Vint Cerf

Vint Cerf
Vint Cerf

Vint Cerf in Vilnius, September 2010.
Born June 23, 1943 (1943-06-23) (age 68)
New Haven, Connecticut
Residence USA
Citizenship United States of America
Fields Computer science
Institutions IBM,[1] UCLA,[1] Stanford University,[1] DARPA,[1] MCI,[1][2] CNRI,[1] Google[3]
Alma mater Stanford University, UCLA
Known for TCP/IP
Internet Society
Notable awards National Medal of Technology
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Turing Award

Vinton Gray "Vint" Cerf[1] (/ˈsɜrf/; born June 23, 1943) is an American computer scientist, who is recognized as one of[4] "the fathers of the Internet"[5], sharing this title with American computer scientist Bob Kahn.[6][7] His contributions have been acknowledged and lauded, repeatedly, with honorary degrees and awards that include the National Medal of Technology,[1] the Turing Award,[8] the Presidential Medal of Freedom,[9] and membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

In the early days, Cerf was a program manager for the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funding various groups to develop TCP/IP technology. When the Internet began to transition to a commercial opportunity during the late 1980s,[citation needed] 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 from the start. Cerf waited in the wings for a year before he stepped forward to join the ICANN Board. Eventually he became the Chairman of ICANN.

In 1992 he co-founded, with Bob Kahn the Internet Society to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education and policy.

Cerf has worked for Google as its Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist since September 2005.[3] 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.[10]

Cerf also went to the same high school as Jon Postel and Steve Crocker; he wrote the former's obituary. Both were also instrumental in the creation of the Internet as we know it (see articles).

Since 2010, Cerf has served as a Commissioner for the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, a UN body which aims to make broadband internet technologies more widely available.


Life and career

Cerf was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Muriel (née Gray), a homemaker, and Vinton Thurston Cerf, an aerospace executive.[11][12] Cerf's first job after obtaining his B.S. degree in Mathematics from Stanford University was at IBM, where he worked for less than two years as a systems engineer supporting QUIKTRAN.[1] He left IBM to attend graduate school at UCLA where he earned his M.S. degree in 1970 and his Ph.D. degree in 1972.[13] 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,[14] the predecessor[14] to the Internet, and "contributed to a host-to-host protocol" for the ARPANet.[15] While at UCLA, he also met Robert E. Kahn, who was working on the ARPANet hardware architecture.[15] After receiving his doctorate, Cerf became an assistant professor at Stanford University from 1972–1976, where he conducted research on packet network interconnection protocols and co-designed the DoD TCP/IP protocol suite with Kahn.[15]

Cerf playing Spacewar! on the Computer History Museum's PDP-1, ICANN meeting, 2007.

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 University, a university for the education of the deaf and hard-of-hearing.[16] Cerf himself is, in fact, hard of hearing.[17]

Cerf joined the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 1999, and served until the end of 2007.[18]

Cerf is a member of the Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov's IT Advisory Council, a group created by Presidential Decree on March 8, 2002.[19] He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Eurasia Group, the political risk consultancy.[20]

Cerf is also working on the Interplanetary Internet, together with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It will be a new standard to communicate from planet to planet, using radio/laser communications that are tolerant of signal degradation.[21]

During February 2006, Cerf testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's Hearing on “Network Neutrality”.[22] Speaking as Google's Chief Internet Evangelist, Cerf blamed the anticompetitive intentions and practices of telecommunications conglomerates like Comcast and Verizon for the fact that nearly half of all consumers lack meaningful choice in broadband providers.[23] Google made a bid in 2006 to offer free wireless broadband access throughout the city of San Francisco in conjunction with Internet service provider EarthLink, Inc.[24] Vertically-integrated telecommunications incumbents like Comcast and Verizon opposed such efforts on the part of Silicon Valley firms like Google and Intel (which promotes the WiMax standard) as undermining their revenue in a form of "unfair competition" whereby cities would violate their commitments to offer local monopolies to telecommunications conglomerates.[25] Google currently offers free wi-fi access in its hometown of Mountain View, California.[26]

Cerf currently serves on the board of advisors of Scientists and Engineers for America, an organization focused on promoting sound science in American government.[27] He also serves on the advisory council of CRDF Global.

