Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Cerf and Kahn win Turing Award for TCP/IP

A lengthy story in the New York Times gives details and a pretty accurate history of TCP/IP and its impact.

"Late in the summer of 1973, two young scientists in the nascent field of computer networks hunkered down in a conference room of the Cabana Hyatt Hotel in Palo Alto, Calif., a clean but bland stopping place for salesmen and the parents of students at nearby Stanford University. Their goal was to thrash out a way to make different, isolated computer networks talk to each other."

"They wrote, they sketched, they argued, all the while passing a yellow legal pad back and forth to capture ideas as they crystallized. When they emerged two days later, they knew they had the makings of a solid technical paper. What they did not know was that they had created the essential underpinnings of today's vast and sprawling Internet."

"For the work that began on that yellow pad, the Association for Computing Machinery plans to announce Wednesday that Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn will receive the 2004 A. M. Turing Award, widely considered to be the computing field's equivalent of the Nobel Prize."

Although the story suggests a controversy over "who invented the Internet," it's pretty clear who invented TCP/IP and that this contribution was seminal.

Here is ACM's Turing Award website, which also links to their press release.

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