Ora Lassila is a Finnish computer scientist who lives and works as a Technology Architect at Pegasystems, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.. He has been conducting research into the Semantic Web since 1996, and was co-author, with Tim Berners-Lee and James Hendler, of the article "The Semantic Web" which appeared in Scientific American in 2001, now the most cited paper in the Semantic Web area. His early work in this area included proposing the original RDF Specification with Ralph R. Swick and he has been an elected member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Advisory Board since 1998. He also belongs to the steering committee of the Semantic Web Science Association.
In 1996-1997, he was a Visiting Scientist at MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, working with W3C, and has also held positions at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, as a Research Scientist at the CS Laboratory of Helsinki University of Technology, and a Research Fellow at the Nokia Research Center in Cambridge, MA.
His work includes a frame-based Knowledge Representation system (dubbed "SCAM") that he developed (first at HUT and later at CMU) and which flew on board the NASA Deep Space 1 probe that passed the asteroid belt in 1999. The system served as the KR substrate for an on-board planner used in an experiment to have the probe perform its functions autonomously.
- The original Resource Description Framework specifications, RDF Model and Syntax (1999 Recommendation)
- The W3C Advisory Board
- The Semantic Web Steering Committee
- Nokia Research Center
- Antics with Semantics: The Innovation Interview with Semantics Pioneer, Ora Lassila
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