This is the personal site of Mike Travers. I'm a software engineer, designer, writer, and researcher in the San Francisco area.
I'm interested in tools to make programming easier and more expressive, for children, scientists, and others. I got a PhD from the MIT Media Laboratory in this area in 1996, focusing on the role of agency as a concept and metaphor in programming environments.
More recently I've worked on a variety of systems for scientific and medical computation, knowledge management, and visualization. These professions tend to have the hardest knowledge management tasks, and there is a lot of potential for computational systems to be a better job of supporting this work.
Some Projects and Hacks
- Enflame, a Scratch-like visual query builder for a scientific graph knowledge base. Recently open-sourced parts of this as Blockoid.
- I wrote the introduction for Inventive Minds, a collection of Marvin Minsky's essays on education.
- SmartTables (article) is a public working version of a semantic spreadsheet.
- Visualizing the relationship between population density and politics with d3.
- LinkBack, a Chrome extension for automatic backlinking (pushing the web an iota closer to real hypertext)
- The Embobulator
- A Heroku buildpack for Common Lisp
- SWFrames, a Common Lisp package that implements a semantic-web backed frame system
- WuWei, a Common Lisp toolkit for creating modern websites.
- BioBike, aweb-based programmable knowledge environment for computational biology. See the this paper in Bioinformatics.
I designed the original knowledge representation framework and visual programing language.
- Afferent, a system for managing lab information for drug discovery, particularly combinatorial chemistry. I was UI lead and implemented a variety of subsystems.
See this success story for more.
- Older projects in Artificial Life and Visual Programming
from previous life at MIT Media Lab.