Paul Baran

Paul Baran (/ˈbærən/; April 29, 1926 – March 26, 2011) was a Polish-born Jewish American engineer who was a pioneer in the development of computer networks. He was one of the two independent inventors of packet switching,[2] which is today the dominant basis for data communications in computer networks worldwide, and went on to start several companies and develop other technologies that are an essential part of modern digital communication.

Paul Baran
Paul Baran
BornApril 29, 1926
DiedMarch 26, 2011 (aged 84)
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materUCLA (M.S., 1959)
Drexel Institute of Technology (B.S., 1949)
Known forPacket Switching
Spouse(s)Evelyn Murphy Baran, PhD
AwardsIEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal (1990)
Computer History Museum Fellow (2005) [1]
Marconi Prize (1991)
NMTI (2007)
National Inventors Hall of Fame
Scientific career
InstitutionsRAND Corporation

Early life

He was born in Grodno (then Second Polish Republic, now part of Belarus) on April 29, 1926.[3][4] He was the youngest of three children in a Polish-Jewish family,[5] with the Yiddish given name "Pesach." His family moved to the United States on May 11, 1928,[6] settling in Boston and later in Philadelphia, where his father, Morris "Moshe" Baran (1884–1979), opened a grocery store. He graduated from Drexel University (then called Drexel Institute of Technology) in 1949, with a degree in electrical engineering. He then joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company, where he did technical work on UNIVAC models, the first brand of commercial computers in the United States.[7] In 1955 he married Evelyn Murphy, moved to Los Angeles, and worked for Hughes Aircraft on radar data processing systems. He obtained his master's degree in engineering from UCLA in 1959, with advisor Gerald Estrin while he took night classes. His thesis was on character recognition.[3] While Baran initially stayed on at UCLA to pursue his doctorate, a heavy travel and work schedule forced him to abandon his doctoral work.[8]

Packet switched network design

After joining the RAND Corporation in 1959, Baran took on the task of designing a "survivable" communications system that could maintain communication between end points in the face of damage from nuclear weapons during the Cold War.[9] Then, most American military communications used high-frequency connections, which could be put out of action for many hours by a nuclear attack. Baran decided to automate RAND Director Franklin R. Collbohm's previous work with emergency communication over conventional AM radio networks and showed that a distributed relay node architecture could be survivable. The Rome Air Development Center soon showed that the idea was practicable.[10]

Using the minicomputer technology of the day, Baran and his team developed a simulation suite to test basic connectivity of an array of nodes with varying degrees of linking. That is, a network of n-ary degree of connectivity would have n links per node. The simulation randomly "killed" nodes and subsequently tested the percentage of nodes that remained connected. The result of the simulation revealed that networks in which n ≥ 3 had a significant increase in resilience against even as much as 50% node loss. Baran's insight gained from the simulation was that redundancy was the key.[11] His first work was published as a RAND report in 1960,[12] with more papers generalizing the techniques in the next two years.[13]

After proving survivability, Baran and his team needed to show proof of concept for that design so that it could be built. That involved high-level schematics detailing the operation, construction, and cost of all the components required to construct a network that leveraged the new insight of redundant links. The result was one of the first store-and-forward data layer switching protocols, a link-state/distance vector routing protocol, and an unproved connection-oriented transport protocol. Explicit detail of the designs can be found in the complete series of reports On Distributed Communications, published by RAND in 1964.[14]

The design flew in the face of telephony design of the time by placing inexpensive and unreliable nodes at the center of the network and more intelligent terminating 'multiplexer' devices at the endpoints. In Baran's words, unlike the telephone company's equipment, his design did not require expensive "gold plated" components to be reliable. The Distributed Network that Baran introduced was intended to route around damage. It provided connection to others through many points, not one centralized connection. Fundamental to the scheme was the division of the information into "blocks" before they were sent out across the network. That enabled the data to travel faster and communications lines to be used more efficiently. Each block was sent separately, traveling different paths and rejoining into a whole when they were received at their destination.

