An Internet Pioneer

The Father of the Internet continues to guide its development.

Vinton Cerf is widely credited as one of the "fathers of the Internet" due to his collaboration with Robert Kahn and their development of TCP/IP protocols. In this article by Allie Bidwell for the National Science & Technology Medals Foundation, Dr. Cerf's role in the early days of the Internet is discussed, as well as his current efforts to establish plans for the Internet's ongoing growth.

Now working with Google as their Chief Internet Evangelist, Dr. Cerf discusses the things he might have done differently back in the early days. He also talks about unanticipated problems such as how obsolete technology affects the way data is retained and digital information is preserved, concerns about the way information sharing is handled, and the speed in which misinformation and malware is spread.

Supporting Web Links 
Discussion Questions/Activities
  1.  As a class, watch a portion (or all) of one of the two videos with Dr. Vinton Cerf. Both of these videos can be found in the Supporting Web Links section (note, one video is approximately 22 minutes in length, the other is over an hour long). Discuss the comments he makes and the impact he has had on the Internet as we know it.
  2. Divide the class into small groups. Each group should select and research a different Internet pioneer. Students may choose to research Robert Kahn, Robert Taylor, Tim Berners-Lee, Marc Andreessen, or any other notable individual of their choice. Groups should create a presentation sharing their findings with the class. 
  3. As an individual project, ask students to investigate one of the items Cerf would have done differently or one of the areas he is currently working on. Students should research this area or issue and write a brief report explaining their findings.

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