The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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ECE Alumnus Reports on His Work at Graphiq Inc.

Ivan Bercovich

Ivan Bercovich (center)

Alumnus Ivan Bercovich, the vice president of engineering at Graphiq Inc. and a graduate of our Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, is doing fascinating work at Graphiq, a company that provides solutions for search and data visualization. As the Graphiq website described its product: “Vivid, contextually-rich visualizations of the world's deepest knowledge graph. Graphiq's products put data into context for researchers, journalists, and enterprise. There are currently 10-billion graphic visualizations in the company’s library.”

Two years ago, Greg Sterling wrote this article in Search Engine Land with insights into the technology underlying Graphiq’s capabilities.

As Bercovich explained on his LinkedIn webpage, “Graphiq is focused on collecting, structuring, and connecting the world’s data — 250 billion facts to date — to give people all the information they need to research with confidence. Our website and embeddable widgets let people thoroughly research thousands of topics on one intuitive interface. Launched in late 2010, Graphiq has quickly become a leading research engine with [more than] 40 million monthly visits and 400 million monthly impressions of our Knowledge Graph across the internet.”

Although Bercovich is not allowed to give any details about Graphiq’s purchase by AMAZON.COM INC., his LinkedIn website does inform us about his very important functions at the company since its inception in 2009.

“At Graphiq, I've had the chance to build an end-to-end product development team comprised of technical and product roles,” Bercovich explained. “Our Knowledge Platform has been the result of cross-disciplinary teams of hardcore engineers, killer designers, and insightful data scientists working in unison for six years. I've performed hundreds of interviews and hired ~60 technical/product people over the lifetime of the company. Additionally, I've had the good fortune to hire and develop six amazing technical leaders/engineering managers.”

Bercovich met Kevin O’Connor, CEO  and founder of Graphiq, while pursuing his Ph.D. in Financial Mathematics.

As Bercovich recalled, “It was immediately clear we had similar views on what it takes to be an effective engineering leader. I had experienced the organizational challenges of dealing with highly coupled, layered (design, front end, back end) teams, and became interested in different organizational layouts. When Kevin suggested we partnered to build a team, I jumped at the opportunity.”

In essence, explained Bercovich about the semantic technology he helped to develop at Graphiq, “traditional search provides a more natural interface to prompt queries, while structured search provides more optimal results. Therefore, the ideal experience would combine a natural language approach to query construction, combined with a structured knowledge base to power the results.”

The outcome of this melding of technologies was “Semantic Search,” which Bercovich called “the future of information retrieval. At Graphiq, we are building the world's deepest knowledge graph and some amazing semantic technology.”

Bercovich said he is especially proud to lead and grow an amazing engineering organization from the ground up.

As Bercovich said about the team he has created, “In a nutshell, as a Graphiq Engineer, you will be building the deepest, broadest, baddest Knowledge Graph on the planet. We have billions of entities, hundreds of billions of facts, an amazing presentation layer, and a growing distribution network of top tier publishers. Everyone needs a little bit of knowledge, and we are here to satisfy that need.” (September 2017)