Reuven Lerner

Reuven Lerner

Entrepreneur, Web technologist, and education researcher


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Reuven Lerner's Overview

  • Senior columnist at Linux Journal
  • CEO at Lerner Communications Consulting
  • PhD student at Northwestern University
  • CEO and founder at YZing
  • Speaker at Geek Cruises

500+ connections


Reuven Lerner's Summary

I enjoy solving difficult problems using computers in general, and the Internet in particular. Since 1995, I have worked as a consultant to a variety of businesses, universities, and non-profits in the United States, Europe, and Israel, including Time Warner, Parenting Magazine, Checkpoint, Aladdin, Compugen, Dealtime, Hebrew University, RADCom, Bar-Ilan University, and the Pacific Book Exchange. I have also employed and managed consultants who worked for me, with these and other clients.

Over the years, I have become an expert in open-source technologies. My monthly column about Web programming, "At the Forge," has been published by Linux Journal since 1996. My book, "Core Perl," was published in 2000 by Prentice-Hall. I have lectured on a variety of open-source programming languages, operating systems, databases, and techniques on three continents, as well as two of the first "Geek Cruises."

In 2003, I turned my attention to solving what might be the hardest problem of all, namely education. I am now a PhD candidate at Northwestern University's "Learning Sciences" program, in which I am researching the design, creation, and activity of online learning communities.


Programming in "scripting" languages (e.g., Ruby, Perl, Python, PHP), relational databases (esp. PostgreSQL and MySQL), Web application frameworks (e.g., Ruby on Rails, Django, OpenACS, and Mason), Unix/Linux (including nearly 20 years of sysadmin experience), and Web technologies (HTTP, HTML, JavaScript, RSS/Atom, and CSS). I can learn new technologies in a short period of time, assimilate them, and explain them in non-technical language, both written and spoken.

Reuven Lerner's Experience

Senior columnist

Linux Journal

March 1996Present (18 years 7 months)

I have been writing the monthly "At the Forge" column in Linux Journal since 1996. The column describes techniques for creating Web/database applications using open-source software. Over the years, my readers have learned about a very wide variety of Web and database technologies that run on Linux. Examples include J2EE, Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL, RSS and Atom, JavaScript, and Ajax.


Lerner Communications Consulting

December 1995Present (18 years 10 months)

I have worked as a Web/database consultant, primarily using open-source software, for more than a decade. During this time, my staff and I have taken on tasks large and small, from setting up corporate Internet connections and firewalls, to teaching classes in a variety of Unix- and Web-related technologies, to creating large-scale Web/database applications.

Educational Institution; 5001-10,000 employees; Higher Education industry

September 2003July 2014 (10 years 11 months) Evanston, Illinois

I have a PhD in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. My research has to do with the creation of online collaborative learning communities. Specifically, I am making it possible for people who use the NetLogo simulation-building ("modeling") environment to collaboratively write and improve their models. The research involves not only the design and creation of the infrastructure for such a community, but also an analysis of the participation patterns that will emerge.

For nearly three years, I was in charge of the "models library" distributed with the NetLogo simulation-building ("modeling") environment, which is developed by my research group. This was a half-technical, half-managerial job that required setting priorities for coming software releases, tracking which tasks had been done, reminding more than a dozen students and staff members of their assignments, and reviewing the code and documentation for each of the updated models before release.

CEO and founder


September 2007October 2008 (1 year 2 months)

Founder and CEO of a startup in the area of e-learning. Prepared initial business plan and executive summary, as well as product roadmap and architecture. Made initial contacts with potential customers. Recruited four people to join this project, each with a different skill set. Supervised development of the alpha version of the software, while speaking with a variety of potential investors (including venture capitalists and angels).


Geek Cruises

20002001 (1 year)

I was an invited speaker on two of the first Geek Cruises -- the Perl Whirl in May 2000, and Linux Lunacy in October 2001. While on each cruise, I gave several half-day lectures on a variety of topics having to do with open-source technologies for Web and database development. On the Perl Whirl, my talks focused on the Perl language, and how it can be used for advanced Web/database applications. On the Linux Lunacy cruise, I cast a broader net, introducing and comparing a variety of open-source Web development frameworks, including Mason and OpenACS.

Web application engineer

Time Inc.

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; TWX; Publishing industry

April 1995December 1995 (9 months)

I was one of the first programmers hired by Time Warner for its Pathfinder project. In this position, I was responsible for speaking with representatives of a number of Time Inc. publications, specifying the requirements for Web-based applications they wished to use, and then implementing those programs. The programs were written in C, Perl, and Tcl, and used a Sybase database server.

