2006-2007 Provost Lecture Series
The Evolving Internet
Monday, October 23, 2006
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Vinton G Cerf
Chief Internet Evangelist
Archived video of the lecture provided by the Office of Mediated Education and Regents Educational Communications Center.
Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google. In this role, he is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies to support the development of advanced, Internet-based products and services from Google. He will also be an active public face for Google in the Internet world.
Cerf is the former senior vice president of Technology Strategy for MCI. In this role, Cerf was responsible for helping to guide corporate strategy development from the technical perspective. Previously, Cerf 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.
Widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. In December 1997, President Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and his colleague, Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet. Kahn and Cerf were named the recipients of the ACM Alan M. Turing award in 2004 for their work on the Internet protocols. The Turing award is sometimes called the "Nobel Prize of Computer Science." In November 2005, President George Bush awarded Cerf and Kahn the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their work. The medal is the highest civilian award given by the United States to its citizens.
Prior to rejoining MCI in 1994, Cerf was vice president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). As vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982-1986, he led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet.
During his tenure from 1976-1982 with the U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Cerf played a key role leading the development of Internet and Internet-related packet data and security technologies.
Vint Cerf serves as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Cerf served as founding president of the Internet Society from 1992-1995 and in 1999 served a term as chairman of the Board. In addition, Cerf is honorary chairman of the IPv6 Forum, dedicated to raising awareness and speeding introduction of the new Internet protocol. Cerf served as a member of the U.S. Presidential Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) from 1997 to 2001 and serves on several national, state and industry committees focused on cyber-security. Cerf sits on the Board of Directors for the Endowment for Excellence in Education, Avanex Corporation and the ClearSight Systems Corporation. He also serves as 1st Vice President and Treasurer of the National Science & Technology Medals Foundation. Cerf is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum , the Annenberg Center for Communications at USC and the National Academy of Engineering.
Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet. These include the Marconi Fellowship, Charles Stark Draper award of the National Academy of Engineering, the Prince of Asturias award for science and technology, the National Medal of Science from Tunisia, the St. Cyril and St. Methodius Order (Grand Cross) of Bulgaria, the Alexander Graham Bell Award presented by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, the NEC Computer and Communications Prize, the Silver Medal of the International Telecommunications Union, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Award, the ACM Software and Systems Award, the ACM SIGCOMM Award, the Computer and Communications Industries Association Industry Legend Award, installation in the Inventors Hall of Fame, the Yuri Rubinsky Web Award, the Kilby Award , the Yankee Group/Interop/Network World Lifetime Achievement Award, the George R. Stibitz Award, the Werner Wolter Award, the Andrew Saks Engineering Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the Computerworld/Smithsonian Leadership Award, the J.D. Edwards Leadership Award for Collaboration, World Institute on Disability Annual award and the Library of Congress Bicentennial Living Legend medal. Cerf was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2006.
In December, 1994, People magazine identified Cerf as one of that year's "25 Most Intriguing People."
In addition to his work on behalf of MCI and the Internet, Cerf has served as a technical advisor to production for " Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict." and made a special guest appearance on the program in May 1998. Cerf has appeared on television programs NextWave with Leonard Nimoy and on World Business Review with Alexander Haig and Caspar Weinberger. Cerf also holds an appointment as distinguished visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he is working on the design of an interplanetary Internet.
Cerf holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Stanford University and Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UCLA. He also holds honorary Doctorate degrees from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich; Lulea University of Technology, Sweden; University of the Balearic Islands, Palma; Capitol College, Maryland; Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania; George Mason University, Virginia; Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona, Spain; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York; the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands; Brooklyn Polytechnic; Marymount University; the University of Pisa; and the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.
His personal interests include fine wine, gourmet cooking and science fiction. Cerf and his wife, Sigrid, were married in 1966 and have two sons, David and Bennett.
The Internet continues to grow at a rapid pace. Access and backbone capacity are increasing in capacity, as is the absolute amount of storage and processing power aggregated across the system. As more of the world's information find its way to the Internet, the system will be integrated more and more deeply into the daily economy and lives of the world's citizens. Issues associated with this global infrastructure continue to confound and confront local, national and international treatment. Concerns for intellectual property protection, privacy protection, fraud, abuse, and socially unacceptable behavior raise complex questions for lawmakers and enforcement agencies. Scientific research itself changes when information is readily discoverable and accessible through this medium. Information about information becomes a monetizable factor in the implementation of Internet-based services. Many of the services offered by Google illustrate this point. Business practices themselves become transformed when rendered through the Internet medium. This talk will touch on many of these points and conclude with a status report on the development of an interplanetary extension of the Internet.