Internet Pioneers Cerf and Kahn to Receive ACM Turing Award
Team Developed Architecture for Computers to Communicate
Wednesday February 16, 9:00 am ET
NEW YORK, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- ACM, the Association for Computing
Machinery, has named Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn the winners of
the 2004 A.M. Turing Award, considered the "Nobel Prize of Computing,"
for pioneering work on the design and implementation of the Internet's
basic communications protocols. The Turing Award, first awarded in
1966, and named for British mathematician Alan M. Turing, carries a
$100,000 prize, with financial support provided by Intel Corporation.
Cerf and Kahn developed TCP/IP, a format and procedure for transmitting
data that enables computers in diverse environments to communicate with
each other. This computer networking protocol, widely used in
information technology for a variety of applications, allows networks
to be joined into a network of networks now known as the Internet.
ACM President David Patterson said the collaboration of Cerf and Kahn
in defining the Internet architecture and its associated protocols
represents a cornerstone of the information technology field. "Their
work has enabled the many rapid and accessible applications on the
Internet that we rely on today, including email, the World Wide Web,
Instant Messaging, Peer-to-Peer transfers, and a wide range of
collaboration and conferencing tools. These developments have helped
make IT a critical component across the industrial world," he said.
"The Turing Award is widely acknowledged as our industry's highest
recognition of the scientists and engineers whose innovations have
fueled the digital revolution," said Intel's David Tennenhouse, Vice
President in the Corporate Technology Group and Director of Research.
"This award also serves to encourage the next generation of technology
pioneers to deliver the ideas and inventions that will continue to
drive our industry forward. As part of its long-standing support for
innovation and incubation, Intel is proud to sponsor this year's Turing
Award. As a fellow DARPA alumnus, I am especially pleased to
congratulate this year's winners, who are outstanding role models,
mentors and research collaborators to myself and many others within the
network research community."
Making Networked Computers Communicate
In 1973, Cerf joined Kahn in a Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (ARPA, now called DARPA) project to link three independent
networks into an integrated "network of networks." They sought to
develop an open-architecture network model for heterogeneous networks
to communicate with each other independent of individual hardware and
software configuration, with sufficient flexibility and end-to-end
reliability to overcome transmission failures and disparity among the
participating networks. Their collaboration led to the realization that
a "gateway" (now known as a router) was needed between each network to
accommodate different interfaces and route packets of data. This meant
designating host computers on a global Internet, for which they
introduced the notion of an Internet Protocol (IP) address.
In May 1974, they published a paper describing a new method of
communication called transmission-control protocol (TCP) to route
messages or packets of data. Like an envelope containing a letter, TCP
broke serial streams of information into pieces, enclosed these pieces
in envelopes called "datagrams" marked with standardized "to and from"
addresses, and passed them through the underlying network to deliver
them to host computers. Only the host computers would "open" the
envelope and read the contents.
This networking arrangement allowed for a three-way "handshake" that
introduced distant and different computers to each other and confirmed
their readiness to communicate in a virtual space. In 1978, Cerf and
several colleagues split the original protocol into two parts, with TCP
responsible for controlling and tracking the flow of data packets
("letters"), and the Internet Protocol (IP) responsible for addressing
and forwarding individual packets ("envelopes"). The new protocol,
TCP/IP, has since become the standard for all Internet communications.
Dr. Cerf, Senior Vice President for Technology Strategy at MCI, is
responsible for identifying new technology needed for the development
of new products and services. Dr. Kahn is Chairman, CEO and President
of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), a
not-for-profit organization for research in the public interest on
strategic development of network-based information technologies, which
he founded in 1986. Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn share a number of
awards, including the 1997 National Medal of Technology from President
ACM will present the Turing Award at the annual ACM Awards Banquet on
June 11, 2005, in San Francisco, CA. For more information, click on
About the A.M. Turing Award
The A.M. Turing Award was named for Alan M. Turing, the British
mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of
computing, and who was a key contributor to the Allied cryptanalysis of
the German Enigma cipher during World War II. Since its inception, the
Turing Award has honored the computer scientists and engineers who
created the systems and underlying theoretical foundations that have
propelled the information technology industry. For additional
information, click on http://www.acm.org/awards/taward.html .
ACM (www.acm.org) is widely recognized as the premier organization for
computing professionals, delivering resources that advance the
computing and IT disciplines, enable professional development, and
promote policies and research that benefit society. ACM hosts the
computing industry's leading Digital Library and Portal to Computing
Literature, and serves its global membership with journals and
magazines, special interest groups, conferences, workshops, electronic
forums, Career Resource Centre and Professional Development Centre.
Source: Association for Computing Machinery