Computer science professor receives top award for real-time systems research

Ted Baker

Florida State University computer science Professor Ted Baker has received the highest level of recognition from his peers for his research contributions to the field of real-time computing.

The IEEE Technical Committee on Real-Time Systems gave Baker the 2010 Outstanding Technical Achievement and Leadership Award. The Technical Committee on Real-Time Systems is the professional organization for researchers in the area of real-time computing systems within the IEEE Computer Society.

“This award means a lot to me because it comes from people whom I respect highly,” Baker said, explaining that prior award recipients select the winner by ballot. The award has been given to one person annually since 1999.

The award recognizes Baker’s contributions to several aspects of real-time systems, including real-time programming languages, real-time operating systems and real-time scheduling theory. Examples of real-time computing applications include everything from telephones and cameras to cardiac pacemakers and satellites.

“Dr. Baker has had a long history of contributions in the area of real-time systems,” said Professor David Whalley, chair of the Department of Computer Science. “This award brings not only recognition to Dr. Baker but also to the computer science department and Florida State University.”

Baker enhanced the Ada programming language runtime environment to provide support for real-time systems, which enabled applications with critical timing constraints to be developed in Ada, according to Whalley.

“Dr. Baker made pioneering contributions on predicting the greatest amount of time required to perform a computational task and scheduling tasks to meet deadlines,” Whalley said. “He has also contributed to the development of international standards for real-time systems technologies. His work is reflected in a variety of products that contain embedded computers, including many components of military and commercial aircraft and satellites.”

Baker received his doctorate in computer science from Cornell University in 1974. He joined the Department of Mathematics at Florida State in 1973 and was one of the founding members of the Department of Computer Science, serving as chair of the department from 1998 to 2002.

Under Baker’s leadership, the department nearly doubled in faculty size, more than doubled its external research funding, and developed a research group and graduate educational program in information assurance, including computer security and cryptography. The development of that program led to the department being designated a Center of Educational Excellence in Information Assurance.

Baker’s current area of interest is technology that supports the design and construction of software systems to satisfy real-time requirements. He is the author or co-author of more than 60 papers and has served as editor or contributor to several international software engineering standards.