Photo of Jonathan Lenchner
Jonathan Lenchner


Current / Recent Projects

  • I am one of the principal investigators at our Cognitive Environments Lab or CEL. We are trying to bring immersive computing technologies to social environments.
  • Together with my colleagues Jon Connell, John Nelson and Mike Schappert, I am working on a robot capable of mapping out an unknown data center while monitoring temperature and humidity, and feeding its data into a much acclaimed IBM Research-developed-tool known as Measurement and Management Technology (MMT) for optimizing cooling. Most recently the robot has been outfitted to perform asset tracking with the help of a portable RFID reader.
  • For a short time I worked on a system that uses machine learning to improve the state of the art in solar irradiance forecasting as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative.
  • I worked with IBM Tivoli on the release of Maximo Asset Manager for Energy Optimization, which incorporates IBM Research-developed functionality specifically geared to monitoring energy consumption in data centers. I have previously worked with Tivoli on their Maximo Spatial Asset Management product - a product which combines the capabilities of an asset/configuration management system with a geographic information system (GIS).
  • I worked on the strategy portion of IBM's Jeopardy-playing program, culminating in our celebrated victory over best-ever human players, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
  • Prior to focusing my attention on intelligent power management, I managed a group of Researchers whose flagship product was an application to help Server System Administrators ("SAs") do there job more efficiently. The application, known as the Sys Admin Portal, is in relatively widespread use within Server System Operations, one of the largest parts of IBM's services business. We also worked extensively on knowledge management solutions for help centers. Generally we tried to apply machine learning, data mining techniques and a knowledge of systems management to solve services problems. Members of my old group are now working with Tivoli to incorporate some of our ideas into Tivoli products.

Recent Research & Invention Activity

  • Some of my more interesting patent filings relate to the following areas:
    • robotic and geometrically-inspired methods for energy optimization
    • search
    • non-hierarchical file systems
    • policy-based printing
    • systems for making email, instant messaging, and other forms of collaboration less taxing
    • systems for just-in-time connection of people with problems to people with solutions
  • Off and on, I have worked on a chess program that can think and learn about chess in the ways strong human players do, and also can discuss positions in the way human players do.

Other Activities

  • Mentoring
    • Over the past year and a half I have been mentoring some exceptionally inventive software engineers, from Tririga Coproration: Matthew Sowders (now at Amazon), James Oravec (now at ec2 Software), Nathan Masters (now at Amazon), Rodrigo Rey, Chris Jones, Daniel Mazzella and Adarsh Sexana. Tririga is a recent IBM aquisition with premier products in the Smarter Buildings space.
    • Lab visitors that I have mentored or am currently mentoring:
      • Current: Alexandros Koutsogeorgas (Rye High School), Joshua Levine (North Salem Night School) and Alex Monoco (North Salem High School)
      • 2014: Alan Cha (Walter Panas High School), Daniel Lubitz (North Salem High School) and Jessica Rosenblum (Somers High School)
      • 2013: Kaan Aliriza (North Salem High School, now at State University of New York at Buffalo)
      • 2012: Tyler Scherer (North Salem High School, now at Cornell)
      • 2011: Kevin Deland (Duke, now at IBM), John Nelson (Villanova, now at IBM), Ning Xu (City College of New York) and Sam Arsanjani (MSAE High School, now at University of California at San Diego)
      • 2010: Chris Mansley (Rutgers, now at Bosch)
  • I participated in the McGill-INRIA Workshops on Computational Geometry and Computer Graphics in Barbados in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.
  • National Engineer's Week - I'm involved in the IBM Research program to visit local middle schools and educate students about engineers. I have used this opportunity to show off my chess program. We break the kids into groups, and each group has a chance to make small changes to the basic program. We then play the different versions of the program against each other.
  • I have been a referee for the FIRST Lego League, and enjoy working with Lego Mindstorms robotics projects with my own kids.


  • Together with two friends, Alejandro Erickson and Mathieu Guay-Paquet, I created the mathematical card game Zero sumZ.
  • I am an active masters swimmer - mostly focusing on long distance open water events. In the summer of 2014 I was part of a six person relay that swam around Manhattan Island. In July 2010 I finshed 63rd at the US Masters National 10K Championships in Noblesville, Indiana. In 2008 I finished 33rd at the US National 25K (15.5 mile) Open Water Championships, also in Noblesville, and in 2007 I finished 41st at the US National 10K Open Water Championships in Huntington Bay, New York. In the summer of 2009 I swam across the Strait of Gibraltar, from the south of Spain to the northern tip of Morocco with my good friend and former colleague Philipp Tiedt. I am in the process of planning the next adventure for some time in 2103 or 2014. I am always looking for another swimmer or two to share in my goals, and am similarly always on the lookout for kayak support. If you are of a like-minded adventurous spirit, please contact me!
  • I enjoy running at the Rockefeller Estate at Pocantico Hills.
  • Although I play little these days, I was once an active chess master. I achieved a U.S. Chess Federation rating of 2282 and a FIDE (Federation Internationale des Echecs) rating of 2235. Here is an old game I played against computer chess authority and international master Michael Valvo. Here is a chess problem I composed a couple of years back. I sometimes teach chess to kids at my local North Salem library, using the chess program I have developed at IBM Research.