UCLA School of Engineering alumnus Vinton G. Cerf has been named a winner of the prestigious 2004 A.M. Turing Award, widely considered to be the computing field’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The award, presented annually by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), also is being given to Robert E. Kahn. Cerf and Kahn were chosen for their pioneering work on the design and implementation of the Internet’s basic communications protocols. Working together, the pair developed TCP/IP, a format and procedure for transmitting data that enables computers on different networks talk to each other. The revolutionary Kahn-Cerf Transmission Control Protocol allowed computers to be joined into networks, and networks to be joined to other networks, ultimately creating the “vocabulary” for what is now known as the Internet.

“Vint’s work has helped to transform the way people across the globe communicate. The impact of his work is immeasurable. We are incredibly proud of all of our distinguished engineering alumni, and we congratulate Vint on his achievement,” said engineering Dean Vijay K. Dhir.

Cerf, who earned a an MS in 1970 and a Ph.D. in 1972 in computer science from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, is currently Senior Vice President for Technology Strategy at MCI, responsible for identifying new technology needed for the development of new products and services. He serves as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and was founding president of the Internet Society from 1992-95. He was named the UCLA Engineering Alumnus of the Year in 2003.

Kahn is Chairman, CEO and President of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, a non-profit organization for research in the public interest on strategic development of network-based information technologies, which he founded in 1986.

Cerf and Kahn share a number of prominent awards for their collaborative work, including the 1991 ACM Software System Award, the 2001 Charles Stark Draper Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, the 2002 Prince of Asturias Award, and the 1997 National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton, as well as numerous individual honors.

Last year, the Turing Award was presented to Alan Kay, an adjunct professor in the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science’s computer science department.

Named for Alan Mathison Turing, a British mathematician and cryptographer who first broke German codes during World War II, the Turing Award comes with a $100,000 prize, to be shared by the pair.