Cerf is on the board of trustees of ARIN, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) of IP addresses for United States, Canada, and part of the Caribbean.[28]

Cerf is on the board of directors of StopBadware, a non-profit anti-malware organization that Google has supported since its inception as a project at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society.[29][30]

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'.[31]

During 2008 Cerf chaired the IDNAbis working group of the IETF.[32]

Cerf was a major contender to be designated the nation's first Chief Technology Officer by President Barack Obama.[33]

Cerf is the co-chair of Campus Party Silicon Valley, the US edition of one of the largest technology festivals in the world, along with Al Gore and Tim Berners-Lee.[34]

Awards and honors

Cerf and Bob E. Kahn being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush
Cerf and Bulgarian President Parvanov being awarded the St. Cyril and Methodius in the Coat of Arms Order

Cerf has received a number of honorary degrees, including doctorates, from the University of the Balearic Islands, ETH in Switzerland, Capitol College, Gettysburg College, George Mason University, Marymount University, University of Pisa, University of Rovira and Virgili (Tarragona, Spain), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Luleå University of Technology (Sweden), University of Twente (Netherlands), Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Brooklyn Polytechnic, UPCT (University of Cartagena, Spain), Royal Roads University (Canada) and Polytechnic University of Madrid.

Further awards include:

  • Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year Award from UCLA[35]
  • Prince of Asturias award for science and technology
  • Fellow of the IEEE, 1988, "for contributions and leadership in the design, development, and application of internet protocols"
  • Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, 1994, for "vision and leadership in the design, implementation, evolution, and dissemination of the TCP/IP computer communication protocol suite"
  • Yuri Rubinsky Memorial Award, 1996
  • SIGCOMM Award for "contributions to the Internet [spanning] more than 25 years, from development of the fundamental TCP/IP protocols".[36]
  • Certificate of Merit from The Franklin Institute, in 1996.
  • In December 1997 he, along with his partner Robert E. Kahn, was presented with the National Medal of Technology by President Bill Clinton, "for creating and sustaining development of Internet Protocols and continuing to provide leadership in the emerging industry of internetworking."[37]
  • He received the Living Legend Medal from the Library of Congress in April 2000
  • He was inducted as a Fellow of the Computer History Museum in November 2000
  • Cerf was selected as a Fellow of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) in 2000
  • Cerf and Kahn were the winners of the Turing Award for 2004,[8] for their "pioneering work on internetworking, including .. the Internet's basic communications protocols .. and for inspired leadership in networking."[38]
  • In November 2005, Vinton Cerf and Kahn were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush for their contributions to the creation of the Internet.[9]
  • He and Robert Kahn were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2006
  • Vinton Cerf was awarded the St. Cyril and Methodius in the Coat of Arms Order in July 2006 [39]
  • Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn were each inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) in May 2006
  • He and Robert Kahn were awarded the Japan Prize in January 2008.[40]
  • Cerf was inducted into the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and given the Freedom of the City of London in April 2008.
  • Dr. Cerf was awarded an honorary membership in the Yale Political Union after keynoting a lively debate on the subject "Resolved: Online Communities are Real Communities." The motion passed.[41]
  • In celebration of the five year-anniversary of Youtube he was selected as a guest curator by the site, and chose the six videos on Youtube he found most memorable.[42]
  • In May 2011, he was awarded an HPI Fellowship as “[…]a tribute to his work for a new medium which influenced the everyday life of our society like no other one.”[43]
  • In September 2011 he was made a distinguished fellow of British Computer Society, in recognition of his outstanding contribution and service to the advancement of computing. [44]

Partial bibliography

Cerf speaking at the National Library of New Zealand.
Cerf at 2007 Los Angeles ICANN meeting.


  • 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 17, 1998
  • Memo from the Consortium for Slow Commotion Research (CSCR, RFC 1217, April 1, 1999
  • The Internet is for Everyone, RFC 3271, April 2002


  • 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[45]
  • Vinton Cerf et al., Internet Radio Communication System July 9, 2002, U.S. Patent 6,418,138
  • Vinton Cerf et al., System for Distributed Task Execution June 3, 2003, U.S. Patent 6,574,628
  • Vinton Cerf et al., Delay-Tolerant Networking Architecture (Informational Status), RFC 4838, April 2007

