Richard L. Adams, Jr. is the founder of UUnet Technologies, the first commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP) and one of the largest Internet traffic carriers in the world in the 1990s. Among other things, Adams’ accomplishments at the helm of UUnet include the invention of Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP), technology that allows personal computers to connect to the Internet via modems. In the early 1980s, 3Com’s UNET Unix system could exchange TCP/IP traffic over serial lines. In 1984 Adams implemented this system on Berkeley Unix 4.2 and dubbed it SLIP. The SLIP protocol was documented in RFC 1055 The SLIP protocol was superseded in the early 1990s, by the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), which is still in use.
Rick Adams founded a nonprofit telecommunications company, UUNET Communications Service, to reduce the cost of mail and Usenet traffic sent by UUCP. (UUNET was founded with a $50,000 loan from the USENIX Association, which was subsequently repaid.) UUNET became an official gateway between UUCP mail and Internet email, as well as between North America and Europe. It hosted many related services, such as Internet FTP access for its UUCP clients and the comp.sources.unix archives.
Adams spun out a for-profit company, UUNET Technologies, which was the first ISP in the United States. The for-profit company bought the assets of the nonprofit, repaying it with a share of the profits over the years. The nonprofit has spent that money for many UNIX-related charitable causes over the years, such as supporting the Internet Software Consortium. The for-profit ISP became a multi-billion-dollar company and made an initial public offering in 1995. It was acquired by MFS (Metropolitan Fiber Systems, a wide-area optical-networking company), in 1996, which was subsequently acquired by Worldcom, which rose to challenge the largest telecommunications companies in America.
Adams co-authored the O’Reilly book !%@:: A Directory of Electronic Mail Addressing & Networks with his wife Donnalyn Frey. He is also co-author of RFC 1036, the Standard for Interchange of USENET Messages.
He obtained a master’s degree in computer science from Purdue University.
David J. Farber
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.
Stephen Wolff is one of the many fathers of the Internet. He is mainly credited with turning the Internet from a government project into something that proved to have scholarly and commercial interest for the rest of the world. Dr. Wolff realized before most the potential in the Internet and began selling the idea that the Internet could have a profound effect on both the commercial and academic world.
For fourteen years, Wolff worked as a communications and technology researcher for the United States Army. While working for the Army, Wolff introduced the UNIX operating system to Army labs in the early 1980s. Also while working for the Army, Wolff managed a research group that participated in the development of ARPANET, a major technology precursor to the Internet.
In 1986, Wolff became Division Director for Networking and Communications Research and Infrastructure at the National Science Foundation where he managed theNSFNET project which included a national backbone network in the U.S. that interconnected NSF sponsored supercomputing centers, regional research and education networks, federal agency networks, and international research and education networks. The five super computing centers were located at Princeton, Cornell, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Pittsburgh. Wolff also managed grants to link the nation’s universities together into regional networks that connected to the backbone and so provided universal connectivity to the academic community. The NSFNET was compatible with, interconnected to, and eventually replaced the ARPANET network.
In 1994, Wolff left NSF and joined Cisco where he helped with projects such as Internet2 and the Abilene Network. Wolff’s career at Cisco began as business development manager for the Academic Research and Technology Initiative program. There Wolff helped advance the University Research Project (URP) which supports academic research candidates with grants to further networking technology. He was named the interim Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Internet2 on March 31, 2011.
Fred Baker is currently a Cisco Systems representative for BITAG. He joined Cisco in 1994. Working at Cisco, his main areas of interest are related to the improvement of quality of service, routing development, and other issues related to Internet governance. Fred is a prior Chairman of IETF and ISOC.
Baker attended the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology from 1970 to 1973. He developed computer network technology starting in 1978 at Control Data Corporation (CDC), Vitalink Communications Corporation, and Advanced Computer Communications. He joined Cisco Systems in 1994. He became a Cisco Fellow in 1998, working in university relations and as a research ambassador, and in the IETF.
Since 1989, Baker has been involved with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the body that develops standards for the Internet. He chaired a number of IETF working groups, including several that specified the management information bases (MIB) used to manage network bridges and popular telecommunications links. Baker served as IETF chair from 1996 to 2001, when he was succeeded by Harald Tveit Alvestrand. He served on the Internet Architecture Board from 1996 through 2002. He has co-authored or edited around 50 Request for Comments (RFC) documents on Internet protocols and contributed to others. The subjects covered include network management, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) and Routing Information Protocol (RIPv2) routing, quality of service (using both the Integrated services and Differentiated Services models), Lawful Interception, precedence-based services on the Internet, and others.
In addition, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society 2002 through 2008, and as its chair from 2002 through 2006. He was a member of the Technical Advisory Council of the US Federal Communications Commission from 2005 through 2009. He has worked as liaison to other standards organizations such as the ITU-T. In 2009 he became chair of the RFC Series Oversight Committee.
As of 2005 he co-chaired the IPv6 Operations Working Group in the IETF, represents IETF on the National Institute of Standards and Technology Smart Grid Smart Grid Interoperability Panel and Architecture Committee (until 2013), and is Cisco’s representative to a Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group. Baker also has several patents.