Sam S. Adams  Sam S. Adams photo         

contact information

Academy of Technology LogoDistinguished Engineer, IBM Research
Location: online from the North Carolina foothills


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  ACM



Sam Adams is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and co-lead for IBM Research’s Data Strategy. He recently served as the CTO for Contextual Computing in IBM Research. Sam joined IBM in 1994 as an Enterprise Object Architect to help found the first Object Technology practice for the IBM Consulting Group. He was honored in 1995 by being elected to the IBM Academy of Technology, and again in 1996 by being appointed one of the first IBM Distinguished Engineers. Mr. Adams then moved to IBM Research to lead the study of Self Configuring Systems, an effort that foreshadowed IBM's Autonomic Computing initiative. He transferred to IBM's Network Computing Software Division in 1996 and coauthored IBM's XML Technical Strategy which focused on the value of XML in machine-to-machine communication. This vision became the core of IBM's Web Services strategy. In 1998 Sam coined the term "Service Oriented Architecture" and along with Steve Graham defined the Publish-Find-Bind triangle model for SOA. In 2000, Mr. Adams rejoined IBM Research to lead the Joshua Blue project, resulting in a number of breakthroughs in Artificial General Intelligence including the Metasemantic Affective Interest-flow Network. In 2003 Sam shifted gears to focus on end user programming of web services, resulting in the On Demand Integration Environment (ODIE), the first example of mashup technology at IBM. In 2006, he became the lead architect for the Enterprise 2.0 Initiative, a global effort across a dozen projects in IBM Research to explore the opportunities for Web 2.0 technology in the enterprise. Sam led the Renaissance exploratory research project, focusing on the programming challenges and opportunities raised by the arrival of massively multicore processors from until 2012, which developed a number of novel programming model concepts like including adverbs and gerunds in programming languages to formalize what is normally opaque "glue code". CCurrently in the Cognitive Knowledge Systems group in Research, Sam focuses on Data Strategy and enabling Managed Data Services for Cognitive Computing systems. Prior to joining IBM, Mr. Adams was the Chief Scientist and cofounder of Knowledge Systems Corporation, a software startup that helped commercialize object-oriented programming in Smalltalk. A Native American of Cherokee and Sac-and-Fox descent, Sam is also IBM's executive liaison to AISES, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.