Selling the idea

After the publication of On Distributed Communications, he presented the findings of his team to a number of audiences, including AT&T engineers (not to be confused with Bell Labs engineers, who at the time provided Paul Baran with the specifications for the first generation of T1 circuit that he used as the links in his network design proposal). In subsequent interviews, Baran mentioned how the AT&T engineers scoffed at his idea of non-dedicated physical circuits for voice communications, at times claiming that Baran simply did not understand how voice telecommunication worked.[15]

Donald Davies, at the National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom, also thought of the same idea[3][16] and implemented a trial network. While Baran used the term "message blocks" for his units of communication, Davies used the term "packets," as it was capable of being translated into languages other than English without compromise.[17] He applied the concept to a general-purpose computer network. Davies's key insight came in the realization that computer network traffic was inherently "bursty" with periods of silence, compared with relatively-constant telephone traffic. It was in fact Davies's work on packet switching, not Baran's, that initially caught the attention of the developers of ARPANET at a conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in October 1967.[18] Baran was happy to acknowledge that Davies had come up with the same idea as him independently. In an e-mail to Davies, he wrote:

You and I share a common view of what packet switching is all about, since you and I independently came up with the same ingredients.[19]

Leonard Kleinrock, a contemporary working on analyzing message flow using queueing theory, developed a theoretical basis for the operation of message switching networks in his proposal for a Ph.D. thesis in 1961-2, published as a book in 1964.[20] He later applied this theory to model the performance of packet switching networks. However, the contribution of Kleinrock's early work as a theoretical basis of packet switching is disputed by some,[21][22][23] including Robert Taylor,[24] Baran[25] and Davies.[26] The US National Inventors Hall of Fame, which recognizes inventors who hold a US patent of highly-significant technology, records Paul Baran and Donald Davies as the inventors of digital packet switching.[27][28]

In 1969, when the US Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) started developing the idea of an internetworked set of terminals to share computing resources, the reference materials that they considered included Baran and the RAND Corporation's "On Distributed Communications" volumes.[3] The resiliency of a packet-switched network that uses link-state routing protocols, which are used on the Internet, stems in some part from the research to develop a network that could survive a nuclear attack.[3][29]

Later work

In 1968, Baran was a founder of the Institute for the Future and was then involved in other networking technologies developed in Silicon Valley. He participated in a review of the NBS proposal for a Data Encryption Standard in 1976, along with Martin Hellman and Whitfield Diffie of Stanford University.[30] In the early 1980s, Baran founded PacketCable, Inc, "to support impulse-pay television channels, locally generated videotex, and packetized voice transmission."[31][32] PacketCable, also known as Packet Technologies, spun off StrataCom to commercialize his packet voice technology for the telephony market. That technology led to the first commercial pre-standard Asynchronous Transfer Mode product. He founded Telebit after conceiving its discrete multitone modem technology in the mid-1980s. It was one of the first commercial products to use orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing, which was later widely deployed in DSL modems and Wi-Fi wireless modems. In 1985, Baran founded Metricom, the first wireless Internet company, which deployed Ricochet,[4] the first public wireless mesh networking system. In 1992, he also founded Com21, an early cable modem company.[7] After Com21, Baran founded and was president of GoBackTV, which specializes in personal TV and cable IPTV infrastructure equipment for television operators.[33] Most recently, he founded Plaster Networks, providing an advanced solution for connecting networked devices in the home or small office through existing wiring.[34]

Baran extended his work in packet switching to wireless-spectrum theory, developing what he called "kindergarten rules" for the use of wireless spectrum.[35]

In addition to his innovation in networking products, he is also credited with inventing the first doorway gun detector.[7][36]

He received an honorary doctorate when he gave the commencement speech at Drexel in 1997.[37]


Baran died in Palo Alto, California, at the age of 84 on March 26, 2011[3][38] from complications caused by lung cancer.[29] Upon his death, RAND President James Thomson, stated, "Our world is a better place for the technologies Paul Baran invented and developed, and also because of his consistent concern with appropriate public policies for their use."[38]

One of the fathers of the Internet, Vinton Cerf, stated, "Paul wasn't afraid to go in directions counter to what everyone else thought was the right or only thing to do."[29] According to Paul Saffo, Baran also believed that innovation was a "team process" and avoided seeking credit for himself.[36] On hearing news of his death, Robert Kahn, co-inventor of the Internet, said: "Paul was one of the finest gentlemen I ever met and creative to the very end."

