Jim never took a programming course.  He learned to program on-the-job at IDA, where the senior staff included such people as Hugh Everett, Richard Leibler, Leonard Baum, and Jim Simons.  At IDA he also learned how to model hidden Markov processes, which he applied to speech recognition in his Ph.D. work at Carnegie Mellon University.  Jim was co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Dragon Systems, Inc, which developed Dragon Naturally Speaking, the world’s first large vocabulary, natural language, continuous speech recognition system and still the leading desktop dictation system 18 years later.  Dragon’s recognition engine is also the core of Apple’s Siri.