Jacob Perkins has been an avid user of open source software since high school, when he first built his own computer and didn't want to pay for Windows. At one point he had 5 operating systems installed, including RedHat Linux, OpenBSD, and BeOS.
While at Washington University in St. Louis, Jacob took classes in Spanish, poetry writing, and worked on an independent study project that eventually became his Master's Project: WUGLE – a GUI for manipulating logical expressions. In his free time, he wrote the Gnome2 version of Seahorse (a GUI for encryption and key management), which has since been translated into over a dozen languages and is included in the default Gnome distribution.
After getting his MS in Computer Science, Jacob tried to start a web development studio with some friends, but since no-one knew anything about web development, it didn't work out as planned. Once he'd actually learned web development, he went off and co-founded another company called Weotta, which sparked his interest in Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing.
Jacob is currently the CTO / Chief Hacker for Weotta and blogs about what he's learned along the way at http://streamhacker.com/. He is also applying this knowledge to produce text processing APIs and demos at http://text-processing.com/. This book is a synthesis of his knowledge on processing text using Python, NLTK, and more.