Awards and honors

See also


  1. ^ Paul Baran 2005 Fellow Archived 2015-01-03 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Harris
  3. ^ a b c d e f Katie Hafner (March 27, 2011). "Paul Baran, Internet Pioneer, Dies at 84". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b Nathan Brewer; et al. (March 28, 2011). "Paul Baran". IEEE Global History Network. New York: IEEE. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  5. ^ Georgi Dalakov. "Paul Baran". History of Computers web site. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  6. ^ David Ira Snyder (August 4, 2009). "Morris "Moshe" Baran (1884–1979)". Genealogy of the Baran family. web site. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d "Paul Baran - Franklin Laureate Database". The Franklin Institute Awards - Laureate Database. Philadelphia, PA: The Franklin Institute. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  8. ^ Hafner, Katie; Lyon, Matthew (1996). Where wizards stay up late : the origins of the Internet (1st Touchstone ed.). New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 54. ISBN 0-684-81201-0.
  9. ^ "Internet pioneer Paul Baran passes away". BBC News. March 28, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  10. ^ Brand, Stewart (March 2001). "Founding Father". Wired. New York: Condé Nast Digital. 9 (3). ISSN 1059-1028. OCLC 433726773. Retrieved March 27, 2011. Paul Baran conceived the Internet's architecture at the height of the Cold War. Forty years later, he says the Net's biggest threat wasn't the USSR—it was the phone company Stewart Brand's interviews Paul Baran about his work at RAND on survivable networks.
  11. ^ "Paul Baran and the Origins of the Internet". RAND corporation. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  12. ^ Paul Baran (1960). "Reliable Digital Communications Systems Using Unreliable Network Repeater Nodes". RAND Corporation papers, document P-1995. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  13. ^ Paul Baran (1962). "On Distributed Communications Networks". RAND Corporation papers, document P-2626. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  14. ^ Paul Baran; et al. (1964). "On Distributed Communications". Rand. Archived from the original on June 15, 2006.
  15. ^ Abell, John C (March 28, 2011). "Internet Architect Paul Baran Dies at 84". Wired. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  16. ^ Georgi Dalakov. "Donald Davies". History of Computers web site. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  17. ^ Harris, p. 6
  18. ^ Isaacson, Walter (2014). The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. Simon & Schuster. p. 237. ISBN 9781476708690.
  19. ^ Harris, p. 9
  20. ^ Kleinrock, Leonard (1961), "Information flow in large communication nets", RLE Quarterly Progress Report (1)
  21. ^ Alex McKenzie (2009), Comments on Dr. Leonard Kleinrock's claim to be "the Father of Modern Data Networking", retrieved April 23, 2015 "...there is nothing in the entire 1964 book that suggests, analyzes, or alludes to the idea of packetization."
  22. ^ Isaacson, Walter (2014). The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. Simon & Schuster. p. 245. ISBN 9781476708690. This led to an outcry among many of the other Internet pioneers, who publicly attacked Kleinrock and said that his brief mention of breaking messages into smaller pieces did not come close to being a proposal for packet switching
  23. ^ Harris
  24. ^ "Birthing the Internet: Letters From the Delivery Room; Disputing a Claim". New York Times. 22 November 2001. Retrieved 10 September 2017. Authors who have interviewed dozens of Arpanet pioneers know very well that the Kleinrock-Roberts claims are not believed.
  25. ^ Katie Hefner (November 8, 2001), "A Paternity Dispute Divides Net Pioneers", New York Times, The Internet is really the work of a thousand people," Mr. Baran said. "And of all the stories about what different people have done, all the pieces fit together. It's just this one little case that seems to be an aberration.
  26. ^ Donald Davies (2001), "A Historical Study of the Beginnings of Packet Switching", Computer Journal, British Computer Society, I can find no evidence that he understood the principles of packet switching.
  27. ^ "Inductee Details - Paul Baran". National Inventors Hall of Fame. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  28. ^ "Inductee Details - Donald Watts Davies". National Inventors Hall of Fame. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  29. ^ a b c "Internet pioneer Paul Baran passes away". BBC. March 28, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  30. ^ "DES (Data Encryption Standard) Review at Stanford University - Recording and Transcript". 1976.
  31. ^ "Baran's keynote on The Past, Present, and Future of Convergence". 1999-02-09. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
  32. ^ Baran, "Packetcable: A New Interactive Cable System Technology," 31st Annual NCTA Convention Official Transcript, 1982, cited in US patent 4,754,426
  33. ^ "Management Team". goBackTV web site. Archived from the original on March 21, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  34. ^ "About Plaster Networks". Plaster Networks web site. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  35. ^ Baran, Paul (November 9, 1994). "Keynote Talk Transcript, 8th Annual Conference on Next Generation Networks Washington, DC". EFF "GII - NII - Wireless/Cellular/Radio" Archive. San Francisco, CA: Electronic Frontier Foundation. Archived from the original on March 23, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  36. ^ a b Jessica Guynn (March 29, 2011). "Paul Baran dies at 84; inventor helped lay foundation for Internet". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  37. ^ Nita Lelyveld (June 15, 1997). "Opportunity Lies In Ideas, Engineer Tells Drexel Grads Paul Baran, "the Grandfather Of The Internet" Spoke At His Alma Mater. He Received An Honorary Doctorate". The Inquirer. Philadelphia. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  38. ^ a b "Packet switching inventor Paul Baran dies aged 84". ZDNet UK. March 29, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  39. ^ "IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. p. 2. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  40. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  41. ^ "The National Medal of Technology and Innovation 2007 Laureates". The United States Patent and Trademark Office. January 7, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  42. ^ "In Memoriam: Paul Baran MS '59". UCLA Engineering web site. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  43. ^ 2012 Inductees, Internet Hall of Fame website. Last accessed April 24, 2012

