Cerf widely known as a ‘father of the Internet’

By M. Abraham

Internet pioneer and Google vice president Vinton G. Cerf will deliver the 2006 commencement address for the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science on Saturday, June 17. The ceremony will begin at 12:30 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus.

Widely known as a “father of the Internet,” Cerf, together with Robert Kahn, co-designed the basic architecture of the Internet and the first TCP/IP protocols. Cerf and Kahn were awarded the U.S. National Medal of Technology in 1997, and in 2005 the pair received the highest civilian honor bestowed in the United States for their pioneering work: the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Now a vice president at Google, Cerf is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies and applications on the Internet and other platforms for the company, and along with his VP post, holds the title of “chief Internet evangelist” for the company.

Cerf also is a graduate of UCLA Engineering.

“A great engineer never stops learning, and Vint has displayed a lively sense of curiosity and discovery throughout his career,” said Dean Vijay K. Dhir. “We are fortunate to have him as a member of the UCLA Engineering family, and as our 2006 commencement speaker.”

Prior to his tenure with Google, Cerf served from 1994–2005 as senior vice president at MCI, where he also served as vice president from 1982–86. Before rejoining MCI in 1994, he was vice president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives.

During his term with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency from 1976–82, Cerf played a key role in leading the development of Internet and Internet related data packet and security technologies.

Since 2000, Cerf has served as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and as a visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1998. He was the founding president of the Internet Society, and served on the society’s board until 2000. Cerf is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., Association for Computing Machinery, American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Engineering Consortium and Computer History Museum.

Cerf received his Ph.D. in computer science from UCLA in 1972 and his M.S. in 1970. In 2003, he was selected as the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science Alumnus of the Year.

UCLA Engineering expects to award approximately 1,000 degrees this year. More than 5,600 guests are expected to attend the school’s commencement related activities.