5 Questions for ‘The Father of the Internet’: Vinton G. Cerf

The “father of the internet” is coming to the University of Virginia on Wednesday.

Vinton G. Cerf’s long career has earned him many accolades, including a U.S. National Medal of Technology awarded by President Bill Clinton, but that moniker might be the most impressive.

In 1973, Cerf and his colleague, Robert E. Kahn, invented the two key communication protocols – Transmission Control Protocol and the Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP – that connect computer systems to the internet and developed the fundamental architecture of the internet.

Cerf has continued to lead the development of internet-based technology and today is vice president and chief internet evangelist for Google, where he identifies emerging technologies that could support new internet-based products and services.

He will speak at UVA’s School of Engineering on Wednesday during the National Academy of Engineering Regional Meeting and Symposium, hosted at UVA. The symposium, which is open to the public with registration required, will focus on cyber-physical systems as “the defining technologies of the 21st century,” and will include speakers with expertise in cybersecurity, smart cities, smart health and autonomous systems, all areas of focus for the Engineering School and its new Link Lab for cyber-physical systems research. See a full schedule here.

We spoke with Cerf before the event to learn more about how he sees the future of the internet and what he is focused on now, decades after he helped create it.

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