ABOUT ME

I dropped out of college to develop my first startup, EZResult.com, which sold to Ask Jeeves in 1999, at the age of 21. While at Ask, I invented and patented several technologies, which significantly increase revenue, contributing to Ask's sale to IAC in 2005.  My next startup, Clicker.com, was sold to CBS Interactive in 2011.  While at CBS Interactive, I optimized the advertisement system's query response time from hours to seconds. I recently managed a team which rewrote last.fm onto a significantly faster and cheaper platform. The teams which I have led or have been part of have taken on difficult projects that no one else wanted to tackle and provided great solutions. My track record proves my ability to transform innovative research into highly competitive, commercial products. I'm currently seeking new projects.

PATENTS

The following are patents and/or applications in which I played a significant role:

Real-Time Advertising System

Type: Application

Filed: March 7, 2014

Publication date: September 18, 2014

Publication number: 20140279051

Applicant: CBS Interactive Inc.

Inventor: John Andrew Curtis (my full name)

Methods and systems for conceptually organizing and presenting information

Type: Grant

Filed: May 24, 2004

Date of Patent: February 20, 2007

Patent number: 7181447

Applicant: IAC Search & Media, Inc.

Inventor: Andy Curtis, Alan Levin, Apostolos Gerasoulis

Methods and systems for providing a response to a query

Type: Grant

Filed: September 16, 2004

Date of Patent: December 19, 2006

Patent number: 7152061

Applicant: IAC Search & Media, Inc.

Inventor: Andy Curtis, Alan Levin, Apostolos Gerasoulis

Search engine using indexing method for storing and retrieving data

Type: Grant

Filed: February 17, 1999

Date of Patent: August 21, 2001

Pubilcation number: 20140279051

Inventors: John Andrew Curtis (my full name), Gordon Frank Scherer

The following 5 patents are similar in nature

Methods and systems for providing a response to a query

Type: Grant

Filed dates: May 25, 2004 to April 22, 2008

Dates of Patent: November 11, 2008 to November 22, 2011

Patent numbers: 8065299, 8037087, 7984048, 7739274, 7451131

Applicant: IAC Search & Media, Inc.

Inventor: Andy Curtis, Alan Levin, Apostolos Gerasoulis

The following videos feature Apostolos Gerasoulis (also named in some of the patents)

Goodbye Teoma Algorithm, Hello Edison, Says Ask.com

Barry Schwartz on April 12, 2007 at 3:48 pm

Jim Lanzone, CEO of Ask.com, has confirmed with me that Ask.com is working on Edison. Edison is the code name behind merging of Ask.com’s two different search technologies they own, Teoma and Direct Hit. The name comes from inventor Thomas Edison, who worked out of New Jersey where’s Ask’s Teoma technology came from and where it still maintains a research base.

Jim would not give me more information beyond that. I did speak with Apostolos Gerasoulis who leaked this information this morning, where he explained that they will be using Direct Hit’s click popularity technology with Teoma’s “subject-specific” link analysis to provide a more social search service.

Apostolos Gerasoulis is very excited about this new algorithm and he told me he feels this will be the most powerful algorithm in search.

See more...

WORK EXPERIENCE

Owner / Consultant

June 2009 - present
As a consultant, I can provide insight from my diverse experience. I know a lot of the pitfalls from different development styles and general approaches to running a software business. I can provide quick insight into the viability of a given algorithm or approach to solving problems and save significant development time. If I don't know how to solve a problem, I most likely know someone who can.

CTO and Partner

November 2017 - present
I joined as CTO of Mathscore to redesign their educational product from the ground up. MathScore is an online adaptive learning platform that helps students excel in math.

Senior Director of R&D

November 2014-September 2017
Led a team that helped re-platform last.fm, which has over 106 billion scrobbles based. As part of the process I wrote and led much of the backend design for the last.fm system, including search, tagging, realtime recent activity, the primary user experience with scrobbles, and a pipeline to process scrobbles in realtime.

