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David Baggett graduated magna cum laude with a BS/BA in computer science and linguistics from the University of Maryland in 1992, when he also received the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences (CMPS) Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence. 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, he studied tonal phenomena in African languages.
In the PhD program at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, 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, Mr. Baggett left MIT to join video game company Naughty Dog, where he codeveloped the Crash Bandicoot series for the Sony PlayStation. The Crash games were worldwide bestsellers that redefined the state of the art, leading Sony to adopt Crash as its mascot. As one of two developers on the first game in the series, Mr. Baggett pioneered the use of distributed polygonal scene precomputation to vastly reduce rendering time and greatly increase scene complexity. He also introduced octree-based collision detection to the video game world, and implemented many of the level processing tools and the entire rendering pipeline.
Mr. Baggett next cofounded ITA Software with two other MIT AI Lab graduates. The company developed the first new airfare pricing and shopping software in decades, and licensed the technology to most major US and many international airlines. Its technology powers Orbitz, Kayak, Hipmunk, and many other travel industry websites. Google purchased ITA Software for over $700 million in April 2011.
Mr. Baggett now heads Arcode Corporation, which he founded in 2008. Arcode’s first product, inky®, is revolutionizing the email user experience by making email smarter, simpler, and safer.