‘Mother of Internet’ Radia Perlman ’73, SM ’76, PhD ’88 receives IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award

Radia Perlman ’73, SM ’76, PhD ’88 (Mathematics, EECS), received the IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award “for contributions to Internet routing and bridging protocols.”

Currently a Dell EMC  Fellow, she is best known for her invention of the algorithm behind STP, the Spanning Tree Protocol, which solved a challenging information routing problem and earned her the moniker “Mother of the Internet.” She is a member of the Internet Hall of Fame, and is widely considered to be one of the pioneers behind the networking revolution.

She graduated from MIT with an SB degree in 1973 and an SM in 1976, both in mathematics. She later earned her PhD in computer science from MIT in 1988, advised by CSAIL’s David D. Clark, with her doctoral thesis on routing in environments where malicious network failures are present — which serves as the basis for much of the work that now exists in this area. She also worked at Digital, Novell, Sun Microsystems, and Bolt, Berenek, and Newman (BBN), and has over 100 patents so far. 

BTW: Interesting items to read about Radia: