Vint Cerf

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Vint Cerf
Vint Cerf in Lisbon, March 2007.
Vint Cerf in Lisbon, March 2007.
Born June 23, 1943 (1943-06-23) (age 65)
New Haven, Connecticut
Citizenship American
Fields Computer science
Institutions IBM[1], UCLA[1], Stanford University[1], DARPA[1], MCI[1][2], CNRI[1], Google[3]
Known for TCP/IP
Internet Society
Notable awards Presidential Medal of Freedom

Vinton Gray "Vint" Cerf[1] (IPA[sɝf]; born June 23, 1943) is an American computer scientist who is the "person most often called 'the father of the Internet'."[2][4][5] His contributions have been recognized repeatedly, with honorary degrees and awards that include the National Medal of Technology,[1] the Turing Award,[6] and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[7]

Cerf has worked for Google as its Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist since September 2005.[3] In this role he has become well known for his predictions on how technology will affect future society, encompassing such areas as artificial intelligence, environmentalism, the advent of IPv6 and the transformation of the television industry and its delivery model.[8]


[edit] Career

Cerf's first job after obtaining his B.S. in Mathematics from Stanford University was at IBM, where he worked for less than two years as a systems engineer supporting QUIKTRAN.[1] He left IBM to attend graduate school at UCLA where he earned his master's degree in 1970 and his PhD degree in 1972[9]. During his graduate student years, he studied under Professor Gerald Estrin, worked in Professor Leonard Kleinrock's data packet networking group that connected the first two nodes of the ARPANet [10], the predecessor[10] to the Internet, and "contributed to a host-to-host protocol" for the ARPANet[11]. While at UCLA, he also met Robert E. Kahn, who was working on the ARPANet hardware architecture[11]. After receiving his doctorate, Cerf became an assistant professor at Stanford University from 1972-1976, where he "conducted research on packet network interconnection protocols and co-designed the DoD TCP/IP protocol suite with Kahn.[11]

Cerf playing Spacewar! on the Computer History Museum's PDP-1, ICANN meeting, 2007.

Cerf then moved to DARPA in 1976, where he stayed until 1982.

As vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982-1986, Cerf led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet. Cerf rejoined MCI in 1994 and served as Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy. In this role, he helped to guide corporate strategy development from a technical perspective. Previously, he served as MCI's senior vice president of Architecture and Technology, leading a team of architects and engineers to design advanced networking frameworks, including Internet-based solutions for delivering a combination of data, information, voice and video services for business and consumer use.

In 1997, Cerf joined the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University, a university for the education of the deaf and hard-of-hearing.[12] Cerf is hard of hearing.[13]

Cerf joined the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 1999, and served until the end of 2007; .[14]

Cerf is a member of the Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov's IT Advisory Council, a group created by Presidential Decree on March 8, 2002.[15] He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Eurasia Group, the political risk consultancy.[16]

Cerf is also working on the Interplanetary Internet, together with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It will be a new standard to communicate from planet to planet, using radio/laser communications that are highly tolerant to signal degradation.[17]

In February 2006, Cerf testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's Hearing on “Network Neutrality”.[18]

Cerf currently serves on the board of advisors of Scientists and Engineers for America, an organization focused on promoting sound science in American government.[19]

Cerf is on the board of advisors of The Hyperwords Company Ltd of the UK, which works to make the web more usefully interactive and which has produced the free Firefox Add-On called 'Hyperwords'. [20]

In 2008 Cerf chaired the IDNAbis working group of the IETF.[21]

Cerf is a leading contender to be designated the nation's first Chief Technology Officer by President Barack Obama. [22]

[edit] Awards and honors

Cerf has received a number of honorary degrees, including doctorates, from the University of the Balearic Islands, ETH in Switzerland, Capitol College, Gettysburg College, George Mason University, Marymount University, University of Pisa, University of Rovira and Virgili (Tarragona, Spain), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Luleå University of Technology (Sweden), University of Twente (Netherlands), Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Brooklyn Polytechnic, UPCT (University of Cartagena, Spain) and Royal Roads University (Canada)

Further awards include:

Cerf and Bob E. Kahn being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush
Cerf and Bulgarian President Parvanov being awarded the St.St. Cyril and Methodius in the Coat of Arms Order

[edit] Partial bibliography

Cerf speaking at the National Library of New Zealand.
Cerf at a conference in Bangalore.
Cerf at 2007 Los Angeles ICANN meeting.
License plate circa 1996.

