Well, my involve­ment with net­works start­ed in the late 70s. In fact, 1977 I was hap­pi­ly prov­ing the­o­rems in com­pu­ta­tion­al com­plex­i­ty, Petri nets, and at that point I’d learned about email and I learned about the ARPANET and real­ized for the first time that there was a real-world part of com­put­er sci­ence, and not just prov­ing the­o­rems. And so I end­ed up tak­ing a sab­bat­i­cal, going to Berkeley, spend­ing a year learn­ing about net­work­ing, and putting togeth­er a group that even­tu­al­ly pro­posed CSNET. And thanks to help from Vint and Bob and others—well, Vint and Bob par­tic­u­lar­ly, we were able to get fund­ing from the NSFNET and put togeth­er a com­mu­ni­ty net­work for US com­put­er research groups. And it was amaz­ing because there was a thirst for this resource. And we talked to many peo­ple. Everybody want­ed to be involved, and with­in a cou­ple of years we had two hun­dred uni­ver­si­ties involved.

Now, the oth­er thing that hap­pened in the 80s was the same phe­nom­e­non that was hap­pen­ing all over the world. And it was real­ly excit­ing. There were peo­ple in this room who were start­ing to plan and build net­works in oth­er coun­tries oth­er than the United States. And what was amaz­ing was the abil­i­ty to get these peo­ple togeth­er, and every­body was very inter­est­ed in coop­er­at­ing and col­lab­o­rat­ing. And as a result of that, an entire com­mu­ni­ty, an inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty, devel­oped. And that for me was even as excit­ing as what we were doing in the US.

Later, this mor­phed into INET, and again work­ing with Vint and Bob, we moved some of the col­lab­o­ra­tion and coop­er­a­tion to the INET con­fer­ences. And again, every­thing has been excit­ing. So I’ve spent thir­ty years work­ing in this field, and my hope is that med­ical sci­ence will make it pos­si­ble for me to spend anoth­er thir­ty years. You know, I expect to need some num­ber of body parts in that time. Anyway. But it’s been an incred­i­bly excit­ing odyssey for me. I’d like to thank the Internet Society for this hon­or. And I also, hav­ing been involved with the Internet Society in the past, am incred­i­bly impressed with the sup­port for the Internet and what the orga­ni­za­tion has accom­plished in recent years. So again, thank you, and I look for­ward to con­tin­ue work­ing with many of you in the audience. 

Further Reference

There is also a longer profile of Lawrence Landweber that was done for the 2012 event.


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