Vint Cerf and Van Jacobson Inducted into Internet Hall of Fame

April 24, 2012

Vint Cerf (left) and Van Jacobson (right)

Vint Cerf,a member of the ESnet Policy Board, and Van Jacobson, former head of Berkeley Lab’s Network Research Group, are in the first class of inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame. Cerf is honored as a Pioneer, and Jacobson as an Innovator.

Widely known as a “Father of the Internet,” Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet, and went on to co-found the Internet Society (ISOC) and served as president of ICANN, the organization which operates the domain naming system. Cerf is now chief Internet evangelist for Google and holds an appointment as distinguished visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he is working on the design of an interplanetary Internet. Read his Internet Hall of Fame bio.

Jacobson’s algorithms for the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) helped solve the problem of congestion and are used in over 90% of Internet hosts today. Widely credited with enabling the Internet to expand in size and support increasing speed demands, Jacobson helped the Internet survive a major traffic surge (1988–89) without collapsing. He was co-winner of R&D Magazine's 1995 R&D 100 Award for development of a software toolpack that enables multiparty audio and visual conferencing via the MBone (Multicast Backbone). His research laid the groundwork and defined the standards for current Internet Voice over IP (VoIP) and multimedia applications. Read his Internet Hall of Fame bio. His work at Berkeley Lab is described in the Lab archive articles “Building and Rescuing the Information Superhighway” and “Rolling Stones Give Boost to Internet Conferencing Venue.”

In an interview with Wired, Cerf talked about how the military brought the TCP/IP protocol into being, how he and his co-conspirators knew—almost 40 years ago—what they were unleashing on the world, the threats to the net today, and what he’d like to see next: a vision that includes Internet packets raining down from the sky. He mentions ESnet in his response to the third question. Read the interview.