UCLA Professor and Internet Co-Inventor Leonard Kleinrock Shares His Views on the Birth of the Information Super Highway

Dr. Leonard Kleinrock, one of the original founders of the Internet and professor of computer science at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science shared his views on “The Internet Vision: Then and Now” with a full house on Thursday, April 28.

“The Internet was unheralded when it first deployed, but the people involved had a good sense that it would change our world,” said Kleinrock. “The culture that we established early on was one of openness, sharing ideas with one another, and trust.”

The audience, made up of Los Angeles community members, researchers and UCLA students, faculty and staff, heard about the early history of the Internet, and the many people across the country who helped shape its destiny.

“It took less than nine months from when the contract was signed to develop, ship and deploy the first node,” said Kleinrock. “Something that would be impossible today.”

Kleinrock’s early work on packet switching was a key element in the evolution of the Internet. Nearly a decade later, in September 1969, a team led by Kleinrock deployed Internet’s first connection to the host computer at UCLA, thus becoming the first node of the Internet.

“But where do we go from here? To nomadic computing, where any device will work any place at any time. To embedded networks and technology, where we’re surrounded by smart spaces at home, in the car, at work. To ubiquitous computing, where access to the Internet is available everywhere – not just in pockets of connectivity. And to convergence, in which we’re carrying one communications device instead of seven or eight,” Kleinrock said.

In 1999, The Los Angeles Times listed Kleinrock among the “50 People Who Most Influenced Business This Century.” He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among the highest honors that can be bestowed on engineers and scientists.

The lecture was one of a series of events scheduled throughout year to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the School. For more information on Kleinrock’s work, click here.