Robert Elliot Kahn
Robert Elliott Kahn
December 23, 1938
|Alma mater|| City College of New York (B.E.E., 1960) |
Princeton University (M.A., 1962; Ph.D., 1964)
|Spouse(s)||Patrice Ann Lyons|
|Institutions|| Bell Labs |
Corporation for National Research Initiatives
|Doctoral advisor||Bede Liu|
Robert Elliot Kahn (born December 23, 1938) is an American electrical engineer, who, along with Vint Cerf, first proposed the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), the fundamental communication protocols at the heart of the Internet.
In 2004, Kahn won the Turing Award with Vint Cerf for their work on TCP/IP.
Kahn was born in New York to parents Beatrice Pauline (née Tashker) and Lawrence Kahn in a Jewish family of unknown European descent.Through his father, he is related to futurist Herman Kahn. After receiving a B.E.E. degree in electrical engineering from the City College of New York in 1960, Kahn went on to Princeton University where he earned a M.A. in 1962 and Ph.D. in 1964, both in electrical engineering. At Princeton, he was advised by Bede Liu and completed a doctoral dissertation titled "Some problems in the sampling and modulation of signals." He first worked at Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc., then in 1972 joined the Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) within DARPA. In the fall of 1972, he demonstrated the ARPANET by connecting 20 different computers at the International Computer Communication Conference, "the watershed event that made people suddenly realize that packet switching was a real technology." He then helped develop the TCP/IP protocols for connecting diverse computer networks. After he became director of IPTO, he started the United States government's billion dollar Strategic Computing Initiative, the largest computer research and development program ever undertaken by the U.S. federal government.
After thirteen years with DARPA, he left to found the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) in 1986, and as of 2015 is the chairman, CEO and president.
While working on the SATNET satellite packet network project, he came up with the initial ideas for what later became the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which was intended as a replacement for an earlier network protocol, NCP, used in the ARPANET. TCP played a major role in forming the basis of open-architecture networking, which would allow computers and networks all over the world to communicate with each other, regardless of what hardware or software the computers on each network used. To reach this goal, TCP was designed to have the following features:
Vint Cerf joined him on the project in the spring of 1973, and together they completed an early version of TCP. Later, the protocol was separated into two separate layers: host-to-host communication would be handled by TCP, with Internet Protocol (IP) handling internetwork communication.The two together are usually referred to as TCP/IP, and form part of the basis for the modern Internet.
In 1992 he co-founded with Vint Cerf the Internet Society, to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy.
He was elected as a member to the National Academy of Engineering in 1987 for research contributions in computer networks and packet switching, and for creative management contributions to research efforts in computers and communications.
He was awarded the SIGCOMM Award in 1993 for "visionary technical contributions and leadership in the development of information systems technology", and shared the 2004 Turing Award with Vint Cerf, for "pioneering work on internetworking, including .. the Internet's basic communications protocols .. and for inspired leadership in networking."
He is a recipient of 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, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the ACM Software Systems Award, the Computerworld/Smithsonian Award, the ASIS Special Award and the Public Service Award from the Computing Research Board. He has twice received the Secretary of Defense Civilian Service Award.
He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Pavia in 1998.
He is a recipient of the 1997 National Medal of Technology, the 2001 Charles Stark Draper Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, the 2002 Prince of Asturias Award, and the 2004 A. M. Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery.Kahn received the 2003 Digital ID World award for the Digital Object Architecture as a significant contribution (technology, policy or social) to the digital identity industry.
In 2005 he was awarded the Townsend Harris Medal from the Alumni Association of the City College of New York, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the C & C Prize in Tokyo, Japan.
He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2006.
He was inducted as a Fellow of the Computer History Museum in 2006 "for pioneering technical contributions to internetworking and for leadership in the application of networks to scientific research."
He was awarded the 2008 Japan Prize for his work in "Information Communication Theory and Technology" (together with Vinton Cerf).
The duo were also awarded with the Harold Pender Award, the highest honor awarded by the University of Pennsylvania School Engineering and Applied Sciences, in February 2010.
He has also served on the board of directors for Qualcomm.
In 2012, Kahn was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.
In 2013 Kahn was one of five Internet and Web pioneers awarded the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.
Kahn has received honorary degrees from Princeton University, University of Pavia, ETH Zurich, University of Maryland, George Mason University, the University of Central Florida and the University of Pisa, and an honorary fellowship from University College, London.
In 2012 he was also recognized as honorary doctor of Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics.
The history of the Internet has its origin in the efforts to build and interconnect computer networks that arose from research and development in the United States and involved international collaboration, particularly with researchers in the United Kingdom and France.
