CMU Silicon Valley welcomes Vint Cerf

Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11, 1:30 pm (PT) / 4:30 pm (ET) 

Location: CMU Silicon Valley Campus: Bldg 23, Rm 118

Digital Vellum and the Expansion of the Internet into the Solar System

These are two relatively unrelated topics. The first has to do with the preservation of content that requires software context for interpretation. The OLIVE project led by Mahadev Satyanarayanan at CMU is a perfect example of the challenge of preserving the meaning of digital objects over very long periods of time. That such a capacity is needed is surely unarguable. We already have examples of the loss of digital content, not because the bits are unreadable but because they are uninterpretable. The Internet, itself, continues to evolve and is already going off the planet, albeit on the back of a new set of protocols designed to deal with the delay and disruption encountered in deep space environments. Connectivity is not continuous and delays brought about by the inadequate speed of light are inescapable. We will discuss the current state and future aspirations of this work.

Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. He is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies and applications on the Internet and other platforms for the company. Widely known as a "Father of the Internet," Vint is the co-designer with Robert Kahn of TCP/IP protocols and basic architecture of the Internet. In 1997, President Clinton recognized their work with the U.S. National Medal of Technology. In 2005, Vint and Bob received the highest civilian honor bestowed in the U.S., the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It recognizes the fact that their work on the software code used to transmit data across the Internet has put them "at the forefront of a digital revolution that has transformed global commerce, communication, and entertainment."

From 1994-2005, Vint served as Senior Vice President at MCI. Prior to that, he was Vice President of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), and from 1982-86 he served as Vice President of MCI. During his tenure with the U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from 1976-1982, Vint played a key role leading the development of Internet and Internet-related data packet and security technologies.

Since 2000, Vint has served as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and he has been a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1998. He served as founding president of the Internet Society (ISOC) from 1992-1995 and was on the ISOC board until 2000. Vint is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, AAAS, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum and the National Academy of Engineering.

Vint has received numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet, including the Marconi Fellowship, Charles Stark Draper award of the National Academy of Engineering, the Prince of Asturias award for science and technology, the Alexander Graham Bell Award presented by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, the A.M. Turing Award from the Association for Computer Machinery, the Silver Medal of the International Telecommunications Union, and the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, among many others.

He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA and more than a dozen honorary degrees.