The Draper Prize

2001 Winners: Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, Leonard Kleinrock, and Lawrence Roberts

For the development of the Internet.

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Biographies

Vinton Cerf was born in Connecticut in 1943. He holds a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Stanford University and master of science and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from UCLA. After receiving his doctorate he began teaching at Stanford University. He then worked at DARPA for six years before moving to MCI. As vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982 to 1986, Cerf led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet. He has received countless awards for his accomplishments in the computer science industry.

Cerf serves as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). He 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. He is now the 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 is also an active public face for Google in the Internet world.

Robert Kahn was born in New York in 1938. After receiving a B.E.E. from the City College of New York in 1960, Kahn earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University in 1962 and 1964 respectively. He worked on the technical staff at Bell Laboratories and then became an assistant professor of electrical engineering at MIT. He took a leave of absence from MIT to join Bolt Beranek and Newman, where he was responsible for the system design of the ARPAnet, the first packet-switched network. In 1972 he moved to DARPA and subsequently became Director of DARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO).

After thirteen years with DARPA, he left to found the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) in 1986 and as of 2006 is the Chairman, CEO and President. CNRI is a nonprofit organization which is intended to provide leadership and funding for research and development of the National Information Infrastructure.

Kahn has received numerous awards and honors for his work, among them the AFIPS Harry Goode Memorial Award, the Marconi Award, the ACM SIGCOMM Award, the President's Award from ACM, the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computer and Communications Award, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal.

Leonard Kleinrock was born in New York in 1934. He received a B.E.E. in 1957 from the City College of New York, and a masters degree and a Ph.D. in EECS from MIT in 1959 and 1963 respectively. He has served as a professor of computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles, since then, serving as Chairman of the department from 1991 to 1995. He was the first president and co-founder of Linkabit Corporation, the co-founder of Nomadix, Inc., and founder and chairman of TTI/Vanguard, an advanced technology forum organization. He has published more than 250 papers and authored 6 books on a wide array of subjects. Kleinrock is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an IEEE fellow, an ACM fellow, an INFORMS fellow, an IEC fellow, a Guggenheim fellow, and a founding member of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council.

He has received numerous professional awards. Kleinrock was selected to receive the prestigious National Medal of Science, the nation's highest scientific honor, from President George W. Bush in the White House on September 29, 2008.

Lawrence Roberts was born in Connecticut in 1937. Roberts attended MIT, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1959, master's degree in 1960, and Ph.D. in 1963, all in electrical engineering. After receiving his Ph.D., Roberts continued to work at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. In 1966, he became the chief scientist in the ARPA Information Processing Techniques Office, where he led the development of the ARPANet.

After ARPA, Roberts founded the world's first packet data communications carrier, Telenet--the company that developed and drove adoption of the popular X.25 data protocol. Roberts was chief executive officer from 1973 to 1980. He was also CEO of NetExpress, an ATM equipment company, from 1983 to 1993. Roberts was president of ATM Systems from 1993 to 1998. Today, he serves Caspian Networks, an Internet infrastructure company, as CTO. He is also the president and the chief executive officer at Anagran, Inc., which he co-founded.

The Internet

The Internet is a system that connects millions of computers and computer networks around the world. Although not the first long-distance computer network, the internet has proved to be far more adaptable and efficient than the systems that preceded it. Most of its advantages come from the use of package switching, a technique that breaks information into small packages before transmitting it. These packages then travel any available route before being reassembled accurately at the destination computer. So while previous systems needed a single, stable circuit to communicate, the Internet uses every available route no matter how circuitous.