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For a slightly more international version, check out my Wikidata user page, where you can switch the display language.
I used to have a second user account while I was working at Wikimedia Deutschland: User:Denny Vrandečić (WMDE). I am not using that one anymore.
Local user pagesEdit
Wikis where I have and plan to retain local user pages:
I am Croatian (my parents are from Brač, the most beautiful place in the world). I went to the Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium, studied computer science and philosophy at the University of Stuttgart, got my PhD at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where my research area have been Ontologies and the Semantic Web. I have been doing research at the Laboratory of Applied Ontology at the National Research Council and at the Information Sciences Institute at USC. After that I joined Wikimedia Deutschland to start the Wikidata project. Today I work at Google.
I also have written texts for the German fantasy role playing game Das Schwarze Auge.
I lived on the island of Brač, in Stuttgart, Rome, Karlsruhe, Los Angeles, Berlin, and now San Francisco.
- The following text was part of a first draft for my candidacy statement for the Board of Trustees elections. So please bear with me that it sounds a bit self-aggrandizing.
I am a Wikipedian since 2003. In 2004, I became the first administrator and bureaucrat of the Croatian Wikipedia, when there was no community yet. At the first Wikimania in 2005, my colleagues and I presented the idea of including structured data in Wikipedia. In the following, Markus Krötzsch and I created the Semantic MediaWiki extension to demonstrate the power of the idea. Semantic MediaWiki became one of the most versatile extensions, and remains a unique advantage enabling many use cases in organizations as diverse as Stanford, NASA, the UN, WHO, FSF’s Free Software Directory, translatewiki.net, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or on a kids’ wiki about Yu-Gi-Oh!
I gained my PhD at KIT from 2004-2010, for which I did research, among other things, on the Wikimedia projects. In 2008 I was co-chair of the research track of Wikimania. In 2009/2010 I co-wrote the proposal for the EU project RENDER (total budget 4.4 Million Euro), the first EU research project in which Wikimedia Deutschland participated.
In 2010/11, I wrote the Wikidata proposal with input from numerous community members, the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland, and external advisors. In the following, I secured more than 2 Million USD in donations to fund the development of Wikidata, and for Wikimedia Deutschland, hired and led the team which would start in 2012 with the development and eventual deployment of Wikidata. Wikidata has become the single biggest sustainable contributor of new members to the Wikimedia communities in the past decade, and is today the fourth largest Wikimedia project community. It is also easily the most impactful technical change in many years, and yet it was introduced with an unusual small amount of backlash and on-wiki discussions. Wikidata has removed more than 400 Million lines of Wikitext so far - content, that has not to be maintained anymore, without loss of quality or coverage.
I joined Google in 2013, and since then I have helped with the release of several datasets from Google under a CC0 license, and most importantly supported the ongoing shutdown of Freebase and the release of Freebase’s data for the benefit of the Wikidata project. In 2015, I hosted a Wikidata editor at Google to make sure that as much data as possible is being offered to Wikidata. From 2013 to 2019, I have been an ontologist at Google, working on the Knowledge Graph in Google Search, where I have worked on improving the quality and expressiveness of the Knowledge Graph. In 2019 I switched to Google Research, where I have been collaboration with teams across Google on Wikidata and Wikipedia related research work, and doing research work on Natural Language technologies.
I was an elected member of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees in 2015 and 2016.
Disclosure: Paid editingEdit
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, I was using paid time to update some statistical data about the pandemic on English Wikipedia.