SIGCOMM Award Winner
Robert E. Kahn
Robert received his B.E.E. from the City College of New York in 1960. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University in 1962 and 1964 respectively.
He worked on the Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories and then became an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT. He took a leave of absence from MIT to join Bolt Beranek and Newman, where he was responsible for the system design of the Arpanet, the first packet-switched network.
In 1972 he moved to DARPA and subsequently became Director of DARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO). While Director of IPTO he initiated the United States government's billion dollar Strategic Computing Program, the largest computer research and development program ever undertaken by the federal government. Dr. Kahn conceived the idea of open-architecture networking. He is a co-inventor of the TCP/IP protocols and was responsible for originating DARPA's Internet Program which he led for the first three years. Dr. Kahn also coined the term National Information Infrastructure (NII) in the mid 1980s which later became more widely known as the Information Super Highway.
In his recent work, Dr. Kahn has been developing the concept of a digital object infrastructure as a key middleware component of the NII. This notion is providing a framework for interoperability of heterogeneous information systems and is being used in several applications such as the electronic copyright registration system at the Library of Congress and its National Digital Library Program. He is a co-inventor of Knowbot programs, mobile software agents in the network environment.
Dr. Kahn is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a former member of its Computer Science and Technology Board, a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of AAAI, and a former member of both the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine and the Presidents Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure. He is a recipient of the AFIPS Harry Goode Memorial Award, the Marconi Award, the ACM SIGCOMM Award, the President's Award from ACM, the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computer and Communications Award, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the ACM Software Systems Award, the Computerworld/Smithsonian Award, the ASIS Special Award and the Public Service Award from the Computing Research Board. He was twice the recipient of the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and most recently a recipient of the 1997 National Medal of Technology awarded by President Clinton on December 16, 1997.