External links

Preceded by
Gerald R. Ash and Billy B. Oliver
IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal
Succeeded by
C. Chapin Cutler, John O. Limb and Arun Netravali

The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was an early packet-switching network and the first network to implement the TCP/IP protocol suite. Both technologies became the technical foundation of the Internet. The ARPANET was initially founded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense.The packet-switching methodology employed in the ARPANET was based on concepts and designs by Leonard Kleinrock, Paul Baran, Donald Davies, and Lawrence Roberts. The TCP/IP communications protocols were developed for the ARPANET by computer scientists Robert Kahn and Vint Cerf, and incorporated concepts from the French CYCLADES project directed by Louis Pouzin.

As the project progressed, protocols for internetworking were developed by which multiple separate networks could be joined into a network of networks. Access to the ARPANET was expanded in 1981, when the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the Computer Science Network (CSNET). In 1982, the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) was introduced as the standard networking protocol on the ARPANET. In the early 1980s the NSF funded the establishment of national supercomputing centers at several universities and provided interconnectivity in 1986 with the NSFNET project, which also created network access to the supercomputer sites in the United States from research and education organizations. The ARPANET was decommissioned in 1989.

Baran (surname)

Baran is a surname with multiple origins. Most people with this surname come from Poland and Slovakia, where it means "ram" (male sheep).

In other European countries, it may be a variant of Baron. In Persian, Kurdish and Turkish, baran means "rain". In south Asia, it was sometimes found among descendants of indentured labourers from Bihar or Eastern UP as a misspelt form of Varna, especially in compound given names like Rambaran meaning "having the qualities of the clan of Lord Rama".It is rarely found in Mexico as a variant of Vara, from Portuguese and Spanish vara ("rod", "stick", "yardstick"), from Late Latin vara ("forked stick"). It may have been given to a keeper of animals, who used a stick to urge his charges on, or to an official who was responsible for checking weights and measures or who carried a rod as a symbol of his office.

Notable people with the surname include:

Bernard Baran (born 1965), child care worker convicted and later exonerated of sex abuse

Martin Baran (born 1988), Slovak football player

Paul Baran (1926–2011), American inventor of packet switching

Paul A. Baran (1910–1964), American economist

Phil S. Baran, American chemist

Radosław Baran, Polish wrestler

Ram Baran Yadav (born 1948), first President of Nepal

Robert Baran, Polish wrestler

Stanisław Baran (1920–1993), Polish football player

Witold Baran (born 1939), Polish middle distance runner

Zeyno Baran (born 1972), Turkish political researcher

Charles Babbage Institute

The Charles Babbage Institute is a research center at the University of Minnesota specializing in the history of information technology, particularly the history of digital computing, programming/software, and computer networking since 1935. The institute is named for Charles Babbage, the nineteenth-century English inventor of the programmable computer. The Institute is located in Elmer L. Andersen Library at the University of Minnesota Libraries in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Donald Davies

Donald Watts Davies, (7 June 1924 – 28 May 2000) was a Welsh computer scientist who was employed at the UK National Physical Laboratory (NPL). In 1965 he developed the concept of packet switching, which is today the dominant basis for data communications in computer networks worldwide, and implemented it in the NPL network. This was independent of the work of Paul Baran in the United States who had a similar idea in the early 1960s. The ARPANET project, a precursor to the Internet, credited Davies for his influence.

Enclave economy

An enclave economy is defined as an economic system in which an export based industry dominated by international or non-local capital extracts resources or products from another country. It was widely employed as a term to describe post-colonial dependency relations in the developing world, especially in Latin America. As part of the larger theoretical position usually called dependency theory. It was particularly popular in the 1960s and 1970s, and other issues took center stage in development economics at later periods. It was often associated with Marxism, thanks to writing by Paul Baran and Theotonio Dos Santos, though its tenets are only peripherally tied to classic Marxist theory.

According to the model, a large, well capitalized firm, often located in North America or Western Europe invests in the production of an export product destined for markets in the investing country or region. Frequently the country in question had been a colonial master, even if the political chain was broken a considerable time before. It uses its capital and often political connections, both formal and informal, legal and illegal, to acquire land, access labor, and received incentives such as tax breaks. These incentives in turn reduce the capacity of the host country to realize any financial or developmental benefits from the exports.

