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Vint Cerf

 
Vint Cerf

How to Fire Up U.S. Innovation How to Fire Up U.S. Innovation

Innovation has many moving parts and all of which have to mesh properly to run smoothly. Just as technology doesn"t transfer on its own, it is the people who have the knowledge in their heads that do the transferring. Factors such as freedom to pursue ideas, the freedom to fail, and the freedom of access to information in the broadest sense are what facilitates innovation and allows it to flourish. Despite our well-developed college and post-college system, America simply is not producing enough of our own innovators.

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How Can We Encourage the Engineers of Tomorrow? by Vint Cerf on Forbes.com

Vinton G. Cerf is an IEEE Fellow and vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google. In this role, he is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies to support the development of advanced Internet-based products and services from Google. He is also an active public face for Google in the Internet world.

Cerf is the former senior vice president of Technology Strategy for MCI. In this role, he helped to guide corporate strategy development from a technical perspective. Prior to rejoining MCI in 1994, Cerf was vice president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). As vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982-1986, he led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet.

Widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. In December 1997, President Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and his colleague, Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet. Kahn and Cerf were named the recipients of the ACM Alan M. Turing award, sometimes called the “Nobel Prize of Computer Science,” in 2004 for their work on the Internet protocols. In November 2005, President George Bush awarded Cerf and Kahn the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their work. The medal is the highest civilian award given by the United States to its citizens.

During his tenure with the U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Cerf played a key role leading the development of Internet and Internet-related packet data and security technologies.

Cerf serves as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). In addition to his work with IEEE, Cerf is a a member of ACM, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum and the National Academy of Engineering.

Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet. These include the Marconi Fellowship, Charles Stark Draper award of the National Academy of Engineering, the Prince of Asturias award for science and technology, the National Medal of Science from Tunisia, the Alexander Graham Bell Award presented by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, the NEC Computer and Communications Prize, the Silver Medal of the International Telecommunications Union, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Award, the ACM Software and Systems Award, the ACM SIGCOMM Award, the Computer and Communications Industries Association Industry Legend Award, installation in the Inventors Hall of Fame, the Yuri Rubinsky Web Award, the Kilby Award , the Yankee Group/Interop/Network World Lifetime Achievement Award, the George R. Stibitz Award, the Werner Wolter Award, the Andrew Saks Engineering Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the Computerworld/Smithsonian Leadership Award, the J.D. Edwards Leadership Award for Collaboration, World Institute on Disability Annual award and the Library of Congress Bicentennial Living Legend medal.

In December 1994, People magazine identified Cerf as one of that year”s “25 Most Intriguing People.” He is also a distinguished visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he is working on the design of an interplanetary Internet.

Cerf holds a bachelor of science degree in Mathematics from Stanford University and master of science and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UCLA. He also holds honorary doctorate degrees from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich; Lulea University of Technology, Sweden; University of the Balearic Islands, Palma; Capitol College, Maryland; Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania; George Mason University, Virginia; Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona, Spain; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York; the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands; Brooklyn Polytechnic; and the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.