• unknown (b.)

Bio/Description

An Irish physicist, academic, Internet pioneer, and venture capitalist. In 1985-1986 he was responsible for three critical decisions that shaped the subsequent development of NSFNET, the network that became the Internet. He holds a 1st Class Honors Physics BSc degree (1967) and a Ph.D. degree (1972) obtained for a search for high-energy gamma radiation from pulsars (neutron stars), both from University College Dublin. He was the Director of Computing Services at the University College Dublin from 1977 to 1999, where he was responsible for the university IT infrastructure and a staff of over 90 people. In 1986, while on leave from UCD he was interim President of the Consortium for Scientific Computing at the John von Neumann Centre (JvNC) in Princeton, New Jersey, responsible for the start-up of the supercomputer centre. He is currently (2012) Chairman of the Oversight Board of the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC). In 1984, the National Science Foundation (NSF) began construction of several regional supercomputing centers to provide very high-speed computing resources for the US research community. In 1985 he was hired by NSF as its first Program Director for Networking to lead the establishment of the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) to provide access to the five NSF super-computing centers and to enable sharing of resources and information. He made three critical decisions that shaped the subsequent development of NSFNET: that it would be a general-purpose research network, not limited to connection of the supercomputers; it would act as the backbone for connection of regional networks at each supercomputing site; and it would use the ARPANET's TCP/IP protocols. He was also actively involved in the start-up of research networks in Europe (European Academic Research Network, EARN - President; EBONE - Board member) and Ireland (HEAnet - initial proposal and later Board member). He chaired the Board and General Assembly of the Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries (CENTR) from 1999 to early 2001 and was actively involved in the start-up of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). He was a member of the ICANN Board from 2007 to 2010, serving as Vice-Chair in 2009-2010. He is the co-founder of 4th Level Ventures (2002 to 2011) - an Irish Venture Capital company whose primary objective is to invest in companies commercializing the business opportunities that arise from university research in Ireland. He is also an Angel investor, investing in early stage technology companies. He is currently chairman and/or board member of a several small technology companies, and has a wide experience of the issues relating to the start-up, funding, supervision and governance, and survival of early stage technology companies. He is an opera and classical music enthusiast and is the chairman of the UCD Choral Scholars Board of Management. Among the publications he has authored or co-authored are: With W. F. C. Purser "The Design of a Real-Time Operating System for a Minicomputer, Part 1", Software Practice and Experience, Vol 5 No. 2 (1975), pp. 147–167; With Lawrence H,. Landweber, Ira H. Fuchs, David J. Farber, and W. Richards Adrion, "Computer Networking for Scientists", Science, Vol. 231 No. 4741 (28 February 1986), pp. 943–950; With L. H. Landweber and I. Fuchs "Research computer networks and their interconnection", IEEE Communications Magazine, Vol. 24, no. 6 (1986), pp. 5–17; and “Information Technologies in Support of Research”, Higher Education Management, v2 n3 (1990), pp. 310–18.
  • Gender:

    Male
  • Noted For:

    Responsible for three critical decisions that shaped the subsequent development of NSFNET, the network that became the Internet
  • Category of Achievement:

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