Welcome Rick Deininger – Technical Support Engineer

Hello! My name is Rick Deininger and I am the newest member of the technical support team at Diffbot.

I began working with computers when I was very little. However, as I grew up, I had less access to computers so I was not able to pursue those interests as much. After graduating high school, I attended several schools for widely-varied fields such as Systems Administration, Computer Engineering, and Technical Writing. Unfortunately, various circumstances prevented me from completing a degree.

Eventually, I suffered a serious illness that forced me to take some time off from pursuing an education and career. During this time, I operated online businesses, and built small websites and scripts to support them. None of these businesses were ever a big success, but in the course of developing them, I did a lot of web scraping and learned several languages and technologies including Ruby, Python, JS, PHP, Selenium, and various kinds of web servers and databases.

A few years ago I had an opportunity to go back to school for a couple of years, and I did so with the hope that it would allow me to break back into the IT field. I attended De Anza College and completed 3 AA degrees simultaneously, including one in Network Administration and another in Information Security. During this time, I had also studied to get my AWS Solutions Architect certification, which I completed a few months after graduating.

I had never heard of Diffbot before finding the posting for this role online. What first attracted me to the company was its focus on web scraping, a subject that has at times been both my “bread and butter” and a bit of a hobby. However, as I have gained knowledge about the company and its product offerings, I have developed an increasing interest in the Diffbot Knowledge Graph, which seems sure to one day be a cornerstone of the IT industry. My mind is boggled by the sheer amount of data that Diffbot has mined through machine learning and natural language processing, and I can’t wait to see all the ways that other businesses are utilizing this data and this service to enhance their own product offerings.

I will be remotely supporting Diffbot’s products and APIs for their various customers. I have developed strong written communication and troubleshooting skills over the years, and I hope to bring these skills to bear to provide a high level of support to Diffbot’s customers.

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Welcome Joone Hur – Software Engineer

Hello everyone! 

My name is Joone, and I am a new Software Engineer at Diffbot where I own the renderability and performance of the rendering farm here. For many years, I worked on web engines such as Gecko, WebKit and Chromium at Samsung and Intel Open Source Technology Center. Currently, I am pursuing a new adventure with a machine learning company.

Human beings have advanced with the internet. We can easily share information and communicate with anyone in the world, but sometimes we face issues such as the information being impermanent and inaccurate. Also, it is still hard to find information from the web even though we have good search engines and Wikipedia. In fact, they have not changed much since they were invented. Diffbot is building a knowledge graph that will be the future of human knowledge, which motivated me to join. Essentially, my role here is to make the web machine readable for our machine learning systems. I have also studied data mining using neural networks for my Masters degree which will help when working with our researchers.

In my free time, I’m a professional comic artist, and I post my comics about free/open source software at http://joone.net. If I have the chance, I will draw comics about machine learning and Diffbot’s services. Stay tuned for our blogs and follow us on Twitter!

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Welcome Dimitris Kontokostas – Software Engineer

Hello there! I am Dimitris, and I am a new Software Engineer at Diffbot!

As the name implies, I am Greek. In particular, I am from the northern part of the mainland (far away from the beautiful beaches). I hold a degree in Electronics & Computer Engineering from the Technical University of Crete, a MSc in Web Science from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and a PhD on Large-scale Knowledge Extraction & Quality Assessment from the University of Leipzig. Through my MSc and PhD programs, I was exposed to knowledge graphs and felt really fascinated by the field. I have been working with knowledge graphs for almost 10 years now, and I am still amazed by the new possibilities they can unlock.

The Diffbot Knowledge Graph is really intriguing. It operates on web-scale using state of the art research on knowledge extraction and expands way beyond notable entities (e.g. celebrities, established companies, etc) that most knowledge graphs are limited to. I felt this was a perfect match for my research and professional skills and a great challenge to work on. My primary focus at Diffbot will be data quality and knowledge fusion. I will extend existing approaches and create new techniques to further improve & evaluate the accuracy of our knowledge graph.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family & friends, playing basketball, running and skiing.

