Message from Jim Hendler

From: Harris, Brad (
Date: 09/25/01

Agents Researchers-
  Today was my last official day at DARPA, and as I've long threatened, here
is that final goodbye message.  I was going to send something witty and
biting, but the events of the past couple of weeks demand a more serious
  I am extremely proud to have worked with you all, and very proud of the
impact your work is having.  When I first came to DARPA, I must admit that I
was somewhat ambivalent about working for the Department of Defense - I know
a couple of you asked "what's an old hippy like you, doing in a place like
that?" My answer then, and I became more sure of it as time went on, was
that the enemy of the future was not a major war with a "peer competitor,"
but the threat of terrorism -- 
a major event (and, I hate to say it, but the one we just saw is only a warm
up to what could happen) was the most likely thing to keep our kids from
growing up to adults -- and something I felt compelled to fight.  The agents
programs hold great promise - and what your technology has accomplished over
the past three years is a marvel. CoABS is transitioning into use in all the
military services, DAML technology is in the midst of a promising transition
into daily use 
in the intelligence community, and TASK truly holds the potential to be a
major revolution in computer science - and the foundation of a new
generation of information technology tools.
  As well as these applications, you've done some amazing science as well.
The mobility TIE started in CoABS is leading to some major new approaches to
mobile computing, and the agents frameworks many of you are pursing look
very promising. TASK meetings are now the premier 
agent-science gatherings I know of, and I continue to see the count of
papers and articles you produce climbing rapidly.  DAML is moving amazingly
well, and I believe Tim Berners-Lee is going to owe a number of us beers for
getting ontologies onto the net sooner than he thought possible.  In
addition, the work in DAML-services and rules is truly exciting, and I am
actually beginning to believe it when I say that we really are going to
change the world!
  I could go on all night, but let me simply end by saying that it's been
truly a priviledge to work with such talented people, and I look forward to
continue working with many of you as I return to academia.
  Thanks for all you time, effort, and putting up with the times I yelled,
  Jim H.

Professor James Hendler
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  AV Williams Building
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

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