Internetworking is the practice of interconnecting multiple computer networks, such that any pair of hosts in the connected networks can exchange messages irrespective of their hardware-level networking technology. The resulting system of interconnected networks are called an internetwork, or simply an internet.
The Internet Protocol (IP) is the network layer communications protocol in the Internet protocol suite for relaying datagrams across network boundaries. Its routing function enables internetworking, and essentially establishes the Internet.
The Internet protocol suite, commonly known as TCP/IP, is the set of communications protocols used in the Internet and similar computer networks. The current foundational protocols in the suite are the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP).
Vinton Gray Cerf is an American Internet pioneer and is recognized as one of "the fathers of the Internet", sharing this title with TCP/IP co-developer Bob Kahn. He has received honorary degrees and awards that include the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Marconi Prize and membership in the National Academy of Engineering.
Xerox Network Systems (XNS) is a computer networking protocol suite developed by Xerox within the Xerox Network Systems Architecture. It provided general purpose network communications, internetwork routing and packet delivery, and higher level functions such as a reliable stream, and remote procedure calls. XNS predated and influenced the development of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) networking model, and was very influential in local area networking designs during the 1980s. It had little impact on TCP/IP, however, which was designed earlier.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was the first wide-area packet-switched network with distributed control and one of the first networks to implement the TCP/IP protocol suite. Both technologies became the technical foundation of the Internet. The ARPANET was established by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense.
Donald Watts Davies, was a Welsh computer scientist who was employed at the UK National Physical Laboratory (NPL).
The CYCLADES computer network was a French research network created in the early 1970s. It was one of the pioneering networks experimenting with the concept of packet switching and, unlike the ARPANET, was explicitly designed to facilitate internetworking.
Louis Pouzin is a French computer scientist. He designed an early packet communications network, CYCLADES.
The PARC Universal Packet was one of the two earliest internetworking protocol suites; it was created by researchers at Xerox PARC in the mid-1970s. The entire suite provided routing and packet delivery, as well as higher level functions such as a reliable byte stream, along with numerous applications.
Lawrence Gilman Roberts was an American engineer who received the Draper Prize in 2001 "for the development of the Internet", and the Principe de Asturias Award in 2002.
Peter Thomas Kirstein was a British computer scientist who played a role in the creation of the Internet. He put the first computer on the ARPANET outside of the US and was instrumental in defining and implementing TCP/IP alongside Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.
Douglas Earl Comer is a professor of computer science at Purdue University, where he teaches courses on operating systems and computer networks. He has written numerous research papers and textbooks, and currently heads several networking research projects. He has been involved in TCP/IP and internetworking since the late 1970s, and is an internationally recognized authority. He designed and implemented X25NET and Cypress networks, and the Xinu operating system. He is director of the Internetworking Research Group at Purdue, editor of Software - Practice and Experience, and a former member of the Internet Architecture Board. Comer completed the original version of Xinu in 1979. Since then, Xinu has been expanded and ported to a wide variety of platforms, including: IBM PC, Macintosh, Digital Equipment Corporation VAX and DECstation 3100, Sun Microsystems Sun-2, Sun-3 and SPARCstations, and Intel Pentium. It has been used as the basis for many research projects. Furthermore, Xinu has been used as an embedded system in products by companies such as Motorola, Mitsubishi, Hewlett-Packard, and Lexmark.
Jonathan Andrew Crowcroft is the Marconi Professor of Communications Systems in the Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Cambridge and the chair of the programme committee at the Alan Turing Institute.
The NPL network or NPL Data Communications Network was a local area computer network operated by a team from the National Physical Laboratory in London that pioneered the concept of packet switching.
Roger Anthony Scantlebury is a British computer scientist who worked at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and later at Logica.
The International Networking Working Group (INWG) was a group of prominent computer science researchers in the 1970s who studied and developed standards and protocols for computer networking. Set up in 1972 as an informal group to consider the technical issues involved in connecting different networks, it became a subcommittee of the International Federation for Information Processing later that year. Ideas developed by members of the group contributed to the original "Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication" proposed by Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf in 1974.
A long-running debate in computer science known as the Protocol Wars occurred from the 1970s to the 1990s when engineers, organizations and nations became polarized over the issue of which communication protocol would result in the best and most robust computer networks. This culminated in the Internet–OSI Standards War in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which was ultimately "won" by the Internet by the mid-1990s and has since resulted in most other protocols disappearing.
For pioneering work on internetworking, including the design and implementation of the Internet's basic communications protocols, TCP/IP, and for inspired leadership in networking.
For leadership in the design of the Internet, strategic computing, digital libraries, digital object infrastructure and digital intellectual property protection technology.
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