Education: BS in Computer Science/Mathematics 1978 Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas. Post-graduate studies in Mathematics at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.
Richard Lewis was born February 6, 1957 in Charleston, South Carolina to a career Air Force pilot and an art teacher. As is typical with Air Force families, much of his childhood was spent moving from one base to another, including 3 years in Frankfort, Germany. The Lewis family also lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, and California before settling down in Ruston, Louisiana, where Lewis' father assumed the role of commander of the ROTC detachment at Louisiana Tech University before later retiring to teach engineering.
Lewis was interested in mathematics and science and was an avid reader in high school, from which he graduated in three years, taking an early entrance to La. Tech after his junior year. His initial major at Tech was Electrical Engineering. In the course of first-year EE classes, he discovered a DEC PDP/8 computer in a lab, and became instantly enamored with computers. He changed his major to Computer Science in the fall of 1975.
In 1976, Lewis transfered to Angelo State University, which had a Computer Science degree program that was attracting national attention because of a NASA grant for a microprocessor lab. The CS program provided a broad introduction to operating systems, compiler theory, and practical applications of microprocessors. Lewis worked with the Intel 8080, Motorola 6800, and Mostek 6502 "KIM" kit. A graduation requirement was to design, build, program and demonstrate a working computer system based on one of these processors, and Lewis finished his 6502 project at 2am the morning it was due. Lewis graduated college in three and a half years.
Upon graduation in 1978, Lewis accepted a position as Engineer at GTE Sylvania in Mountain View, California, where he was granted a Secret security clearance to work on device drivers for the PDP/11 family of minicomputers. Another project involved a "new" processor - the Intel 8085 - and Lewis was sent to Intel's headquarters on Old Ironsides Road to pick up a tube of samples.
In 1979, an ASU classmate who was working at Ford Aerospace pursuaded Lewis to join Ford, where he continued to work on classified projects, one of which involved close collaboration with Conic Data Systems (later Loral Space Systems). Conic supplied satellite data processing equipment for the project. After several months of commuting to San Diego, Conic tendered a job offer to Lewis to join them in San Diego, which he did.
In 1980, it became apparent to Lewis that contracting was a better career path, so he launched his first consulting practice in 1981, serving clients in Southern California for several years before returning to Northern California in 1985. The rest of his business story is continued on the corporate history page.
Since 1995, Lewis has called Austin (the "Live Music Capital of the World"), Texas home while maintaining second homes wherever his current client is located. He enjoys running, weight lifting, cooking, music and reading and has one brother who works as a Design Engineer at Dell. His wife is a Web developer and they have four children: twin girls age 22, another daughter age 20, and a son age 17.