Alumni Hall Of Fame

David Baggett

Photo of David Baggett
Graduation Year:
1992

 

David Baggett graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S./B.A. in Computer Science and Linguistics from the University of Maryland in 1992. As an undergraduate, he worked extensively with Bill Pugh and Bill Gasarch in the Computer Science Department, and with Sharon Inkelas in the Linguistics Department. In addition to undergraduate work in type theory and recursion theory, David studied tonal phenomena in African languages. He received the CMPS Dean's Award for Academic Excellence in 1992.

After the University of Maryland, David entered the Ph.D. program at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he studied computational linguistics with Robert Berwick under an Office of Naval Research (NDSEG) Graduate Fellowship. His 1994 master's thesis, A System for Computational Phonology included a complete implementation of autosegmental phonological theory.

In 1994, David left MIT to join video game company Naughty Dog, where he co-developed the Crash Bandicoot series for the Sony Playstation. The Crash games were worldwide best-sellers that redefined the state of the art, leading Sony to adopt Crash as its mascot character. The success and appeal of Crash significantly contributed to Sony's ability to enter the video game console market and quickly establish supremacy over former industry leaders Nintendo and Sega.

The Crash series represented a technical high water mark for the Playstation 1. As one of two developers on the first game in the series, David pioneered the use of distributed polygonal scene precomputation to vastly reduce rendering time and greatly increase scene complexity. David also introduced octree-based collision detection — an essential innovation for Crash's lush, organic environments — to the video game world. David implemented many of the level processing tools and the entire rendering pipeline, and produced the music for the first three games in the series.

David next co-founded ITA Software with two other MIT AI Lab graduates. ITA Software has developed the first new airfare pricing and shopping software in decades, and has licensed the technology to most major US and several international airlines. ITA Software's technology also powers Orbitz, one of the top three online travel portals — as well as many other industry websites.

Located in Cambridge, Mass., ITA Software currently employs over 200 people and is expanding rapidly. The company is developing an entirely new airline reservation system — the first such platform created since the 1960s. David currently serves as ITA Software's Chief Operating Officer.

David lives in the Boston area with his wife, Catherine (also a University of Maryland graduate) and their two children — Charlie, 3 and Elizabeth, 2. David was named a University of Maryland Computer Science Department Distinguished Alumnus in 2003.

Inductees

Photo of Narendra Ahuja

Narendra Ahuja

PhD 1979
Photo of Michael Antonov

Michael Antonov

Bachelor's 2003
Photo of J. Gary Augustson

J. Gary Augustson

Master's 1969
Photo of David Baggett

David Baggett

Bachelor's 1992
Photo of Suman Banerjee

Suman Banerjee

PhD 2003
Photo of Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin

Bachelor's 1993
Photo of Paul Capriolo

Paul Capriolo

Bachelor's 2006
Photo of Anthony Casalena

Anthony Casalena

Bachelor's 2004
Photo of Charles Dyer

Charles Dyer

PhD 1979
Photo of Martin Farach

Martin Farach

PhD 1991
Photo of Gary Flake

Gary Flake

PhD 1993
Photo of Rajiv Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi

PhD 2003
Photo of Howard Gobioff

Howard Gobioff

Bachelor's 1993
Photo of Naresh Gupta

Naresh Gupta

PhD 1993
Photo of Patrick Jenkins

Patrick Jenkins

Bachelor's 2006
Photo of Vipin Kumar

Vipin Kumar

PhD 1982
Photo of Shmuel Peleg

Shmuel Peleg

PhD 1979
Photo of Andrew Reisse

Andrew Reisse

Bachelor's 2001
Photo of Glenn Ricart

Glenn Ricart

PhD 1980
Photo of S. Cenk Sahinalp

S. Cenk Sahinalp

PhD 1997
Photo of Pooja Sankar

Pooja Sankar

Master's 2004
Photo of Jagdeep Singh

Jagdeep Singh

Bachelor's 1987
Photo of Aya Soffer

Aya Soffer

PhD 1995
Photo of Lee Spector

Lee Spector

PhD 1992
Photo of Granger Sutton

Granger Sutton

PhD 1992
Photo of Qiang Yang

Qiang Yang

PhD 1989
Photo of Shayan Zadeh

Shayan Zadeh

Master's 2002