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From Academic Entrepreneur to Small-Business Executive

Ansoft chairman Zoltan Cendes chats about how he turned his research on electromagnetic fields into one of the fastest growing small businesses around

5 min read

Zoltan Cendes founded Ansoft Corporation in 1984 while he was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Cendes had been researching new ways to model electromagnetic devices and figured out how to make previously impractical ”finite element methods” work. His original research made possible many of Ansoft’s products, which include programs like Maxwell, Full-Wave SPICE, and HFSS.

Cendes now serves as Ansoft’s chairman and chief technology officer and is responsible for managing the company’s research and development. He was recently elected as an IEEE Fellow. Susan Hassler, editor in chief of IEEE Spectrum, talked to Cendes about what it took to make Ansoft a successful start-up and what his small-business advice is for other would-be entrepreneurs.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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