[edit] As author

  • Zero Text Length EOF Message (RFC 13, August 1969)
  • IMP-IMP and HOST-HOST Control Links (RFC 18, September 1969)
  • ASCII format for network interchange (RFC 20, October 1969)
  • Host-host control message formats (RFC 22, October 1969)
  • Data transfer protocols (RFC 163, May 1971)
  • PARRY encounters the DOCTOR (RFC 439, January 1973)
  • 'Twas the night before start-up (RFC 968, December 1985)
  • Report of the second Ad Hoc Network Management Review Group, RFC 1109, August 1989
  • Internet Activities Board, RFC 1120, September 1989
  • Thoughts on the National Research and Education Network, RFC 1167, July 1990
  • Networks, Scientific American Special Issue on Communications, Computers, and Networks, September, 1991
  • Guidelines for Internet Measurement Activities, October 1991
  • A VIEW FROM THE 21ST CENTURY, RFC 1607, April 1, 1994
  • An Agreement between the Internet Society and Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the Matter of ONC RPC and XDR Protocols, RFC 1790, April 1995
  • I REMEMBER IANA, RFC 2468, October 1998
  • Memo from the Consortium for Slow Commotion Research (CSCR, RFC 1217, April 1 1999
  • The Internet is for Everyone, RFC 3271, April 2002

[edit] As co-author

  • Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication (IEEE Transactions on Communications, May 1974)
  • Vinton Cerf, Y. Dalal, C. Sunshine, Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program (RFC 675, December 1974)
  • Vinton Cerf, Jon Postel, Mail transition plan (RFC 771, September 1980)
  • Vinton Cerf, K.L. Mills Explaining the role of GOSIP, RFC 1169, August 1990
  • Clark, Chapin, Cerf, Braden, Hobby, Towards the Future Internet Architecture, RFC 1287, December 1991
  • Vinton Cerf et al., A Strategic Plan for Deploying an Internet X.500 Directory Service, RFC 1430, February 1993
  • Vinton Cerf & Bob Kahn, Al Gore and the Internet, 2000-09-28[28]
  • Vinton Cerf et al., Delay-Tolerant Networking Architecture (Informational Status), RFC 4838, April 2007

[edit] Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cerf's curriculum vitae as of February 2001, attached to a transcript of his testimony that month before the United States House Energy Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, from ICANN's website
  2. ^ a b Gore Deserves Internet Credit, Some Say, a March 1999 Washington Post article
  3. ^ a b Cerf's up at Google, from the Google Press Center
  4. ^ Making Televised Emergency Information Accessible from the Gallaudet University website
  5. ^ Although its a title he objects to (see Interview with Vinton Cerf, from a January 2006 article in Government Computer News), Cerf is willing to call himself one of the Internet's fathers, citing Bob Kahn and Leonard Kleinrock in particular as being others with whom he should share that title.
  6. ^ a b Cerf wins Turing Award Feb 16, 2005
  7. ^ a b 2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients from the White House website
  8. ^ The Daily Telegraph, August, 2007
  9. ^ "UCLA School of Engineering Alumnus Chosen for Prestigious Turing Award". UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. Spring 2005. 
  10. ^ a b "Internet predecessor turns 30". CNN. 1999-09-02. 
  12. ^ Dr. Vinton G. Cerf Appointed to Gallaudet University's Board of Trustees, from that university's website
  13. ^ Vinton Cerf - Father of the Internet, Vinton Cerf
  14. ^ ICANN Board of Directors - Vinton G. Cerf
  15. ^ IT Advisory Council (PITAC) from the official website of the President of Bulgaria
  16. ^ Eurasia Group
  17. ^ The InterPlaNetary Internet Project IPN Special Interest Group
  18. ^ Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ IDNAbis WG
  22. ^
  23. ^ SIGCOMM Awards
  24. ^
  25. ^ ACM: Fellows Award / Vinton G. Cerf
  26. ^ ISOC-Bulgaria: IT-delegation in Sofia
  27. ^ 2008 (24th) Japan Prize Laureate
  28. ^ IP: Al Gore's support of the Internet, by V.Cerf and B.Kahn [ I second

[edit] External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Tadahiro Sekimoto
IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal
with Bob Kahn
Succeeded by
Richard Blahut

NAME Cerf, Vinton Gray
DATE OF BIRTH June 23, 1943
PLACE OF BIRTH New Haven, Connecticut
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