In some cases, the firms operating in enclave economies are able to influence governments in host countries to allow exploitative labor practices, to suppress resistance or the formation of labor unions and thus exploit workers. Its relationship with the host government is also held to promote corruption, both at the local level and in the attitudes of the host country towards the international interests of the firm.

Scholars have debated the terms of the theory of enclave economies, some arguing that the effect of tax breaks is temporary, others pointing out that workers are sometimes better paid than their fellow workers. Others point to potential linkages between the workers, host country and the projects of the investing firm (for example in constructing infrastructure) have a more beneficial effect that the original theorists suppose.

End-to-end principle

The end-to-end principle is a design framework in computer networking. In networks designed according to this principle, application-specific features reside in the communicating end nodes of the network, rather than in intermediary nodes, such as gateways and routers, that exist to establish the network.

The essence of what would later be called the end-to-end principle was contained in the work of Paul Baran and Donald Davies on packet-switched networks in the 1960s. Louis Pouzin pioneered the use of the end-to-end strategy in the CYCLADES network in the 1970s. The principle was first articulated explicitly in 1981 by Saltzer, Reed, and Clark. The meaning of the end-to-end principle has been continuously reinterpreted ever since its initial articulation. Also, noteworthy formulations of the end-to-end principle can be found before the seminal 1981 Saltzer, Reed, and Clark paper.A basic premise of the principle is that the payoffs from adding features to a simple network quickly diminish, especially in cases in which the end hosts have to implement those functions only for reasons of conformance, i.e. completeness and correctness based on a specification. Implementing a specific function incurs some resource penalties regardless of whether the function is used or not, and implementing a specific function in the network distributes these penalties among all clients.

The end-to-end principle is closely related, and sometimes seen as a direct precursor, to the principle of net neutrality.

IEEE Internet Award

IEEE Internet Award is a Technical Field Award of the IEEE that was established by the IEEE Board of Directors in June 1999. The award is sponsored by Nokia Corporation. It may be presented annually to an individual or up to three recipients, for exceptional contributions to the advancement of Internet technology for network architecture, mobility and/or end-use applications. Awardees receive a bronze medal, certificate, and honorarium.

The following people have received the award:

2000 – Paul Baran, Donald W. Davies, Leonard Kleinrock and Larry Roberts (for packet switching)

2001 – Louis Pouzin (for datagrams)

2002 – Steve Crocker (for approach enabling evolution of Internet Protocols)

2003 – Paul Mockapetris (the Mockapetris citation specifically cites Jon Postel who had died and therefore could not receive the award for their DNS work) (for the domain name system)

2004 – Raymond Tomlinson and David H. Crocker (for networked email)

2005 – Sally Floyd (for contributions in congestion control, traffic modeling, and active queue management)

2006 – Scott Shenker (for contributions to the study of resource sharing)

2007 – not awarded

2008 – Mike Brecia, Ginny Travers, and Bob Hinden (for early routers)

2009 – Lixia Zhang (for Internet architecture and modeling)

2010 – Stephen Deering (for IP multicasting and IPv6)

2011 – Jun Murai (for leadership in the development of the global Internet, especially in Asia)

2012 – Mark Handley (for exceptional contributions to the advancement of Internet technology for network architecture, mobility, and/or end-use applications)

2013 – David L. Mills (for significant leadership and sustained contributions in the research, development, standardization, and deployment of quality time synchronization capabilities for the Internet)

2014 – Jon Crowcroft (for contributions to research in and teaching of Internet protocols, including multicast, transport, quality of service, security, mobility, and opportunistic networking)

2015 – KC Claffy and Vern Paxson (for seminal contributions to the field of Internet measurement, including security and network data analysis, and for distinguished leadership in and service to the Internet community by providing open-access data and tools)

2016 – Henning Schulzrinne

2017 – Deborah Estrin

2018 – Ramesh Govindan

2019 – Jennifer Rexford

Lawrence Roberts (scientist)

Lawrence Gilman Roberts (December 21, 1937 – December 26, 2018) was an American engineer who received the Draper Prize in 2001 "for the development of the Internet", and the Principe de Asturias Award in 2002.

As a program manager and office director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency, Roberts and his team created the ARPANET using packet switching techniques invented by British computer scientist Donald Davies and American Paul Baran underpinned by the theoretical work of Leonard Kleinrock. The ARPANET, which was built by the Massachusetts-based company Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), was a predecessor to the modern Internet. He later served as CEO of the commercial packet-switching network Telnet.