Perhaps my most visible project while there was a companion Web site for Money magazine's "Best places to live" issue, which allowed individuals to find their own best place to live, by adjusting a number of variables on a Web-based form. I also worked with Sports Illustrated for Kids, Progressive Farmer, and Time Magazine, among others. I also created a number of tools that were used by other programmers for a variety of projects.



Public Company; 10,001+ employees; HPQ; Information Technology and Services industry

July 1992March 1995 (2 years 9 months)

While at HP's Medical Products Group, I wrote software that helped connect hospital equipment to a central database server, a key component in the "CareVue" bedside monitoring system. (CareVue is now owned and developed by Philips.)

Reuven Lerner's Languages

  • English

    (Native or bilingual proficiency)
  • Hebrew

    (Native or bilingual proficiency)

Reuven Lerner's Publications

  • At the Forge (monthly column about Web/database technologies)

    • Linux Journal
    Authors: Reuven Lerner

    I have been writing the monthly Web technology column since the spring of 1996. The column gives me a chance to explore and explain new trends in open-source Web and database technologies -- from Ruby, Python, and JavaScript to PostgreSQL and MySQL to the various NoSQL technologies, to the real-time Web.

Reuven Lerner's Projects

  • Modeling Commons

    Team Members: Reuven Lerner

    Web application for collaborative modeling in NetLogo. Use, upload, discuss, share, tag, fork, and learn about agent-based modeling. The site, which is the basis for my PhD dissertation, has been used by courses at Northwestern, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Haifa, is open to everyone interested in NetLogo, from individuals through courses through corporations.

    The Modeling Commons is still a work in progress, and feedback from modelers, researchers, students, and all other users is welcome.

  • Modi'in list

    Team Members: Reuven Lerner

    E-mail list for residents of Modi'in. Since I took over the list in 1999, it has grown from about 70 subscribers to more than 2,600, with about 60 messages/day. The list is a well-known source of information among residents of Modi'in and the surrounding area.

  • Gammapix

    • November 2011 to Present
    Team Members: Reuven Lerner, Alexander Holden, Eric Rubenstein, Ph. D., Gordon Drukier

    Measure Radioactivity with
    your Smartphone
    GammaPix™ works with your smartphone's camera to detect radioactivity. The app allows you to measure radioactivity levels wherever you are and to be assured that your local environment is safe. The app can be used for the detection of radioactivity in everyday life such as exposure on airplanes, from medical patients or from contaminated products. You can also use GammaPix™ to detect hazards from unusual events, such as nuclear accidents of the kind experienced in 2011 in Fukushima, Japan, or a terrorist attack by a dirty bomb or quietly placed radioactive silent sources.

Reuven Lerner's Skills & Expertise

  1. Perl
  2. Ruby on Rails
  3. Python
  4. JavaScript
  5. Ruby
  6. HTML
  7. PostgreSQL
  8. Linux
  9. MySQL
  10. Web Development
  11. PHP
  12. AJAX
  13. XML
  14. jQuery
  15. C
  16. Software Design
  17. CSS
  18. Agile Methodologies
  19. Open Source
  20. Web Applications
  21. Software Development
  22. Mobile Applications
  23. Java
  24. Django
  25. Databases
  26. OOP
  27. SQL
  28. C++
  29. Object Oriented Design
  30. .NET
  31. Unix
  32. WordPress
  33. Git
  34. Architecture
  35. Programming
  36. Software Engineering
  37. Apache
  38. Operating Systems

View All (38) Skills View Fewer Skills

Reuven Lerner's Education

Northwestern University

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Learning Sciences


My research was about the design and analysis of communities for online collaboration. Specifically, I made it possible for people who use the NetLogo modeling (computer-based simulation) environment to collaboratively write and improve their models. My research involved not only the design and creation of the infrastructure for such a community (the Modeling Commons, at, but also an analysis of the collaboration patterns that exist among NetLogo modelers, and also an understanding of the social networks the participation patterns that emerged.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

SB, Computer Science


Humanities concentration in science journalism, including a semester-long internship at Technology Review magazine. Undergraduate thesis (through the Media Lab) involved the implementation of a client that could fetch data using multiple Internet communication protocols.

Activities and Societies: The Tech (student newspaper), where I served as editor in chief, news editor, and reporter over the course of several years. I connected The Tech's computer to the WAIS network, was co-creator of its Web site (one of the first 100 in the world), and implemented a Web-based search system, allowing members of the MIT community to access our archives for the first time.

SSDS -- Jericho

Reuven Lerner's Additional Information

Groups and Associations:

USY, The Tech, MIT alumni in Israel, Greater LS community, Modi'in residents, Perl in Israel, Achva minyan, Tel Aviv Entrepreneurs, Tnuat AM, Internet Society (Israel), Camp Ramah in New England, Skokie minyan of BHCBE

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