The Internet and the Web

Both have revolutionised the way we communicate and enabled the creation of whole new industries. 

Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf and Louis Pouzin made seminal contributions to the protocols that together make up the fundamental architecture of the Internet. Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web and vastly extended the use of the Internet beyond email and file transfer. Marc Andreessen, while a student and working with colleagues, wrote the mosaic browser, which made the Web accessible to anyone.

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Louis Pouzin

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Louis Pouzin

Louis Pouzin, born in 1931, is a French engineer who invented the CYCLADES computer network and its datagram packet-switching network, from which TCP/IP was derived. Having studied at École Polytechnique in Paris, Pouzin worked on one of the world’s first time-sharing systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the mid-1960s. He wrote a program called RUNCOM, the first operating system ‘shell’: an idea that led to the first shell that ran atop UNIX, the operating system that would spread the idea across the computing world.

Pouzin joined the Delegation a l’Informatique in 1971 and returned to the US to meet people involved with ARPANET, including Vint Cerf. In the early 1970s, Pouzin invented the datagram (a data telegram) and CYCLADES, the first network to make the host computers responsible for the reliable delivery of data, rather than the network, in a bid to overcome the limitations of the ARPANET design. He conducted the first demonstration in 1973 and continued to refine the network, which undoubtedly contributed to the way the Internet works today.

Pouzin is currently Project Director with EUROLINC, an association promoting the use of native languages on the Internet. He was named a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur by the French government in 2003 and inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012.

 

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, born 8 June 1955, is a British computer scientist and the inventor of the World Wide Web. Having studied physics at Queen’s College Oxford, graduating in 1976, he started as an engineer in the telecommunications and microprocessor software industry.

In 1980, while working as an independent contractor at CERN, Berners-Lee described the concept of a global system based on using hypertext to share information between researchers and built a prototype system called Enquire, which formed the conceptual basis for the World Wide Web. In 1989 he published his landmark paper, ‘Information Management: A Proposal’, built the first WWW server and web browser ‘WorldWideWeb.app’. In 1994, he founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). He holds the 3Com Founders’ chair in Engineering at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and also a chair in Computer Science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton.

Sir Tim is an advocate for Internet freedom and open data. In 2009 he founded the World Wide Web Foundation, and in 2012 he co-founded the UK’s Open Data Institute (ODI). Among his many accolades, Berners-Lee was awarded a Knighthood and the Order of Merit, and was the first recipient of Finland’s Millennium Technology Prize. He was awarded the Charles Stark Draper Prize and the Mikhail Gorbachev award for “The Man Who Changed the World.” He has been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most important people of the 20th century.

 

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Robert Kahn

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Robert Kahn

Robert (Bob) Kahn, born 23 December 1938, is an American internet pioneer, engineer and computer scientist who, together with Vint Cerf, invented the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), which make up the fundamental architecture at the heart of the Internet.

After receiving his degree in electrical engineering at the City College of New York in 1960, Kahn then completed completed his PhD at Princeton Univerity in 1964. His first jobs were at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was at Bolt, Berenek and Newman (BBN), however, that he was responsible for the system design of ARPANET, the first packet-switching network.

Kahn’s work at the Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) within ARPA and the demonstration of ARPANET in 1972 cemented his place in computer science history. The demo connected several dozen different computers and proved the viability of packet switching. Kahn founded the Corporation for National Research initiatives (CNRI) in 1986. He has been its Chairman, CEO and President since 1986.

He has received numerous awards and is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Computer History Museum amongst others. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Internet Hall of Fame.

 

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Marc Andreessen

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Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen, born 9 July 1971, is an American entrepreneur, investor and software engineer best known for co-authoring the first widely used Web browser, Mosaic, as well as co-founding Netscape Communications and Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz.

As a student studying for a degree in computer science at the University of Illinois, Andreessen became a part-time assistant at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) where he became familiar with Berners-Lee’s open standards for the World Wide Web. Together with Eric Bina and colleagues including Larry Smarr and Joe Hardin, he created a browser with integrated graphics that would work on a range of computers.

Having co-created the influential Mosaic Internet browser, he co-founded Netscape, which later sold to AOL for $4.2 billion. He is now a Co-Founder and Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm that provides seed, venture and growth-stage funding to technology companies. The firm has $2.7 billion under management across three funds, with portfolio holdings that include Airbnb, Actifio, Box, Fab, Facebook, GitHub, Jawbone, Pinterest, Platfora, Quirky and Twitter. Andreessen serves on the boards of eBay, Facebook, Glam Media, Hewlett-Packard, Bump, Kno, Rockmelt and TinyCo.

 

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Vinton Cerf

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Vinton Cerf

Vinton (Vint) Cerf, born 23 June 1943, is an American computer scientist who is considered one of the ‘fathers of the Internet’. He obtained a BSc in mathematics at Stanford University and a PhD from UCLA in 1972, where he met Bob Kahn and worked on ARPANET. Cerf then moved to the US Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Cerf has been Vice President of MCI Digital Information Services and Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). He was Founding President of the Internet Society and served as Chair of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. He was a member of the US Presidential Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) and continues to attend committees focused on cyber-security.

In October 2005, Cerf became Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. He is President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and sits on the Board of Directors for a number of organisations. He was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Science Board beginning in February 2013. Cerf is a Fellow of many institutions is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. Cerf has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and has a number of awards recognising his leadership and contribution to the internet.