Senior Director of Search & Recommendations

March 2011-June 2012
Designed and built out an advertising inventory system supporting billions of ads in realtime and optimized the price on ads sold and reduced the time to compute overlapping inventory from many hours to a couple of seconds. The inventory was a challenge due to the fact that there were billions of impressions being sold to hundreds of thousands of overlapping clients. The system needed to know not only what inventory was available, but also how to best deliver to yield maximum monetization. 

Senior Director of Search & Recommendations

March 2011-November 2014
I managed the team which helped to integrate much of the Clicker technology into TV.com.

Senior Director of Search & Recommendations

March 2011-September 2017

CBS Acquires TV Guide For Online Video Clicker,...

What is Clicker, and Why Did CBS Acquire It?

Systems Architect

July 2009 - March 2011

Clicker was a startup that aimed to be the TV guide for the Web. I joined it in its early stages in July, 2009. Jim Lanzone (from Ask Jeeves) had just become the CEO of Clicker. Upon joining, I built a search engine from scratch that went live two months later for TechCruch-50 2009. I managed and/or directly built the majority of the backend for Clicker.  I built several real-time systems, using personalized approaches to handle user behavior: tracking recent vs. long-term activity, correlated trends, implicit user actions, comments, list reordering, and more.   I also built frameworks to serve general pages, search, and recommendations.

Clicker was one of the first Facebook instant personalization partners. I designed and built systems to utilize users’ interests to create a personalized recommendation experience.  The system digested billions of users’ interest, matched them to TV shows and movies, correlate data, and provide high quality recommendations

Consultant

June 2009 - December 2009

Senior Software Manager

April 2005 - June 2009
I helped to increase Ask Jeeves user-base and retention which aided in its sale to IAC I continued on in the Ask Jeeves division working with Teoma and Bloglines

Senior Software Manager

February 2005 - October 2005
I built out the initial search framework for BlogLines. As part of this, my team launched the first Japanese product that worked.

Senior Software Manager

September 2001 - June 2009
I moved from the Boston, MA area to help put the acquisition together. Teoma provided Ask Jeeves with a much needed infusion of people. The search team grew significantly. The integration of Teoma and the existing Ask Jeeves search engine proved to be challenging. My messaging system, crawler, and indexer were kept through the transition. I designed and implemented the following systems to create a complete product.
  • Popularity Based Search - This was a system that generated search results based upon prior users search behavior and their entire sessions. The Teoma Engine backfilled results when the popularity based search didn't have quality results.
  • Near Duplicate Elimination System - this would compare billions of documents to each other and eliminate them if they only had minor or boilerplate differences.
  • Authored and produced the description server used by Ask.com to extract and deliver dynamic descriptions for every web-page returned on the results page..
  • Coding Style Guide - I was given the assignment of developing a coding style along with another individual for future development

Senior Software Manager

March, 2000 - September, 2001
Merged the DirectHit search technology with technology from my prior company, EZResults.com, resulting in overall improved relevance.  I worked with a team to build out an index of over a billion pages on an extremely small budget.

Senior Software Manager

November 1999 - June 2009
I sold my internet search company to Ask Jeeves (Ask.com) and became the principal designer of the back-end system behind Ask.com, handling billions of web pages every day. I helped to increased their search-market share by producing link-based algorithms, significantly enhancing relevance, developed heuristics crucial to the relevancy measurements at the core of Ask.com search results, furnished insight to executive management to create new, effective organizations, and directed a team of engineers, developers, and editors to continually deliver enterprise-level products significantly ahead of schedule and under budget. 
  • Invented, developed and patented search-engine technology worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Ask Jeeves.
  • Orchestrated the creation of additional search engines crucial to current operational procedures at Ask.com - some examples include building Blog Lines search, Japanese search, Image search, Recipe search, and more.
  • Conceptualized, designed and implemented assortment of core, strategic C/C++ programming libraries, adapted and relied upon by nearly all divisions of Ask.com development.
  • Designed a core distributed processing system which handles 100s of terabytes of data on a small set of machines, and reduced production turnaround from months to days.
  • Constructed initial Ask Image Search product. Benchmark for gauging the quality of successive Image products and motivating future improvements.
  • Merged the DirectHit search technology with technology from my prior company, EZResults.com, resulting in overall improved relevance.
  • Conceived and developed the clustering and classification algorithms behind Web/Image Search and such popular features as “Smart Answers”, “Related Search” and “Recipe Search”. 

