Dertouzos Distinguished Lecture: Connectivity, Dr. Robert M. Metcalfe

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Virtual Event

The Internet is 52+ years old. It has by now suddenly reached two thirds of the human race. It has moved us considerably toward our goals of freedom and prosperity. And when COVID hit, the Internet was ready. Zoom! And yet we are overwhelmed by all the connectivity the Internet is delivering. For example, fake news. It’s time to treat CONNECTIVITY as a thing, with its own science, engineering, dimensions, disruptions, and … pathologies. I will try this by telling you stories from the evolution of the Internet, invention of Ethernet, founding of 3Com Corporation, and Metcalfe’s Law (V~N^2).

Dr. Robert M. Metcalfe has for the last 11 years been Professor of Innovation in the Cockrell School of Engineering and Professor of Entrepreneurship in the McCombs School of Business, at The University of Texas at Austin. Last month he retired from UTAustin to start his sixth career, TBD.

Metcalfe was an Internet pioneer beginning 1970 at MIT, Harvard, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Stanford, and 3Com. He invented Ethernet at Xerox Parc on May 22, 1973. Today Ethernet is the Internet’s standard plumbing. It now adds, especially if we count Wireless Ethernet (Wi-Fi), billions of standard Internet ports per year. Metcalfe has won the Bell, Hopper, Japan C&C, Marconi, McCluskey, Shannon and Stibitz Prizes. He is a Life Trustee Emeritus of MIT and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Metcalfe received the IEEE Medal of Honor in 1996 and the National Medal of Technology in 2005, both for his leadership in the invention, standardization and commercialization of Ethernet.

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Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
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