18][19] After the acquisition of Kaltix, Kamvar joined Google, where he led the personalization efforts between 2003 and 2007.[12][20][21]

Peer-to-peer networks[edit]

Kamvar's research and work in peer-to-peer networks focused on the social mechanisms that reward cooperation and punish adversarial behavior.[8][22][23] His 2003 paper, EigenTrust, is one of the most highly cited papers in the field.[8][23][24][25]

"Dog" programming language[edit]

Dog is a high-level programming language created by Kamvar at MIT Media Lab.[26]

It was announced in spring 2012, and stems from the frustration faced by Kamvar with other existing languages, such as Java, and felt they made it needlessly difficult to write code that handled social interactions.[27] It is designed to facilitate easier creation of social computing applications, and is designed to facilitate programming in a natural language and allow newcomers the chance to learn programming more easily.[28]

About Dog, Kamvar said "I had to write code at a lower level of abstraction than I had to think about the interactions. And so I thought it would be interesting to start writing a programming language that allowed me to write at the same level of abstraction that I think."[29]


Kamvar is an advocate for using the web as a medium for artistic expression.[9] He believes the ability to constantly change and be viewed by millions of people simultaneously makes the web an opportune medium for art.[3]

We Feel Fine[edit]

Kamvar created We Feel Fine with Jonathan Harris in 2005.[30] Debuting in 2006, it is an interactive experience using more than 12 million human feelings collected over three years by scouring blog posts every 10 minutes for occurrences of the phrases "I feel" and "I am feeling".[1][31] Since its debut, We Feel Fine has been exhibited all over the world, with Fast Company naming the project one of the "Decade's 14 Biggest Design Moments."[1][32]

In 2009, Kamvar and Harris took the findings from the four years since We Feel Fine was launched in 2006 and turned them into a book called "We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion".[33][34][35]

I Want You To Want Me[edit]

Kamvar created "I Want You To Want Me" with Jonathan Harris in 2007.[36] It is an interactive installation that searches online dating sites for certain phrases and displays them in blue and pink balloons that float and bump into each other.[2][37][38] The project was commissioned by the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for their "Design and the Elastic Mind" exhibition.[37][39] It was installed on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2008.[37]


Kamvar earned a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Princeton University in 1999. He received his Ph.D. in Scientific Computing and Computational Mathematics at Stanford University in 2004.[3][8]


  • We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion (2009) ISBN 1-4391-1683-0
  • Numerical Algorithms for Personalized Search in Self-organizing Information Networks (2010) ISBN 0-6911-4503-2
  • Syntax & Sage: Reflections on Software and Nature (2015) ISBN 9780692563632, 0692563636


  1. ^ a b c The Decade's 14 Biggest Design Moments. Fast Company. December 28, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Baldwin, Rosecrans. Picturing the Future. The Digital Ramble Blog. April 23, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e About Page Archived 2013-03-10 at the Wayback Machine. Kamvar's Official Website.
  4. ^ Credits. I Want You To Want Me.
  5. ^ "Celo forms Alliance for Prosperity network to create cryptocurrency for remittances and philanthropy". VentureBeat. 2020-03-11. Retrieved 2021-01-25.
  6. ^ Geron, Tomio (2019-04-02). "Startup Celo Aims to Make Crypto Accessible to Mainstream Mobile Users". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-01-25.
  7. ^ a b Faculty Page. MIT Media Lab.
  8. ^ a b c d e New Faculty Archived 2012-12-12 at MIT SA+P Page. December 2011.
  9. ^ a b Sep Kamvar Joins MIT Media Lab. MIT News. December 21, 2011.
  10. ^ Social Data Mining Page.
  11. ^ Social Search Page Archived 2013-03-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ a b c Personalized Search Archived 2012-10-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Researchers Develop Techniques for Computing Google-Style Web Rankings Up to Five Times Faster. May 13, 2003.
  14. ^ NLP Publications. Stanford NLP Page.
  15. ^ Numerical Algorithms for Personalized Search in Self-organizing Information Networks. Princeton University Press. File created April 17. 2012.
  16. ^ Olson, Stefanie.Searching for the Personal Touch. CNET News. August 11, 2003.
  17. ^ Google Acquires Kaltix. Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. September 30, 2003.
  18. ^ Google Acquires Kaltix. San Francisco Business Times. September 30, 2003.
  19. ^ Moore, Cathleen. Google Grabs Search Start-Up. InfoWorld. September 30, 2003.
  20. ^ Calburn, Thomas. Google Gets Personal with iGoogle. Information Week. May 1, 2007.
  21. ^ Auchard, Eric. Google Steps up Personalised Web Search Push. Reuters. April 30, 2007.
  22. ^ Peer to Peer Search Archived 2012-10-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ a b Conference Program. 2003 IWWWC.
  24. ^ List of Sep Kamvar's Publications Archived 2012-08-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ Sep Kamvar Scholar Page.
  26. ^ "'Dog' uses natural language for social coding". Wired. 15 October 2012.
  27. ^ "Professor Develops Dog, Programming Language for Social Applications". Parity News. 15 October 2012.
  28. ^ "Sepandar Kamvar's 'Dog' language opens up artistic possibilities". Wired. 16 November 2012.
  29. ^ "New Programming Language Makes Coding Social Apps Easier". Technology Review. 15 October 2012.
  30. ^ We Feel Fine FAQ.
  31. ^ We Feel Fine Methodology.
  32. ^ List of Exhibitions Archived 2012-08-23 at the Wayback Machine. kamvar.og.
  33. ^ The Book.
  34. ^ Popova, Maria. The Sum of All Emotions. December 2, 2009.
  35. ^ Whelan, Christine. The 10 Most Common Feelings Worldwide. The Huffington Post. December 1, 2009.
  36. ^ The Process Page.
  37. ^ a b c Artist Statement.
  38. ^ I Want You To Want Me. YouTube. Uploaded April 17, 2008.
  39. ^ Design and the Elastic Mind. MoMA.

External links[edit]