I look forward to my new knowledge graph adventures at Diffbot!

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Welcome Julia Wiedmann – Machine Learning Engineer (Research)

 

Hi there! My name is Julia and I am a Machine Learning Research Engineer at Diffbot.

Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, I moved to London to study Business. While I enjoyed my degree, I realized I was much more interested in technology, so I taught myself enough coding and math to qualify for a Masters degree in Computer Science at University College London (UCL). I recently finished my PhD at the University of Oxford, primarily developing new methods for machine learning-based web data extraction which can extract data from new pages at scale and without site-level supervision. My research interests widely overlap with Diffbot’s work, so I interned here last summer building the EventsAPI. The EventsAPI is a new addition to the Automatic API’s, which automatically extracts events from the open web. This allows events to be added to the Diffbot Knowledge Graph and customers to use the API directly. Now as an excited full timer, I am focusing on improving and expanding the Automatic API extraction methods.

In my free time I love all sorts of sports, such as cycling, skiing, hiking, and running.

I look forward to more adventures at Diffbot!

 

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Welcome Lorenzo Torres – Technical Sourcer

I received my Bachelor’s Degree from University of Southern California (Fight On!) and then became a food truck driver and manager for a waffle dessert company in Pasadena, CA called Waffles de Liege. After 3 years, I felt that I wasn’t doing anything fulfilling and realized that I wanted to make an impact and difference in people’s lives. I left the industry and spoke to friends and family about the next career. They had mentioned recruiting and how it can change a person’s a life, as well as make a difference in the proper field. I went to various recruiting networking events and created my position with a start up called FabFitFun via their “create your job” submission. Impressed by my background, they hired me as an intern and then converted me full time into a Recruiting Coordinator. From there, I went to Robert Half for half a year for legal recruiting, and then a smaller tech recruiting agency called Strategic Employment Partners for Technical Sourcing. With minimal sourcing knowledge and only 7 months into the company, I received the 2017 Recruiter of the Year Award. I was then transferred to their New York branch, and once again received the 2018 Recruiter of the Year Award. I now find myself for the first time in an in house Technical Sourcer position with an awesome team, product, and company vision I can truly be behind.

Outside of work, I love to sing with friends and family via covers online and sometimes karaoke (was in choir when I was 10 years old all the way up to 19, and also trained formally), eating a lot (trying new restaurants and cooking), watching WWE/UFC/anything entertaining, play Dance Dance Revolution (used to compete), and just having a good ole time with friends and family.

I’m excited to help grow out the teams here in Diffbot, and can’t wait for what the future holds for all of us.

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Welcome Paramita Mirza – Machine Learning Engineer Intern

 

Hello there! I’m Paramita (sounds similar to ‘parameter’) and I’m excited to be part of the Relation Extraction research team at Diffbot.

I received my PhD degree from the University of Trento/FBK-ICT in spring 2016. Under the supervision of Sara Tonelli, my PhD research focused on extracting temporal and causal relations between events from natural language texts, as part of the NewsReader project. I then joined Gerhard Weikum‘s group at Max Planck Institute for Informatics, where YAGO (Yet Another Great Ontology) Knowledge Base was developed, as a Postdoc. My research interests have always been revolved around Information Extraction and Machine Learning approach for it, making sense of unstructured text and building structured knowledge out of it. 

I learned more about Diffbot when I attended ISWC’18 in Monterey, and found out that they’re on their steadfastly way on building a gigantic knowledge graph out of the whole web. I got hooked and decided to temporarily escape rainy Germany to sunny California. Here at Diffbot, I’ll be working on extracting temporal qualifiers for facts extracted to build Diffbot Knowledge Graph, making sure that we can differentiate fresh facts from the historical ones. I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions on how to make that happen!

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