Robert S. Barton

Robert Stanley Barton ( born February 13, 1925 in New Britain, Connecticut; † January 28, 2009 in Portland, Oregon) was an American computer scientist and computer architect.

Barton studied mathematics at Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in 1948 and a master's degree in 1949. His first experience with computers he collected in 1951 in Applied Science Department of IBM. From 1954 he worked as a programmer for Shell, including on computers of the Burroughs Corporation. From the late 1950s he worked for Burroughs in Pasadena, initially on a compiler for ALGOL 58 version ( BALGOL called ) on the Burroughs 220 From 1960 he was an independent consultant for example, Beckman Instruments ( data processing in the context of satellite systems ), Lockheed and especially for Burroughs, where he was one of the main architects of the B5000 (from 1961). In 1963 he worked for Control Data Corporation in Australia. From 1965 he was at the University of Utah, where he was from 1968 to 1973 Professor of Electrical Engineering. At the same time he was a consultant among others, General Electric and Burroughs, where he worked on the architecture of the B6700 and B1700. At the University of Utah, he influenced students like Alan Kay, James H. Clark (co-founder of Netscape ), John Warnock, Ed Catmull, Alan Ashton ( WordPerfect co-founder ), Duane Call ( co-founder of Computer System Architects) and computer graphics pioneers Henri Gouraud and Phong Bùi Tường. After his time at the University of Utah, he worked in the research department of Burroughs in La Jolla.

In Burroughs, he realized with computer commands based on the stack concept, first in the B5000, which already in the instruction set for the execution of a high-level language ( ALGOL ) was thus optimized. These ideas came from his study of reverse Polish notation of Jan Łukasiewicz still in his time at Shell.

By Alan L. Davis he developed from 1972 to 1976 the first computer with a data flow architecture that DDM -1 ( a collaboration between the University of Utah and Burroughs ).

In 1977 he received the W. Wallace McDowell Award. In 1974 he was the keynote speaker at the ACM National Meeting in San Diego. In 1979 he received the Eckert Mauchly Award.


  • Functional Design of Computers, Commununications of the ACM, Volume 4, Issue 9, 1961, pp. 405
  • A New Approach to the Functional Design of a Digital Computer, Proceedings of the Western Joint Computer Conference ' May, 1961, pp. 393-396.
  • A Critical Review of the State of programming style, AFIPS Joint Computer Conferences May 1963 p.169 - 177th
  • Ideas for Computer Systems Organization: A Personal Survey, Software Engineering, Volume 1, 1970, pp. 7-16