List of Drexel University alumni

Drexel University is a private university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The 16th largest private university in the nation, Drexel is made up of nine colleges and four schools, most of which serve both undergraduate and graduate students. It offers 96 undergraduate degree programs, 88 master's programs, and 35 doctoral programs. Drexel was founded as a technical school in 1891 for the "improvement of industrial education as a means of opening better and wider avenues of employment to young men and women." Drexel began awarding undergraduate degrees in 1914, starting with the Bachelor of Science in engineering; before that, Drexel granted certificates or diplomas in the field of enrollment. In 1931, Drexel began offering graduate degrees through the School of Home Economics.Since its founding the university has graduated over 100,000 alumni. Certificate-earning alumni such as artist Violet Oakley and illustrator Frank Schoonover reflect the early emphasis on art as part of the university's curriculum. With World War II, the university's technical programs swelled, and as a result Drexel graduated alumni such as Paul Baran, one of the founding fathers of the Internet and one of the inventors of the packet switching network, and Norman Joseph Woodland the inventor of barcode technology. In addition to its emphasis on technology Drexel has graduated several notable athletes such as National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball players Michael Anderson and Malik Rose, and several notable business people such as Raj Gupta, former President and Chief executive officer (CEO) of Rohm and Haas, and Kenneth C. Dahlberg, former CEO of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

List of Internet pioneers

Instead of a single "inventor", the Internet was developed by many people over many years. The following are some Internet pioneers who contributed to its early development. These include early theoretical foundations, specifying original protocols, and expansion beyond a research tool to wide deployment.

List of Jewish American computer scientists

This is a list of notable Jewish American computer scientists. For other Jewish Americans, see Lists of Jewish Americans.

Hal Abelson, artificial intelligence

Leonard Adleman, RSA cryptography, DNA computing, Turing Award (2002)

Paul Baran, Polish-born engineer, co-invented packet switching

Daniel J. Bernstein, cryptologist, designed Salsa20, Stream cipher and Curve25519; sued the U.S. government about encryption (Bernstein v. United States) (1995)

Lenore and Manuel Blum (Turing Award (1995)), Venezuelan-American computer scientists, computational complexity; parents of Avrim Blum (Co-training)

Dan Bricklin, creator of the original spreadsheet

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google

Wendell Brown, computer scientist, co-founder of Teleo and LiveOps

Peter Elias, information theory

Robert Fano, Italian-American information theorist

Ed Feigenbaum, artificial intelligence, Turing Award (1994)

Raphael Finkel, Jargon File

William F. Friedman, cryptologist

Herbert Gelernter, artificial intelligence; father of Unabomber victim David Gelernter

Seymour Ginsburg, formal language theory

Richard D. Gitlin, co-inventor of the digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

Adele Goldberg, Smalltalk design team

Herman and Adele Goldstine (born Katz), developers of ENIAC

Shafi Goldwasser, Israeli-American cryptographer, Turing Award (2013)

Philip Greenspun, web applications

Martin Hellman, public key cryptography, co-inventor of the Diffie–Hellman key exchange protocol, Turing Award (2015)

James Hendler, semantic web

Douglas Hofstadter, academic and author (half Jewish), son of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert Hofstadter

Bob Kahn, co-invented TCP and IP, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Turing Award (2004)

Richard M. Karp, computational complexity, Turing Award (1985)

John Kemeny, Hungarian-born co-developer of BASIC

Leonard Kleinrock, packet switching

Joseph Kruskal, Kruskal's algorithm

Solomon Kullback, cryptographer

Ray Kurzweil, OCR, speech recognition

Jaron Lanier, virtual reality pioneer

Leonid Levin, Soviet Ukraine-born computer scientist, computational complexity; Knuth Prize (2012)

Barbara Liskov (born Huberman), first woman to be granted a doctorate in computer science in the United States, Turing Award (2008)

Herman Lukoff, helped develop ENIAC and UNIVAC

Udi Manber, Israeli-American computer scientist; agrep, GLIMPSE, suffix array, search engines

John McCarthy, artificial intelligence, LISP programming language, Turing Award (1971)

Jack Minker, database logic

Marvin Minsky, artificial intelligence, neural nets, Turing Award (1969); co-founder of MIT's AI laboratory

John von Neumann (born Neumann János Lajos), Hungarian-American computer scientist, mathematician and economist

Seymour Papert, South African-born co-inventor — with Wally Feurzeig and Cynthia Solomon — of the Logo programming language

Judea Pearl, Israeli-American AI scientist, developer of Bayesian networks; father of Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and later beheaded by rebels in Pakistan

Ken Perlin, Perlin noise

Alan J. Perlis, compilers, Turing Award (1966)

Lawrence Rabiner, Digital signal processing, Speech processing

Frank Rosenblatt, invented an artificial intelligence program called "Perceptrons" (1960)

Azriel Rosenfeld, image analysis

Bruce Schneier, cryptographer, author, founder of Counterpane Internet Security, Inc.