Chief Architect and Founder

May 1998 - November 1999
I founded, designed and invented technology behind EzResult, an internet search company when I was 20 years old. At the time, its size and relevance were very competitive with Google. I sold the internet search company to Ask Jeeves (Ask.com), 19 months after inception.
  • Search included ability to instantly add, update, or delete a web page or set of web pages.
  • Indexed 70 million pages on commodity hardware (in 1998-1999).
  • I had one of the fastest updating indexes on the web at the time. You could usually find news stories minutes after they were written.
  • Designed systems to crawl the web that were distributed around the world.
  • Built spam detection methods to remove spam and adult content.
  • Developed and used a domain based power algorithm to decide relevant content to crawl.
  • Devised middleware/communication protocol which handled file, process and message distribution across multiple data centers.
  • Given that I was the sole developer, I wrote everything that was necessary to make the search engine work well.

REFERENCES

You can see more about these references and find more on LinkedIn

Apostolos Gerasoulis

Professor at Rutgers University

Executive Vice President of Ask.com

Founder of Teoma

Andy is one of the most impressive software engineers that I have ever met.

Not only he innovates but he is capable of building complete systems extremely fast to back up his innovations. One of his major contributions was the invention of technologies that utilize user sessions to improve search, related suggestions by utilizing user sessions in a search engine.

Nowadays most of the search engines use ideas similar to what Andy had innovated back in the 2000 to improve their rankings.  Working with Andy was one of the most enjoyable and successful collaborations that I had in my life. His impact within ask.com was immense. What is also impressive is that Andy can nurture others that work with him to excel. I have seen individuals that did not know how to program, introduced to programming by Andy and becoming leaders in their own right in software development and design later on. 

To put it simply Andy is making a lasting impact on whatever he decides to work on, either software or individual development.I expect him to continue with his great work in the future!

Alessio Signorini

Co-founder and Chief Architect at Evidation Health

Director of Technology at Ask.com

Andy and I worked together in Ask.com for about 2 years. I learned a lot from him and it was always a pleasure to discuss with him. He is a specialist in writing super efficient code for massive and scalable architectures. Lots of Ask.com infrastructure was based on his ideas and code. He is trust-worthy guy and somebody you can always rely on to get the job done.

Joshua Frattarola

Senior Manager - Emerging AI Technologies

Chief Architect and Founder of Ivy

Senior Manager of Engineering at CBSi

Andy Curtis is the best manager I have worked for to date.  His ingenuity and creativity make working under him exciting and challenging. He is able to manage people in a way which fosters individual creativity, while maintaining an "all for one and one for all" team atmosphere.

Alan Levin

Vice President of Thuuz

Engineer at Ask.com

Engineer at DirectHit

Over the nine years I worked alongside Andy, I found him to be passionate about delivering innovative and far-reaching software solutions. Often he was independently thinking several steps ahead of the crowd, unveiling surprisingly elegant algorithms and insisting on rigorously efficient processes to address complex computational tasks. His creativity is reflected in several patents describing procedures that substantially improved the quality of our search engine results.

Rajiv Thondanoor

Vice President at Ola

Vice President of Product at CBSi

Andy is a great software engineer, more a software guru actually. He was responsible for building a large part of Ask's original offline system that crawled and indexed the web. Not only is he the man to go to for a quick proof of concept for a complex problem, he is somebody you can work with to architect a large scale, scalable production system too.

CONTACT ME

Andy Curtis

740.683.5634 (cell)

contactandyc@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/andycurtis

I live in Central Ohio. I'm willing to travel as necessary to help your business succeed. I look forward to connecting with you!