Noah Mendelsohn's Web Site

Current professional activities

I am a Professor of the Practice in the Tufts University Computer Science department. Most years I teach CS 117: Internet-Scale Distributed systems at least once. That's a dive into large-scale systems architecture based to a significant degree on my work with the folks who built the Web. I often teach CS 40: Machine Structure and Assembly Language Programming, and have also twice taught Tufts' Intro to Programming course, CS 11.

In 2010, I retired from my position as Distinguished Engineer in the Emerging Technologies department of IBM's software group. I hold the honorary title of IBM Distinguished Engineer Emeritus, and in addition to the other activies listed above, I occasionally guest lecture at universities and at computer-related conferences.

Earlier work in computing

From 2009 through May of 2013 I chaired the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Technical Architecture Group (TAG) The TAG is the senior technical group responsible for the World Wide Web. I was a member of the TAG starting in 2004.

Much of my work over the ten years prior to my retirement was as one of IBM's representatives to the W3C, and I've made significant contributions to the development of XML, SOAP, Web Services, and other important Internet standards. Earlier, I helped to initiate and develop the architecture for JavaBeans, the component model for the Java programming language.

I've been doing computer work for over 50 years, and I've specialized in research and product development relating to operating systems, distributed operating systems, programming languages, file and storage systems, virtual machines, distributed object systems (e.g. Microsoft COM), massively parallel systems, and document-based distributed computing. I also very much enjoy teaching, and for several semesters I taught the introductory programming course at Stanford University.

For more information on my current projects and work history, see the my work page. A list of publications and talks is also available.

Personal interests and hobbies

Some of the things I enjoy in my spare time include:


My main instrument is electric bass, but my interests range from classical, to rock, folk, blues and country. I play bass occasionally with several local groups, and was for many years the bass player for Rock City Band. I also play just a bit of acoustic guitar and piano. Music-related postings can be found in the blog, and on the music page.


I got the photography bug when I first saw prints being developed in a small darkroom when I was perhaps 8 years old, and I've been at it ever since. From time to time I manage to make an image that pleases me, and there's something very special about working at the same craft for nearly 50 years. Photo-related postings can be found in the blog, and on the photography page.

Thank you.
Noah Mendelsohn