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Vinton Gray "Vint" Cerf ( ; born June 23, 1943) is an Americanmarker computer scientist who is the "person most often called 'the father of the Internet'."
 His contributions have been recognized repeatedly, with honorary degrees and awards that include the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In the early days, Cerf was a DOD DARPA program manager funding various groups to develop TCP/IP technology. When the Internet began to transition to a commercial opportunity, Cerf moved to MCI where he was instrumental in the development of the first commercial email system (MCI Mail) connected to the Internet.

Vinton Cerf was instrumental in the funding and formation of ICANN fromthe start. Cerf went to the same high school as Jon Postel and Steve Crocker.Cerf waited in the wings for a year before he stepped forward to join theICANN Board. Eventually he became the Chairman of ICANN.

Cerf has worked for Google as its Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist since September 2005. In this function he has become well known for his predictions on how technology will affect future society, encompassing such areas as artificial intelligence, environmentalism, the advent of IPv6 and the transformation of the television industry and its delivery model.


Cerf's first job after obtaining his B.S. in Mathematics from Stanford Universitymarker was at IBM, where he worked for less than two years as a systems engineer supporting QUIKTRAN. He left IBM to attend graduate school at UCLAmarker where he earned his master's degree in 1970 and his PhD degree in 1972. During his graduate student years, he studied under Professor Gerald Estrin, worked in Professor Leonard Kleinrock's data packet networking group that connected the first two nodes of the ARPANet, the predecessor to the Internet, and "contributed to a host-to-host protocol" for the ARPANet. While at UCLAmarker, he also met Robert E. Kahn, who was working on the ARPANet hardware architecture. After receiving his doctorate, Cerf became an assistant professor at Stanford Universitymarker from 1972-1976, where he "conducted research on packet network interconnection protocols and co-designed the DoD TCP/IP protocol suite with Kahn.
Cerf then moved to DARPA in 1976, where he stayed until 1982.

As vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982-1986, Cerf led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet. Cerf rejoined MCI during 1994 and served as Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy. In this role, he helped to guide corporate strategy development from a technical perspective. Previously, he 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.

During 1997, Cerf joined the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet Universitymarker, a university for the education of the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Cerf is hard of hearing.

Cerf joined the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 1999, and served until the end of 2007.

Cerf is a member of the Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov's IT Advisory Council, a group created by Presidential Decree on March 8, 2002. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Eurasia Groupmarker, the political risk consultancy.

Cerf is also working on the Interplanetary Internet, together with NASAmarker's Jet Propulsion Laboratorymarker. It will be a new standard to communicate from planet to planet, using radio/laser communications that are tolerant of signal degradation.

During February 2006, Cerf testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's Hearing on “Network Neutrality”.

Cerf currently serves on the board of advisors of Scientists and Engineers for America, an organization focused on promoting sound science in American government.

Cerf is on the board of advisors of The Hyperwords Company Ltd of the UK, which works to make the web more usefully interactive and which has produced the free Firefox Add-On called 'Hyperwords'.

During 2008 Cerf chaired the IDNAbis working group of the IETF.

Cerf was a major contender to be designated the nation's first Chief Technology Officer by President Barack Obama.

Awards and honors

Cerf has received a number of honorary degrees, including doctorates, from the University of the Balearic Islands, ETHmarker in Switzerlandmarker, Capitol Collegemarker, Gettysburg Collegemarker, George Mason Universitymarker, Marymount Universitymarker, University of Pisa, University of Rovira and Virgilimarker (Tarragonamarker, Spainmarker), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institutemarker, Luleå University of Technologymarker (Swedenmarker), University of Twentemarker (Netherlandsmarker), Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunicationsmarker, Brooklyn Polytechnicmarker, UPCT (University of Cartagena, Spainmarker), Royal Roads University (Canada) and Polytechnic University of Madrid.

Further awards include:
Cerf and Bulgarian President Parvanov being awarded the St. Cyril and Methodius in the Coat of Arms Order

Partial bibliography

Cerf at a conference in Bangalore.
Cerf at 2007 Los Angeles ICANN meeting.
License plate circa 1996.

As author

  • Zero Text Length EOF Message (RFC 13, August 1969)
  • IMP-IMP and HOST-HOST Control Links (RFC 18, September 1969)
  • ASCII format for network interchange (RFC 20, October 1969)
  • Host-host control message formats (RFC 22, October 1969)
  • Data transfer protocols (RFC 163, May 1971)
  • PARRY encounters the DOCTOR (RFC 439, January 1973)
  • 'Twas the night before start-up (RFC 968, December 1985)
  • Report of the second Ad Hoc Network Management Review Group, RFC 1109, August 1989
  • Internet Activities Board, RFC 1120, September 1989
  • Thoughts on the National Research and Education Network, RFC 1167, July 1990
  • Networks, Scientific American Special Issue on Communications, Computers, and Networks, September, 1991
  • Guidelines for Internet Measurement Activities, October 1991
  • A VIEW FROM THE 21ST CENTURY, RFC 1607, April 1, 1994
  • An Agreement between the Internet Society and Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the Matter of ONC RPC and XDR Protocols, RFC 1790, April 1995
  • I REMEMBER IANA, RFC 2468, October 1998
  • Memo from the Consortium for Slow Commotion Research (CSCR, RFC 1217, April 1 1999
  • The Internet is for Everyone, RFC 3271, April 2002

As co-author

  • Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication (IEEE Transactions on Communications, May 1974)
  • Vinton Cerf, Y. Dalal, C. Sunshine, Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program (RFC 675, December 1974)
  • Vinton Cerf, Jon Postel, Mail transition plan (RFC 771, September 1980)
  • Vinton Cerf, K.L. Mills Explaining the role of GOSIP, RFC 1169, August 1990
  • Clark, Chapin, Cerf, Braden, Hobby, Towards the Future Internet Architecture, RFC 1287, December 1991
  • Vinton Cerf et al., A Strategic Plan for Deploying an Internet X.500 Directory Service, RFC 1430, February 1993
  • Vinton Cerf & Bob Kahn, Al Gore and the Internet, 2000-09-28
  • Vinton Cerf et al., Delay-Tolerant Networking Architecture (Informational Status), RFC 4838, April 2007

Notes and references

  1. Making Televised Emergency Information Accessible from the Gallaudet University website
  2. Although it's a title he objects to (see Interview with Vinton Cerf, from a January 2006 article in Government Computer News), Cerf is willing to call himself one of the Internet's fathers, citing Bob Kahn and Leonard Kleinrock in particular as being others with whom he should share that title.
  3. Cerf wins Turing Award Feb 16, 2005
  4. 2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients from the White House website
  5. The Daily Telegraph, August, 2007
  6. Dr. Vinton G. Cerf Appointed to Gallaudet University's Board of Trustees, from that university's website
  7. Vinton Cerf - Father of the Internet, Vinton Cerf
  8. ICANN Board of Directors - Vinton G. Cerf
  9. IT Advisory Council (PITAC) from the official website of the President of Bulgaria
  10. Eurasia Group
  11. The InterPlaNetary Internet Project IPN Special Interest Group
  12. Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce
  15. IDNAbis WG
  17. SIGCOMM Awards
  19. ACM: Fellows Award / Vinton G. Cerf
  20. ISOC-Bulgaria: IT-delegation in Sofia
  21. 2008 (24th) Japan Prize Laureate
  23. IP: Al Gore's support of the Internet, by V.Cerf and B.Kahn [I second

External links

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