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Dr Vinton G Cerf, Internet, Infinity and Beyond

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Published on 30 Mar 2007

Presented by Alessandro Sorbello http://www.alessandrosorbello.com Dr Vinton Cerf presented Internet, Infinity and Beyond in Brisbane to officially launch Hear and Say WorldWide http://www.hearandsayworldwide.com The full version of Dr. Cerf's presentation is availble at New Realm Media http://www.newrealm.com.au with all proceeds going directly to Hear and Say.

Vinton Gray Cerf (born June 23, 1943) (last name pronounced just like the English word "surf") is an American computer scientist who is commonly referred to as one of the "founding fathers of the Internet" for his key technical and managerial role, together with Bob Kahn, in the creation of the Internet and the TCP/IP protocols which it uses.

He was also a co-founder (in 1992) of the Internet Society (ISOC), which is intended to both promote the views of ordinary users of the Internet, and also serve as an umbrella body for the technical groups developing the Internet (such as the Internet Engineering Task Force). He served as the first president of the Internet Society from 1992-1995, served on the board of trustees through the end of 2001, and served as chairman of the board from 1998 to 1999.

He has a hearing impairment, and serves on the board of Gallaudet University, the first school of higher learning for the deaf and hard-of-hearing; he received an award from the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He and his family currently reside in Virginia.

Cerf was born in New Haven, Connecticut. As a teenager, he attended Van Nuys High School in suburban Los Angeles, CA. After expressing an early interest in computers, he attended Stanford University, taking summer jobs at a number of companies such as North American Aviation and Rocketdyne. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Stanford in 1965.

After graduation, he went to work for IBM, but soon decided that he wanted to learn more about computers. In 1967, he returned to school, enrolling in UCLA's computer science program, where he was a student under Gerald Estrin. Leonard Kleinrock was on his thesis committee and Cerf worked in Kleinrock's Network Measurement Center as a principal programmer while studying for his advanced degrees. He received Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in 1970 and 1972.

While at UCLA, he worked on the ARPANET, the earliest packet switched computer network. During this period (as well as later), he was the author of several RFCs. He continued working on computer networks when he became a professor at Stanford University in 1972.

Shortly thereafter, in 1973, Bob Kahn (whom Cerf already knew, since Kahn had been the principal architect of the ARPANET Interface Message Processor (IMP) project as its prime contractor, Bolt, Beranek and Newman) and Cerf started thinking about how to connect together several different packet switching networks, into what we now call an internetwork. Their 1974 paper, A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication is now recognized as the fundamental document in this (then-new) field.

Soon afterwards, in 1976, he was asked to move to the United States Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to run the research and development program in this area. During his tenure, from 1976 to 1982, he played a key role in leading the development of the TCP/IP protocols and the Internet. Rumor has it that the term "Surfing the net" originated from the first data sent over the internet by Vint Cerf during his time at the DOD, but this is just an urban myth. Jean Armour Polly popularized the term "surfing the net" in an essay and the founders of CERFNET originally intended it to be spelled SURFNET but that name was taken by a Dutch research company, so they called themselves the California Education and Research Foundation Network or CERFNET.

After that, as vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982 to 1986, he led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet.

Cerf then rejoined Kahn at the latter's Corporation for National Research Initiatives in 1986, staying until 1994. While there, he worked on a number of projects, such as digital libraries and knowbots. He returned to MCI in 1994, as the Senior Vice President of Internet Architecture and Technology Strategy.

On September 8, 2005 Google Inc. announced that it hired Cerf as "Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist."

Cerf playing Spacewar! on the Computer History Museum's PDP-1, ICANN meeting, 2007. Cerf joined the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 1999, and is serving a term until the end of 2007; he is currently the ICANN Chair.

Cerf is a member of the Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov's IT Advisory Council, assigned with a Presidential Decree on March 8, 2002. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Eurasia Group, the political risk consultancy.

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.

In February 2006, Cerf testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's Hearing on "Network Neutrality".

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

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, University of Pisa, University of Rovira and Virgili (Tarragona, Spain), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Lulea (Sweden), University of Twente (Netherlands), Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, and Brooklyn Polytechnic.

Further awards include:
Cerf and Bob Kahn being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President BushPrince of Asturias award for science and technology, Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, Yuri Rubinsky Memorial Award, SIGCOMM Award for "contributions to the Internet [spanning] more than 25 years, from development of the fundamental TCP/IP protocols".

In December 1997 he, along with his partner Robert E. Kahn, was presented with the National Medal of Technology by President Bill Clinton, for their contributions towards the creation of the Internet and TCP/IP. He received the Living Legend Medal from the Library of Congress in April 2000. Dr. Cerf was selected as a Fellow of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS)in 2000.

Cerf and Kahn were the winners of the Turing Award for 2004, for their "pioneering work on internetworking, including .. the Internet's basic communications protocols .. and for inspired leadership in networking."
In November 2005, Cerf and Kahn were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush for their contributions to the creation of the Internet. He and Robert Kahn were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2006.

Information from Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vint_Cerf

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