Ben Shneiderman, human-computer interaction, information visualization

Herbert A. Simon, cognitive and computer scientist, Turing Award (1975)

Abraham Sinkov, cryptanalyst, NSA Hall of Honor (1999)

Daniel Sleator, splay trees (Jewish mother)

Gustave Solomon, mathematician and electrical engineer who was one of the founders of the algebraic theory of error detection and correction

Ray Solomonoff, algorithmic information theory

Richard Stallman, designed the GNU operating system, founder of the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Warren Teitelman, autocorrect, Undo/Redo, Interlisp

Jeffrey Ullman, compilers, theory of computation, data-structures, databases, awarded Knuth Prize (2000)

Peter J. Weinberger, contributed to the design of the AWK programming language (he is the "W" in AWK), and the FORTRAN compiler FORTRAN 77

Joseph Weizenbaum, German-born computer scientist; developer of ELIZA; the Weizenbaum Award is named after him

Norbert Wiener, cybernetics

Terry Winograd, SHRDLU

Jacob Wolfowitz, Polish-born information theorist

Stephen Wolfram, British-American computer scientist, designer of the Wolfram Language

Lotfi Zadeh, Azerbaijan SSR-born inventor of Fuzzy logic (Jewish mother, Azerbaijani father)

Marconi Society

The Guglielmo Marconi International Fellowship Foundation, briefly called Marconi Foundation and currently known as The Marconi Society, was established by Gioia Marconi Braga in 1974 to commemorate the centennial of the birth (April 24, 1874) of her father Guglielmo Marconi. The Marconi International Fellowship Council was established to honor significant contributions in science and technology, awarding the Marconi Prize and an annual $100,000 grant to a living scientist who has made advances in communication technology that benefits mankind.

The Marconi Fellows are Sir Eric A. Ash (1984), Paul Baran (1991), Sir Tim Berners-Lee (2002), Claude Berrou (2005), Sergey Brin (2004), Francesco Carassa (1983), Vinton G. Cerf (1998), Andrew Chraplyvy (2009), Colin Cherry (1978), John Cioffi (2006), Arthur C. Clarke (1982), Martin Cooper (2013), Whitfield Diffie (2000), Federico Faggin (1988), James Flanagan (1992), David Forney, Jr. (1997), Robert G. Gallager (2003), Robert N. Hall (1989), Izuo Hayashi (1993), Martin Hellman (2000), Hiroshi Inose (1976), Irwin M. Jacobs (2011), Robert E. Kahn (1994) Sir Charles Kao (1985), James R. Killian (1975), Leonard Kleinrock (1986), Herwig Kogelnik (2001), Robert W. Lucky (1987), James L. Massey (1999), Robert Metcalfe (2003), Lawrence Page (2004), Yash Pal (1980), Seymour Papert (1981), Arogyaswami Paulraj (2014), David N. Payne (2008), John R. Pierce (1979), Ronald L. Rivest (2007), Arthur L. Schawlow (1977), Allan Snyder (2001), Robert Tkach (2009), Gottfried Ungerboeck (1996), Andrew Viterbi (1990), Jack Keil Wolf (2011), Jacob Ziv (1995). In 2015, the prize went to Peter T. Kirstein for bringing the internet to Europe.

Since 2008, Marconi has also issued the Paul Baran Marconi Society Young Scholar Awards. Recipients are Himanshu Asnani (2014), Salman Abdul Baset (2008), Aleksandr Biberman (2010), Salvatore Campione (2013), Keun Yeong Cho (2012), Aakanksha Chowdhery (2012), Guilhem de Valicourt (2012), Felix Gutierrez Jr. (2009), Joseph Kakande (2011), Bill Ping Piu Kuo (2011), Rafael Laufer (2008), Domanic Lavery (2013), Joseph Lukens (2015), Diomidis Michalopoulos (2010), Marco Papaleo (2009), Ken Pesyna (2015), Eric Plum (2009), Yuan Shen (2010), Kiseok Song (2014), Sebastien Soudan (2009), Jay Kumar Sundararajan (2008), Kartik Venkat (2015), Eitan Yaakobi (2009), Ke Wang (2013), Yihong Wu (2011), and Hao Zou (2008).

