Scientists & Inventors
Internet Pioneers

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1945: Vannevar Bush (1890 - 1974), American computer engineer: Introduced the theoretical hypertext concept by suggesting a theoretical machine he called a memex which worked as a memory bank to organize and retrieve data.

1948: Claude Shannon (1916 - 2001), American mathematician and electronic engineer: considered by many as father of modern information theory: His paper A Mathematical Theory of Communication dealt with the design of communication channels to carry the maximum amount of reliable information by correction of disturbances caused by line distortions and noise.

1960: Paul Baran (1926–2011), Polish- American engineer: Distributed networking. A distributed network does not have a centralized switch. Each node of terminals is connected to neighboring nodes in a lattice-like configuration. Therefore, each node would have several possible routes to send data. If a route does not function because of enemy attack or for any other reason, another path is available. Baran also suggested the packet switching idea: the dividing of a message into blocks of information (packets) before they are sent individually across the net and then reconstructed again into the original message at the destination point. Very useful in saving bandwidth since is possible to use lines when they are not used like a pause in a phone conversation.

1962: Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider (1915 - 1990), American computer scientist: created the idea of a universal network; envisioned easy user interfaces, graphical computing, digital libraries, e-commerce, online banking, and software that would exist on a network and migrate to wherever it was needed. Licklider's ideas lead to the ARPANET, the direct predecessor to the Internet (see below).

1962: Leonard Kleinrock (1934 - ), American engineer and computer scientist: developed Queuing Theory (how to route information more effectively by using priorities in order to prevent delays and congestions), which is instrumental to packet switching (see above) - the basic technology behind the Internet.

1963: Douglas Engelbart (1925 - ), American internet pioneer: the first successful implementation of hypertext.

1965: Ted Nelson (1937 - ), American pioneer of information technology: coined the terms hypertext and hypermedia.

1966: Robert Taylor (1932 - ), American Internet pioneer: head of DARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO): decided to realize Licklider's ideas (see above) of an universal networking system by which DARPA should link the existing computers at DARPA-funded research institutions together. This would allow everybody on the network to share computing resources. As a result, the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), the world's first operational packet switching network and the precursor of the Internet, was launched in 1969 connecting four universities.

1967: Larry Roberts (1937 - ), American computer scientist: Was appointed by Robert Taylor (see above) to manage the DARPA networking project (ARPANET). He suggested to connect all DARPA-sponsored computers directly over dial-up telephone lines. Networking functions would be handled by "host" computers at each site.

1968: Donald Davies (1924 - 2000), Welsh computer scientist: was one of the inventors (together with Paul Baran, see above) of packet switching computer networking, and coined the term.

1969 - 1998: Jonathan Postel (1943 - 1998), American computer scientist: was the Editor of the Request for Comment (RFC) document series (memorandums published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) describing methods, research, or innovations applicable to the working of the Internet which had begun in 1969 as part of the ARPANET project). Postel served also as the first director of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

1971: Raymond Tomlinson ( 1941 - ), Duch-American programmer: implemented the first email system on the ARPANET (internet based email). Previously, mail could be sent only to others who used the same computer. For this reason he used the @ sign, to separate the user from their machine, which has been used in email addresses ever since.

1971: Abhay Bhushan ( 1944 -), Indian computer scientist: wrote the specification for the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), used to transfer files from one host (computer) to another over the Internet. FTP was invented, before TCP/IP were introduced, for earlier network protocols.

1972: Louis Pouzin (born 1931), French computer scientist: designed an early packet communications network CYCLADES using datagrams (a basic packet-switched network unit). His work and concepts were broadly used by Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, and others in the development of TCP/IP protocols (see below).

1973: Peter Kirstein (1933 - ), British computer scientist: established one of the first two international nodes of the ARPANET at the University College London.

1973: Robert (Bob) Metcalfe (1946 - ), American electrical engineer: co-invented Ethernet - computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs).

1974: Robert Elliot Kahn (1938 - ) and Vinton Cerf (1943 -) invented the TCP/IP, the fundamental communication protocols at the heart of the Internet. Those protocols solved compatibility issues between different networks.

1976: Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, American cryptologists: invented the Diffie–Hellman key exchange (D–H), instrumental in securing Internet Protocol communications.

1983: Paul Mockapetris: proposed the Domain Name System (DNS) architecture. A DNS translates domain names meaningful to humans ( into the numerical identifiers ( associated with networking equipment for the purpose of locating and addressing these devices worldwide.

1989: Tim Berners-Lee (1955 - ), British computer scientist: the inventor of the World Wide Web (WWW) - a system of interlinked hypertext documents (text, images, videos) accessed via the Internet with a web browser.

1992: Marc Andreesen (1971 - ) and Eric Bina (1964 - ) invented Mosaic, the first widely-used web browser, and co-founders of Netscape Communications Corporation.

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