Joel S. Birnbaum retired from the Hewlett-Packard Company in February, 1999, where he was senior vice president for research and development and director of HP Laboratories.
Birnbaum joined HP in 1980 after 15 years at IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., where his last position was director of computer sciences. At IBM he led the development of the first RISC computer, and managed efforts that led to IBM products in speech recognition, industrial robotics, data acquisition and control systems, voice mail, and relational data base. At HP, his contributions included directing R and D leading to the HP PA-RISC product line, the Wide Word architecture adopted for Intel’s Itanium products, ink jet printing, and many others including utility-based pervasive computing.
Birnbaum holds a bachelor's degree in engineering physics from Cornell University and master's and doctoral degrees in nuclear physics from Yale University. He has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Academy of Engineering of the UK and is a Fellow of the IEEE and ACM. He received an honorary doctorate from the Technion University of Israel, the Sheffield Medal from Yale, and the IEEE Weber Prize.