David J. “Dave” Farber is a professor of computer science, noted for his major contributions to programming languages and computer networking. He is currently Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy at the School of Computer Science, Heinz College, and Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.
Dr. Farber graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology in 1956 and began an 11-year career at Bell Laboratories, where he helped design the first electronic switching system (ESS-1) and the SNOBOL programming languages. He subsequently held industry positions at the Rand Corporation and Scientific Data Systems, followed by academic positions at the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Delaware.
At Irvine his research work was focused on creating the world’s first operational distributed computer system. While a member of the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Delaware, he helped conceive and organize the major American research networks CSNET, NSFNet, and the National Research and Education Network (NREN). He helped create the NSF/DARPA-funded Gigabit Network Test bed Initiative and served as the Chairman of the Gigabit Test bed Coordinating Committee.
Dr. Farber subsequently was appointed Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Telecommunication Systems at theUniversity of Pennsylvania where he also held appointments as Professor of Business and Public Policy at theWharton School of Business and as a Faculty Associate of the Annenberg School for Communication. He served as Chief Technologist at the US Federal Communications Commission (2000–2001) while on leave from the university.