Cerf, Kahn Win Turing Award For TCP/IP

Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn have won 2004's Turing Award for devising TCP/IP, the basic protocol behind the Internet.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

February 17, 2005

1 Min Read

Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn won 2004's Turing Award for coming up with TCP/IP, the basic protocol behind the Internet, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) announced Wednesday.

Named for British mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing -- who worked during World War II breaking the German Enigma ciphers -- comes with a $100,000 prize and is considered the Nobel Prize of computing.

In the early 1970s, Cerf, now 61, and Kahn, 66, worked together in a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now called DARPA) project to connect independent networks. Their work led them to introduce the notion of an IP (Internet Protocol) address, and later, to the creation of TCP (Transmission-Control Protocol) for routing data packets. From there, they and others produced TCP/IP.

"Their work has enabled the many applications on the Internet that we rely on today, including e-mail, the World Wide Web, instant messaging, peer-to-peer transfers, and a wide range of collaboration and conferencing tools," said ACM president David Patterson in a statement.

Last year's winner of the Turing was Alan Kay, who created the Smalltalk object-oriented programming language while he was working at Xerox's famed Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Today's object-oriented languages, such as C++ and Java, trace their roots to Smalltalk.

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