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Mark Stefik

Mark Stefik is currently managing the Knowledge, Language, and Interactions area at PARC. He is also a lead on two client projects which are examples of what he calls "social nervous systems": 

  • Urban Parking Services, a multidisciplinary project that includes ethnographers and hardware and software engineers across PARC working with several U.S. and European cities to understand and address parking issues around congestion, public safety, and public policy. The work includes field studies, analytics, modeling, and developing hardware and software prototypes of new-generation parking systems and services.
  • Digital Nurse Assistant, a multidisciplinary project that includes ethnographers, software engineers, and workflow modelers. The team has developed an experiential demo with a major healthcare provider and is now working on pilot deployments in several U.S. hospitals. 

Overall, Mark's research is about how people create and share information. His earlier work focused on personalized news, sensemaking systems, hardware and software for collaboration in electronic meetings, object-oriented programming systems, and expert systems. Mark has contributed technology to several PARC spinouts; his seminal digital property rights for publishing work led to the creation of
ContentGuard, which was acquired by Microsoft, Time Warner, and Thompson in 2005. Mark also managed and led one of PARC's major research organizations in developing sensemaking technology for intelligence analysts.

Dr. Stefik's Ph.D. work at Stanford University was on experiment planning in molecular genetics. He is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and his perspectives on serial invention are documented in the book
Breakthrough: Stories and Strategies of Radical Innovation. 


PARC publications

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Is the organizational computer a digital nervous system?

Knowledge Management in Organizations (KMO2011)

27 September 2011

The news that matters to you: design & deployment of a personalized news service

Innovative Applications for Artificial Intelligence (IAAI-11)

9 August 2011


Social indexing

CHI 2008, Sensemaking Workshop

6 April 2008


DRM Inside: DRM and the future of digital media

Keynote panel at Jupiter Media Digital Rights Strategies Conference

17 September 2007

Social and personalized: music discovery in a social medium

Invited talk at the Harvard Computer Science Department Seminar Series

28 February 2007


The prepared mind versus the beginner's mind

Design Management Review

1 January 2005



City Lights: contextual views in minimal space

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2003), Extended Abstracts

5 April 2003


Automatic text reduction for changing size constraints

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2002) - Extended Abstracts

20 April 2002


The Internet edge

MIT Press



Libraries and digital property rights

Digital Library Conference

1 September 1997


Letting loose the light: igniting commerce in electronic publication

Internet Dreams: Archetypes, Myths, and Metaphors, edited by Mark Stefik

1 January 1996



Improving design and documentation by using partially automated synthesis

AI EDAM: Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing

31 December 1994


The cost structure of sensemaking

Proceedings of INTERCHI '93

29 April 1993


WYSIWIS revised: early experiences with multi-user interfaces

Readings in Groupware and Computer Supported Cooperative Work



WYSIWIS revised: early experiences with multi-user interfaces

ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems

April 1987


Expert systems: perils and promise

Communications of the ACM

September 1986


Strategic computing at DARPA

Communications of the ACM

1 July 1985


The organization of expert systems: a tutorial

Artificial Intelligence

31 December 1982


Planning with constraints (MOLGEN Part 1 and Part 2)

Artificial Intelligence

1 May 1981





related focus areas


related competencies


blog posts   view all 

Design principles for news abundance
posted 6 August 2010

At the heart of curation: Kiffets backstory
posted 27 July 2010

Personalizing news on the long tail
posted 5 October 2009


in the news   view all 

...Research Projects Aimed at Making Healthcare Less of a Pain
10 April 2012 | HealthNewsDigest

Kiffets.com - Read Only The News That Matters
26 September 2010 | KillerStartups

Six Definitions of Smart Content
24 September 2010 | The Intelligent Enterprise blog



external website

personal website