Jack Rusher is a multidisplinary creative with a deep technical background.

Talks & Interviews

The Aesthetics of Programming Tools

Interviewed by Ivan Reese for the Future of Coding Podcast. The topic was nominally the aesthetics of programming tools, but the conversation ranged widely.

Computational Creativity

Video of an invited talk that I presented at the 2019 edition of the Clojure-focused ClojuTRE conference in Helsinki.

Ongoing Projects

Clerk

Clerk is an open source programmer’s assistant for Clojure that combines the advantages of notebooks like Jupyter, Smalltalk-style Moldable Development, and using one’s favorite editor. Collaboration with Nextjournal.

Art

I create art with code as a part of my daily meditation practice. Those interested in collecting NFTs of my work will find it exclusively on the low-carbon Tezos blockchain: objkt.com, Versum, and fxhash.

Popular Writing

What Does it Mean to Buy a GIF?

An attempt to clarify the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) phenomenon, with an eye toward the history of art markets.

Homesteading

An explanation as to why this site is the way that it is, RSS-feed and all, in the age of social media.

Leopards in the Source Code

An exploration of code re-factoring through the lens of a Franz Kafka parable.

Functions, how do they work?

Hand-compiling some functions written in scheme to explain how they work from the perspective of the machine.

Past Project Highlights

Made to Measure

Berlin-based art collective Laokoon produced a documentary film in 2021 to highlight the privacy implications of using large social media platforms. I helped with the project by training an ML-based voice clone of the film’s protagonist in two languages. Collaboration with Studio NAND, who produced excellent process documentation about the project.

Anyone Still Working Here?

I assisted a bit with the handwriting and geometric projection used by this industrial robot on permanent exhibition at the Futurium in Berlin since 2019. Collaboration with Studio NAND.

Maria.cloud

Maria, named for Maria Montessori, is a computational notebook and teaching environment for the Clojure programming language. Collaboration with Matt Huebert and Dave Liepmann. A talk on Maria given at ClojureD 2018 is available here.

MotoLogic

We developed a sophisticated search interface for automotive repair information. As part of this, I created a natural language processing system that combined neural networks and classical AI/semantic web techniques. Acquired by Advance Auto Parts in 2013.

Aleri

We built one of the industry’s first commercial Complex Event Processing systems for streaming data. It was used for fraud detection, trading platforms, and other soft real-time information processing tasks by many giant companies. My paper on the storage system from VLDB 2007, A Log-Structured Store for Streaming Data, is available here. Acquired by Sybase in 2009, now an SAP product.

TripleStore

I created the first purpose-built TripleStore for the Semantic Web. My 2003 paper on the system is still widely cited in the literature.

Integratus

We built the first wide-area high-availability system for Unix-like computers in 1998, which was used by Apple, Ford, State Street Bank, and numerous other Fortune 500 companies to provide multi-site failover for their services. We also created a highly available, self-healing clustered filesystem, after which we were acquired by Veritas in 2002.

RCI

I built a successful B2B ISP/ISV in the early/mid-90s using commodity hardware and a homemade BSD kernel with clustering/failover features, the combination of which allowed us to operate far below competitors' costs. Acquired by another ISV in 1999, ultimately rolled into a regional BoC.

Research

I’ve worked at some of the top computer science research labs, including Bell Labs/AT&T Research, with most of my research centering on operating systems, data storage, and networking.

In addition, I’ve had the good fortune to help many scientists in other fields apply computational techniques to their work.

Open Source

Starting in the mid-80s, I have contributed to several of the most high-impact open source projects in the world. You almost certainly used some of them to read this web page.