User:Chris Cole

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Chris Cole is President of Ur Studios, Inc. He was introduced to the Arpanet as a student at Harvard in the 1970’s. As a graduate student at Caltech, he pioneered interactive remote computing by using the Macsyma program at MIT over the Arpanet. Later he co-wrote with Stephen Wolfram the first commercially available symbolic math package, SMP, which was a precursor to Mathematica.

Cole co-founded his first software company, Peregrine Systems, Inc. (PRGN), in 1981 and has been a founder of several companies since then. In the late 1980s, Cole became interested in the Internet as a medium for virtual communities and several of these companies have explored this area. Among these, Worlds, Inc. (WDDD) marketed one of the first commercially available multi-user 3D environments, and its offshoot Active Worlds, Inc. (AWLD) is one of the largest online paid subscriber communities. He also founded the open source project Gel and co-founded with Alan Kay the open source project OpenCroquet.

Ur Studios, Inc. is a loosely bound collection of companies exploring civilization on the Internet. Included are Jet City Studios, Inc. of Seattle, a leader in the area of kids entertainment and education over the Internet; Progress City, Inc of Santa Monica, a creator of systems of experience that operate in both the real and virtual worlds; Headlamp, Inc. of San Diego, an integrator of transactional information into one coherent view of the customer; and Ask Earth, Inc., an online service that connects people looking for information with people who have that information.

Cole also wrote the software for the online version of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, worked with the Advanced Technology Group of Encyclopedia Britannica in implementing Britannica Online, helped Disney go online, and edits the archive for the Usenet newsgroup rec.puzzles. In 1999 Sterling published his book Wordplay, A Curious Dictionary of Language Oddities.