Technical Terms and Definitions

Vinton Cerf - People

Widely known as a "Father of the Internet," Dr. Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocol, the computer language that gave birth to the Internet and which is commonly used today. In December 1997, President Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Dr. Cerf and his partner, Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet.

Prior to rejoining MCI in 1994, Dr. 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), Dr. Cerf played a key role leading the development of Internet and Internet-related data packet and security technologies.

Dr. Cerf served as founding president of the Internet Society from 1992-1995 and is currently serving as its Chairman of the Board. Dr. Cerf is a member of the U.S. Presidential Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) and the Advisory Committee for Telecommunications (ACT) in Ireland. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the Endowment for Excellence in Education, Gallaudet University, Interprophet and Hynomics Corporations. Dr. Cerf is a fellow of the IEEE, ACM, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet. These include the Marconi Fellowship, 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, the Yuri Rubinsky Web Award, the Kilby Award and the Yankee Group/Interop/ Network World Lifetime Achievement Award.

In December 1994, People Magazine identified Dr. Cerf as one of that year's "25 Most Intriguing People."

In addition to his work on behalf of MCI and the Internet, Dr. Cerf serves as technical adviser to production for "Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict," the number one television show in first-run syndication. He also made a special guest appearance in May 1998. Dr. 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.

Dr. Cerf holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Stanford University and Masters of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UCLA. He also holds honorary Doctorate degrees from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich; Lulea University of Technology, Sweden; University of the Balearic Islands, Palma; Capitol College and Gettysburg College.