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Internet Pioneer Vint Cerf to Give Jan. 27 CS Distinguished Lecture

January 12, 2016


Vint Cerf

Vinton G. Cerf, who is vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google and widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," will give a Computing Sciences Distinguished Lecture on "Safety, Security and Privacy in the Internet of Things," at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. Cerf, who is a member of the ESnet Policy Board, contributes to global policy development and continued spread of the Internet. Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He has served in executive positions at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and on the faculty of Stanford University.

For his talk at Berkeley Lab, Cerf provided this abstract: "We are surrounded by an increasing number of Internet-enabled devices. They measure, control and carry out tasks on our behalf. But they are software artifacts and subject to mistakes - leading to risks of penetration, abuse and re-purposing. Think '100,000 refrigerators take over Bank of America!' It is incumbent on software and systems design engineers to think through these seriously negative scenarios to defend these devices and their users from harm. I have more questions than answers but I hope a discussion will produce some new insights. Strong authentication and cryptography may help to solve some of these problems but have their own implementation challenges. The general public has a role to play with regard to achieving access control, for example."

Cerf served as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from 2000-2007 and has been a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1998. Cerf served as founding president of the Internet Society (ISOC) from 1992-1995. Cerf is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum, the British Computer Society, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He currently serves as Past President of the Association for Computing Machinery, chairman of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and completed a term as Chairman of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology for the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. President Obama appointed him to the National Science Board in 2012.

Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet, including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, U.S. National Medal of Technology, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the Prince of Asturias Award, the Tunisian National Medal of Science, the Japan Prize, the Charles Stark Draper award, the ACM Turing Award, Officer of the Legion d’Honneur and 25 honorary degrees. In December 1994, People magazine identified Cerf as one of that year's  "25 Most Intriguing People."

His personal interests include fine wine, gourmet cooking and science fiction. Cerf and his wife, Sigrid, were married in 1966 and have two sons, David and Bennett. 


About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

High performance computing plays a critical role in scientific discovery, and researchers increasingly rely on advances in computer science, mathematics, computational science, data science, and large-scale computing and networking to increase our understanding of ourselves, our planet, and our universe. Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences Area researches, develops, and deploys new foundations, tools, and technologies to meet these needs and to advance research across a broad range of scientific disciplines.

Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

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