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Bio/Description

An American businessman, he founded Symantec Corporation, an international corporation that sells computer software, particularly in the fields of information management and antivirus software. He obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas in May 1970 and then received his Master's degree from the same institution in December 1970. Advanced Research Projects Agency had announced a series of funding for six projects in natural language understanding in 1970, which influenced his decision to study in the artificial intelligence field. In January 1971, he enrolled in the Ph.D. program at the University of Texas, and was assigned Robert Simmons as his adviser. While at the University of Texas, he published several papers on robotics and planning, which several people from SRI International read. This led to an invitation for him to work at SRI International (SRI), which he accepted and subsequently moved to Menlo Park, California. After several years at SRI, he left with fifteen SRI employees to form Machine Intelligence Corporation, which ultimately failed. Afterward, he founded Symantec Corporation in 1982 with the help of a National Science Foundation grant. The company was originally focused on artificial intelligence-related projects, and he hired several Stanford University natural language processing researchers as the company's first employees. To finance the company, he went to an American Electronics Association financial conference in Monterey, California in May 1983. After demoing their product on an early Apple computer, businesses became interested in obtaining their product. In September 1984, Kleiner Perkins arranged a merger between Symantec and another company they had funded, the start-up formed by Denis Coleman and Gordon Eubanks of DRI, which was developing a suite of software tools. In a few months Symantec introduced its first product, Q&A (Questions and Answers), a database management system for personal computers with a natural-language user interface. Symantec went on to specialize in development tools for software engineers, i.e. software to help build other software. He left the company in 1991 and returned to Texas.
  • Noted For:

    Founder of Symantec Corporation, an international software corporation that developed “Q&A” (Questions and Answers), a database management system for PCs with a natural-language user interface
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