I often think back to my life before I started using the Internet. Well basically I had a life. But once I sat down at a Sun workstation at the University of Texas in 1988, I was completely hooked. And I’ve been addicted ever since.
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I had a life‐changing moment in 1984 that finally got my students excited about learning. Apple launched a program called Kids Can’t Wait and gave every school in California a computer. Unfortunately the computer did not come with software.
Back in 1989 when I was a student at McGill University I developed what became the first Internet search engine. So the predecessor to Google and Bing and all of those things.
If you talk with people worried about the evolution of technology one of the things they often comment about is that in many cases the future is quite clear. You can see it coming, but you don’t know how far away it is.
When I first learned about being named for this award, I listened to the acceptance speeches of prior awardees and I noticed the central theme was “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.” And in fact I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
One of our earliest commercial customers was a small startup named Qualcomm. And we made some bold choices like purchasing equipment from another small startup named Cisco and provided them with a big boost. We were 10% of their gross revenue for 1988, and they didn’t know how to fulfill our order.
I’m very happy that I could participate in this ceremony today for my father. To be honest, I grew up without knowing much of his work. But this time I could know that there are many people who highly regarded his work and loved his character.
I stand here as a representative of number of groups of colleagues. The work that was described was a part of what I did as part of the Indian academic network project called the Education & Research Network, ERNET, funded by the government of India and supported by the United Nations Development Programme.
I would like to thank the ISOC for honoring my late husband Rolf Nordhagen. Participating in the history of the Internet, he would have been so proud to be recognized in this way.
I would like to say that I was born knowing I was going to be designing protocols. But in fact, if I’d known more about computers when I was young, I would have said I would be happy doing pretty much anything as long as it didn’t involve computers.