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cerf's curriculum vitae as of February 2001, attached to a transcript of his testimony that month before the United States House Energy Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, from ICANN's website
  2. ^ Gore Deserves Internet Credit, Some Say, a March 1999 Washington Post article
  3. ^ a b Cerf's up at Google, from the Google Press Center
  4. ^ (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.
  5. ^ Cerf, V. G. (2009). "The day the Internet age began". Nature 461 (7268): 1202–1203. doi:10.1038/4611202a. PMID 19865146.  edit
  6. ^ ACM Turing Award, list of recipients
  7. ^ IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal
  8. ^ a b Cerf wins Turing Award Feb 16, 2005
  9. ^ a b 2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients from the White House website
  10. ^ The Daily Telegraph, August, 2007
  11. ^,,20132347,00.html
  12. ^
  13. ^ "UCLA School of Engineering Alumnus Chosen for Prestigious Turing Award". UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. Spring 2005. 
  14. ^ a b "Internet predecessor turns 30". CNN. 1999-09-02. [dead link]
  16. ^ Dr. Vinton G. Cerf Appointed to Gallaudet University's Board of Trustees, from that university's website
  17. ^ Vinton Cerf - Father of the Internet, Vinton Cerf
  18. ^ ICANN Board of Directors - Vinton G. Cerf
  19. ^ IT Advisory Council (PITAC) from the official website of the President of Bulgaria
  20. ^ Eurasia Group
  21. ^ The InterPlaNetary Internet Project IPN Special Interest Group
  22. ^ Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce
  23. ^ Travis, Hannibal (2006) "Wi-Fi Everywhere: Universal Broadband Access as Antitrust and Telecommunications Policy" American University Law Review 55: 1720 Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  24. ^ Travis (2006), p. 1701
  25. ^ Travis (2006), p. 1770
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ IDNAbis WG
  33. ^
  34. ^ International CTIA WIRELESS Announces Partnership With Futura Networks for Campus Party Silicon Valley
  35. ^
  36. ^ SIGCOMM Awards
  37. ^
  38. ^ ACM: Fellows Award / Vinton G. Cerf
  39. ^ ISOC-Bulgaria: IT-delegation in Sofia
  40. ^ 2008 (24th) Japan Prize Laureate
  41. ^
  42. ^ Vint Cerf's Top YouTube Videos
  43. ^ “Vinton G. Cerf, who developed together with Robert E. Kahn the TCP/IP protocol was awarded as a HPI Fellow on May 25th 2011. The HPI award is a tribute to his work for a new medium which influenced the everyday life of our society like no other one.” "HPI Fellows & Guests". Retrieved 2011-05-27. 
  44. ^ British Computer Society. "Vint Cerf named BCS Distinguished Fellow". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  45. ^ IP: Al Gore's support of the Internet, by V.Cerf and B.Kahn

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Tadahiro Sekimoto
IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal
with Bob Kahn
Succeeded by
Richard Blahut

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vint Cerf — Vinton Cerf Vinton „Vint“ Gray Cerf (* 23. Juni 1943 in New Haven, Connecticut) ist ein US amerikanischer Mathematiker und Informatiker, der oft zusammen mit anderen als „Vater des Internets“ bezeichnet wird. 2004 wurde ihm der Turing Preis verl …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vint Cerf — Vinton Cerf à Vilnius en 2010 Vinton « Vint » Gray Cerf, né le 23 juin 1943 à New Haven, Connecticut, États Unis, est un ingénieur américain, chercheur et co inventeur avec Bob Kahn du protocole TCP/IP. Il est considéré comme… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cerf (surname) — Cerf is a surname, and may refer to: Bennett Cerf (1898–1971), publisher and co founder of Random House Christopher Cerf (born 1941), his son, American author, composer lyricist, and record and television producer Jonathan Cerf, his son, author… …   Wikipedia

  • Cerf — Cerf,   Vinton (»Vint«) G., US amerikanischer Informatiker, *Newhaven (USA) 23. 6. 1943; Cerf gilt als einer der Väter des Internets. 1973 entwickelte er zusammen mit Robert (»Bob«) Kahn das Internetprotokoll TCP/IP, das ab 1983 das ARPAnet… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Cerf, Vint — ● np. m. ►PERS Coinventeur du protocole TCP/IP avec Bob Kahn en 1973, après avoir travaillé sur l Arpanet. Il est aussi le fondateur de l Internet Society, en 1992 …   Dictionnaire d'informatique francophone

  • Vinton G. Cerf — Vinton Cerf (2010) Vinton „Vint“ Gray Cerf (* 23. Juni 1943 in New Haven, Connecticut) ist ein amerikanischer Informatiker, der zusammen mit anderen als „Vater des Internets“ bezeichnet wird. 2004 wurde ihm der Turing Preis verliehen, 2008 der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vinton Cerf — Vinton „Vint“ Gray Cerf (* 23. Juni 1943 in New Haven, Connecticut) ist ein US amerikanischer Mathematiker und Informatiker, der oft zusammen mit anderen als „Vater des Internets“ bezeichnet wird. 2004 wurde ihm der Turing Preis verl …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vinton Cerf — en 2007. Nombre …   Wikipedia Español

  • Vinton Cerf — Vinton G. Cerf Vinton Cerf. Vinton Vint Gray Cerf (né le 23 juin 1943 à New Haven, Connecticut, États Unis), chercheur et co inventeur avec Bob Khan du protocole TCP/IP, est considéré comme l un des pères fondateurs d Internet. Vinton Cerf l s… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vinton G. Cerf — Vinton Cerf. Vinton Vint Gray Cerf (né le 23 juin 1943 à New Haven, Connecticut, États Unis), chercheur et co inventeur avec Bob Khan du protocole TCP/IP, est considéré comme l un des pères fondateurs d Internet. Vinton Cerf l s int …   Wikipédia en Français

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