By Matthew Chin

Leonard Kleinrock, a UCLA distinguished professor of computer science known as one of the fathers of the Internet for developing the mathematical theory of packet networks, has been named a recipient of a 2014 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award.

The award, one of eight bestowed each year by the Madrid-based foundation, is in the category of information and communication technologies. The organization cited Kleinrock for his “seminal contributions to the theory and practical development of the Internet.”

The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards were established in 2008 to recognize outstanding contributions and radical advances in science, technology and the arts.

In September 1969, the host computer in Kleinrock’s UCLA laboratory become the first node connected to the ARPANET, the predecessor of today’s Internet.

A month later Kleinrock’s lab sent the first message on the ARPANET to the Stanford Research Institute. Kleinrock has continued to perform research and teach, and has established the Kleinrock Center for Internet Studies.

“Len, who did pioneering work upon which the Internet is built, is a passionate teacher and researcher and has influenced generations of computer scientists,” said Vijay K. Dhir, dean of the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. “Len’s foundational contributions have made a global impact and have connected billions of people in profound ways. He is richly deserving of this prestigious international scientific recognition.”


Professor Kleinrock in the 1960’s.

Kleinrock joined the  UCLA faculty in 1963  just after receiving his  doctoral degree from  MIT. He has authored  more than 250  technical papers and  supervised 48  doctoral  candidates.

In 2008, he received the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest scientific honor. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is a fellow of ACM, IEEE, INFORMS and IEC. His numerous previous honors include the NAE Charles Stark Draper Prize, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the IEEE Internet Award, the Marconi Society Prize and Fellowship, the Okawa Prize, the LM Ericsson Prize and the Dan David Prize. In 2012, he was elected to the inaugural class of the Internet Hall of Fame.