Oscar H. Ibarra received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Philippines and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, also in Electrical Engineering, from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Professor and past Chair of the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Previously, he was on the faculties of UC Berkeley (1967-1969) and the University of Minnesota (1969-1990). His research interests include the design and analysis of algorithms, theory of computation, computational complexity, parallel computing, formal verification, molecular computing, membrane computing.

Ibarra was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1984. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2001, he received the IEEE Computer Society's Harry H. Goode Memorial Award. He was awarded an Invitation Fellowship for research by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), and visited the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) in fall 2002. The University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) presented him a distinguished alumnus award as the 2003 Outstanding Professional in the field of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science. He was elected a member of the European Academy of Sciences (EAS) in 2003. He received a Nokia Visiting Fellowship and visited the University of Turku in 2007. He was awarded the Blaise Pascal Medal in Computer Science from EAS in 2007, and in 2008 he was elected a Foreign Member of Academia Europaea in the Informatics Section. He was recently awarded a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from the UK Royal Academy of Engineering. He is listed in the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) database of Highly Cited Researchers in Computer Science.

Ibarra is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Foundations of Computer Science. He is an Editor of Theoretical Computer Science, the Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, Grammars: A Journal of Mathematical Research on Formal and Natural Languages, and Mathematics Applied in Science and Technology. He has also served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Computers, the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, and the Journal of VLSI Signal Processing. He is on the advisory committee of the IEEE Technical Committee on Parallel Processing and is a member of the IFIP Working Group on Cellular Automata.