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SIGCOMM Award Winner

Alexander G. (Sandy) Fraser
Chief Scientist, AT&T

Alexander G. Fraser, commonly known as Sandy, is AT&T Chief Scientist and a member of AT&T Labs Research. Prior to October 1998 he was vice president - Research for AT&T. He founded the AT&T Labs Research organization when, in 1996, AT&T split off its equipment manufacturing business as Lucent Technologies. AT&T Labs Research employs about 400 staff researchers and annually employs about 80 student and faculty visitors. The research program has a strong emphasis on communication systems and the information sciences.

Fraser joined AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1969, when he left his native England. He invented the Datakit® Virtual Circuit Switch and the Spider ring network, both of which are cell-based networks that anticipated the development of ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) networking. He created the UNIX® Circuit Design Aids System, which automatically produced wire-wrap circuit boards from schematic circuit diagrams. With S.C. Johnson he developed a technique for computer instruction set optimization using a portable compiler, which led to the design of a reduced instruction set machine. With W.T. Marshall and G.G. Riddle, he invented the Universal Receiver Protocol. With C.R. Kalmanek and R.C. Restrick, he created INCON, a cell-based network designed for use in the home. In 1982 he became director of the Computing Science Research Center and five years later was executive director responsible for information sciences, including mathematics, signal processing, computing, and software production. In 1994 Fraser became associate vice president - Information Sciences Research, where he focused on research initiatives that promise new business directions for AT&T including electronic commerce for digital audio, billing, broadband access, and home networks.

Before joining Bell Labs, Fraser was assistant director of research at Cambridge University, where he wrote the file system for the Atlas 2 computer, England's first time-sharing system, and developed file backup and privacy mechanisms for that system. His earlier work included a language and compiler for commercial data processing on the Ferranti Orion computer.

Fraser has a B.Sc. degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Bristol University and a Ph.D. degree in Computing Science from Cambridge University. He is an IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Fellow, a member of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), and was a Fellow and council member of the British Computer Society. He has served on various committees for these societies and for the National Research Council.

Fraser received the 1989 Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award, "for contributions to computer communications and the invention of virtual-circuit switching." In 1992 he was recognized with the Sigcomm Award for outstanding technical achievements in the fields of data- and computer communications. He has served on advisory boards for Columbia University, Rutgers University, and the University of Texas. He has 12 patents and 30 publications.