In describing the mission and objective of the Foundation, Braga characterized the Fellowship as " that it does not reward a person for intellectual achievements alone, but seeks to recognize and sustain those spiritual aspirations that a creative thinker may wish to apply to the establishment of a better world in which to live".

Although Braga died in July 1996, the Marconi Society has continued to award the annual Marconi Prize and fellowship, which were first awarded in 1975. The Marconi Society also grants annual Marconi Society-Paul Baran Young Scholar Awards to young scientists who, by the time they turn 27, have made significant contributions in the fields of communication and information science. Originally, the Foundation was located at the Aspen Institute. In 1997, it relocated, by invitation, to Columbia University's Fu School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Monthly Review

The Monthly Review, established in 1949, is an independent socialist magazine published monthly in New York City. The publication remains the longest continuously published socialist magazine in the United States. The journal has an impact factor of 0.460, ranking 107th out of 161 journals in the category "Political Science".

NPL network

The NPL Network or NPL Data Communications Network was a local area computer network operated by a team from the National Physical Laboratory in England that pioneered the concept of packet switching. Following a pilot experiment during 1967, elements of the first version of the network, Mark I, became operational during 1969 then fully operational in 1970, and the Mark II version operated from 1973 until 1986. The NPL network, followed by the wide area ARPANET in the United States, were the first two computer networks that implemented packet switching, and were interconnected in the early 1970s. The NPL network was designed and directed by Donald Davies.

Outline of telecommunication

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to telecommunication:

Telecommunication – the transmission of signals over a distance for the purpose of communication. In modern times, this process almost always involves the use of electromagnetic waves by transmitters and receivers, but in earlier years it also involved the use of drums and visual signals such as smoke, fire, beacons, semaphore lines and other optical communications.

Packet switching

Packet switching is a method of grouping data that is transmitted over a digital network into packets. Packets are made of a header and a payload. Data in the header are used by networking hardware to direct the packet to its destination where the payload is extracted and used by application software. Packet switching is the primary basis for data communications in computer networks worldwide.

In the early 1960s, American computer scientist Paul Baran developed the concept Distributed Adaptive Message Block Switching with the goal to provide a fault-tolerant, efficient routing method for telecommunication messages as part of a research program at the RAND Corporation, funded by the US Department of Defense. This concept contrasted and contradicted then-established principles of pre-allocation of network bandwidth, largely fortified by the development of telecommunications in the Bell System. The new concept found little resonance among network implementers until the independent work of British computer scientist Donald Davies at the National Physical Laboratory (United Kingdom) in 1965. Davies is credited with coining the modern term packet switching and inspiring numerous packet switching networks in the decade following, including the incorporation of the concept in the early ARPANET in the United States.

RAND Corporation

RAND Corporation ("Research ANd Development") is an American nonprofit global policy think tank created in 1948 by Douglas Aircraft Company to offer research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces. It is financed by the U.S. government and private endowment, corporations, universities and private individuals. The company has grown to assist other governments, international organizations, private companies and foundations, with a host of defense and non-defense issues, including healthcare. RAND aims for interdisciplinary and quantitative problem solving by translating theoretical concepts from formal economics and the physical sciences into novel applications in other areas, using applied science and operations research.


The SIGCOMM Award recognizes lifetime contribution to the field of communication networks.

The award is presented in the annual SIGCOMM Technical Conference.

The awardees have been:

2018 Jennifer Rexford

2017 Raj Jain

2016 Jim Kurose

2015 Albert Greenberg

2014 George Varghese

2013 Larry Peterson

2012 Nick McKeown

2011 Vern Paxson

2010 Radia Perlman

2009 Jon Crowcroft

2008 Don Towsley

2007 Sally Floyd

2006 Domenico Ferrari

2005 Paul Mockapetris

2004 Simon S. Lam

2003 David Cheriton

2002 Scott Shenker

2001 Van Jacobson

2000 Andre Danthine

1999 Peter Kirstein

1998 Larry Roberts

1997 Jon Postel

1997 Louis Pouzin

1996 Vint Cerf

1995 David J. Farber

1994 Paul Green

1993 Robert Kahn

1992 Sandy Fraser

1991 Hubert Zimmerman

1990 David D. Clark

1990 Leonard Kleinrock

1989 Paul Baran


StrataCom, Inc. was a supplier of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Frame Relay high-speed wide area network (WAN) switching equipment. StrataCom was founded in Cupertino, California, USA, in January 1986, by 26 former employees of the failing Packet Technologies, Inc. StrataCom produced the first commercial cell switch, also known as a fast-packet switch. ATM was one of the technologies underlying the world's communications systems in the 1990s.

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