University of Southern California

ISI Names Dr. Paul Mockapetris Visiting Scholar

March 27, 2003

Internet pioneer Paul Mockapetris, chief scientist of IP address infrastructure software provider Nominum, has been appointed Visiting Scholar by the Postel Center for Experimental Networking (PCEN), PCEN director Joseph D. Touch announced March 31.

The Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California (USC-ISI) established the center to memorialize the life-long accomplishments of Internet pioneer Jonathan B. Postel and to encourage visionary research in networking and communications for the Internet community. Dr. Mockapetris will focus on experiments involving future technologies using the Domain Name System (DNS).

The advisory board for PCEN elected Mockapetris based on collaborative work with the late Dr. Postel on the 1983 invention of DNS. Twenty years after its invention, DNS is an essential component of the Internet infrastructure. All Internet users depend on DNS every time they access a web URL or send an email message, because the system translates words into the numbers needed to locate Internet resources. The whole structure of the Internet and the vast volume of commerce it now carries rest on the DNS protocol invented by Mockapetris and the architecture created by Postel.

"Paul is recognized as a pioneer who through dedication and commitment has contributed to the Internet community for over 20 years," said Dr. Touch "This level of commitment is the basis for the Postel Center, where industry thought leaders are able to pursue long-term visionary projects with Fellowship Students from the university."

Mockapetris joined ISI in 1978, and while there developed the first SMTP email server. He held a number of positions at ISI, including director of the high performance computing and communications division. It was at ISI, in 1983, that the DNS was invented. By 1986, Mockapetris' initial implementation of DNS was running on all of the Internet's root name servers.

In 1995, Mockapetris left academia to become employee number two at @Home, where his efforts helped to bring broadband Internet to the home via cable modem. Mockapetris' decision to join Nominum in 1999 marked his renewed focus on DNS and IP addressing and the potential it holds for the future of the Internet.

A member of the IEEE and the Association for Computing Machinery, Mockapetris has served as chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Research Working Group of the U.S. Federal Networking Council. He held the position of program manager for networking at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense, the organization that funded the creation of the Internet. Mockapetris also served on the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). His honors include the Distinguished Alumnus award from University of California at Irvine and the 2003 IEEE Internet Award.

Mockapetris received his bachelor's degrees in physics and electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his doctorate in information and computer science from the University of California at Irvine.

Nominum is a pioneering provider of IP address infrastructure software for enterprises that require reliable and secure DNS, DHCP and IP address management for their mission critical networks under the slogan "Nominum is driving the future of IP addressing."

The Postel Center for Experimental Networking was established in April 2000 to memorialize the late Jonathan Postel for years of life-long accomplishments and industry contributions. Postel was at the forefront of many technologies developed over twenty years ago that todayís Internet relies upon. A think tank for experienced scientists, educators and students, the Postel Center is dedicated to providing a place for long-term network research projects and is funded by an endowment seeded by Cisco Corporation and other donors.