Ira D. Baxter, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer


Celebrating 45 years of Software Engineering!

Dr. Baxter has been involved with computing since 1966, initially in hardware working with relay, discrete transistor logic and early Diode-Transistor Logic ICs. He learned to program with IBM 1401 (Autocoder), 1620 (Fortran) and 360 systems (BAL, PL/1, APL). He implemented one of the first commercial minicomputer timesharing systems on a Data General Nova in 1970, before receiving his B.S. in Computer Science (1973). During a brief stint in the numerical controls business, he designed and implemented a complete 16 bit virtual memory minicomputer, its OS and development tools for automated milling systems. In 1976, he started Software Dynamics, a systems software house, where he designed compilers, time-sharing and distributed network operating systems. The similarity in concepts and dissimilarity in implementation of the various OSes suggested that managing designs was key to managing long-lived software systems, and turned Ira's interests towards deeper software engineering research. In 1990, he received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Irvine, where he studied Software Engineering, focusing on design reuse using transformational methods. Dr. Baxter spent several years with Schlumberger, working on a PDE-solver generator for CM-5 supercomputers (Sinapse). He was consulting Research Scientist for Rockwell International, focusing on industrial control automation software engineering tools for several years.

In 1995, he founded Semantic Designs, to build commercial tools that will radically improve the methods and economics of software enhancement and maintenance. At Semantic Designs, he provides consulting to Fortune 100 companies on automated software analysis, transformation and domain-specific synthesis methods. For the last decade, he has been SD's principal management, supporting marketing and sales, and provides project vision, management and technical architecture to SD's large custom-software customers.

Dr. Baxter is the principal architect of Semantic Designs' Design Maintenance System (DMS), principal designer and compiler implementer of PARLANSE, Semantic Designs' parallel programming language, and architect and principal engineer on CloneDR, SD's unique AST-based Clone Detection technology. At SD, he has been the Principal Investigator on a number of software-engineering related SBIRs and STTRs, covering topics such as Multilingual Architecture Recovery, Dynamic Trace Capture and Analysis, Modular Transliteration Systems, Detection of Malware, and Code Generation for Multicore Compilers.

Dr. Baxter joined the Association for Computing Machinery in 1970, is an ACM Senior Member and a Life Member. He joined the IEEE Computer Society in 1973, and is an IEEE Senior Member. He joined the American Association for Artificial Intelligence in 1983, and is a Life Member.

Dr. Baxter has given lectures in a variety of software engineering venues:

In addition to his corporate duties, Dr. Baxter has served as chair and program committee member for numerous computer-science conferences, especially those focused on software engineering and reusability:

Dr. Baxter regularly presents a tutorial on transformation system technology and applications. This tutorial has been presented at ICSR4 and ICSR5, at Automated Software Engineering'98, at STJA'99, and at ICSM'2000. He presented a full day version, Using Automated Transformation Systems for Software Maintenance and Reengineering, at the 23rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE'2001). Half day versions of this tutorial were presented at the 2001 International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM'2001) and at 2002 International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM'2002).

Address Semantic Designs, Inc.
13171 Pond Springs Road
Austin, TX 78729
Phone 512-250-1018 (Voice)
512-250-1191 (Fax)
Other Details A tutorial on Transformation Systems can be arranged for commercial companies by special request.

Bibliography on Transformation Systems (PDF format)

See DMS bibliography.

Interests Ira enjoys software engineering, especially program synthesis, transformation, reverse engineering and maintenance, operating systems, compilers (especially for parallel languages), and computer architectures. In his spare time, he reads science fiction, listens to classical music (Carmina Burana is a gas!) and edits what nature proposes in his back yard.

Rants Learn how Google takes advertiser's money by being technology ignorant on purpose. See Ira's answers to questions from StackOverflow tool-hating moderators.

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Dr. Ira Baxter