About Jim Zaun

Status: Retired. Due to the pandemic, I have closed down my consulting practice for now.
Commute Range: Northern Santa Cruz county, California or remotely.
Citizenship: U.S. native, born and raised in California.
Languages: U.S. English.

I am a retired software engineer, architect and researcher specializing in the real-time computer vision and data visualization research/applications with a passion for learning new technologies. Over the years I have shifted from being a Common LISP developer, to an early C++ developer, to an early Java developer, to a Flash developer, to an Objective-C developer for the iPad and iPhone applications, a web developer using the latest experimental web and cloud technologies and now, a researcher in computer vision and machine learning. But, through it all, I never lost my roots as a hardware design engineer designing and building large digital hardware systems.

I am not afraid of taking on large challenges. As Systems Architect at OnlineFocus, I took on the challenge of designing FedEx's web content management system which managed ~100,000 pages of web content for 240 countries in a dozen languages. The redesigned FedEx website by the OnlineFocus web design team backed up by my content management system earned FedEx the Best Transportation WMA WebAward.

I am also proficient at prototyping new ideas quickly to meet critical deadlines. For example, as "Crack" Engineer, the informal title James Burke gave me, I created an interactive 3-D visualization of the James Burke's Knowledge Web node plex on SUN's experimental 3-D LookingGlass system in time for a presentation at the JavaOne Conference (in true 3-D) only 2 months after taking on the project. At FlyteComm, I added over 200 selectable NOAA weather overlays from 24 servers to FlyteComms's Universal Viewer in time for a critical sales pitch to the FAA in under 2 weeks. At Profile, was voted member of the month for exceptional service and leadership in building the organization's new social-networking website. More recently, at Barco Labs, I had been exploring new ideas in cloud-based, immersive, video collaboration with various experimental client applications:

My years of experience as a computer design engineer, an operating system designer, compiler writer and as an engineer of LISP and C++ IDEs has taught me the value of a more disciplined approach to software design, agile development and engineering. I create reliable modular software products that are well thought out and well adapted to changing needs. For example, as Principle Engineer at FlyteComm, I designed a runtime plug-in framework with dependency injection for all of FlyteComm's flagship web applications. This framework was adapted to flight tracking, law enforcement, weather, fire fighting and, last but not least, following Santa on his trek of delivering gifts to kids throughout the world. In the words of Maurice Bailey, FlyteComm's President/CEO, "Jim brought sophisticated, real-time, client-server technology to the web when no one said it could be done. His work is the presentation centerpiece for all of FlyteComm's major web products, which have generated millions of dollars in revenue and, his contributions have been significant in taking the company to financial independence."

I have had the pleasure of working with some of the top engineers and scientists in the industry: worked with Dr. Bernard Widrow and John McCool on adaptive signal processing; with Mike Ball on compiler and operating system design, who later became SUN's Distinguished Engineer in C++; with Dr. Richard Gabriel, Dr. JonL White and Dr. Rodney Brooks on Lucid Common LISP and CLOS; with Jamie Zawinski on the Lucid C++ IDE, known for XEmacs and Mozilla; with Dr. Shel Kaplan at Lucid, who later became employee #1 and VP of Engineering at Amazon; with Dr. Neal Gafter on the Microtec Research C++ IDE, who later at SUN designed the Java generics language extension; and with author/historian James Burke known for the BBC TV Connections series. I most recently worked with Dr. Steven Delputte and Dr. Jürgen Slowack on computer vision and machine learning research.

Please refer to my expanded résumé for further details.