ISI Veterans Win Highest Internet Society Honor

November 13, 2006

ISI Fellow Bob Braden and his longtime colleague Joyce K. Reynolds are this year's recipients of the Internet Society's prestigeous Postel Award, the society announced November 12.

The award was presented "for their stewardship of the RFC (Request for Comments) series that enabled countless others to contribute to the development of the Internet". The presentation was made by Internet pioneer Steve Crocker (a member of this year's Postel award committee and author of the very first RFC) during the 67th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in San Diego.

The award is named after Dr. Jonathan B. Postel to commemorate his extraordinary stewardship exercised over the course of a thirty year career in networking, spent entirely at the USC Information Sciences Institute.

Between 1971 and 1998, Postel managed, nurtured and transformed the RFC series of notes created by Steve Crocker in 1969. Postel was a founding member of the Internet Architecture Board and the first individual member of the Internet Society, where he also served as a trustee.

"It is a pleasure and an honor for the Internet Society to recognize the contribution of Bob and Joyce to the evolution of the Internet," said Crocker. "Since its humble beginnings, the RFC series has developed into a set of documents widely acknowledged and respected as a cornerstone of the Internet standards process. Bob and Joyce have participated in this evolution for a very long time and have been primarily responsible for ensuring the quality and consistency of the RFCs since Jon's death in 1998."

Joyce K. Reynolds (left) worked closely with Postel, and together with Bob Braden she was co-leader of the RFC Editor function at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute (ISI) 1998 to 2006. In this role she performed the final quality control function on most RFC publications.

Reynolds has also been a member of the IETF since 1988, and she organized and led the User Services area of the IETF from 1988 to 1998. In her User Services role, she was an international keynote speaker and panelist in over 90 conferences around the world, spreading the word on the Internet.

Bob Braden (right), who has more than 50 years of experience in the computing field, joined the networking research group at ISI in 1986. Since then, he has been supported by NSF for research concerning NSFnet and the DETER security testbed, and by DARPA for protocol research. Braden came to ISI from UCLA, where he had technical responsibility for attaching the first supercomputer (IBM 360/91) to the ARPAnet, beginning in 1970.

Braden was active in the ARPAnet Network Working Group, contributing to the design of the FTP protocol in particular. He also edited the Host Requirements RFCs and co-chaired the RSVP working group.

In 2001, Braden became an ISI Fellow, the Institute's highest internal award.

The Jonathan B. Postel Service Award was established by the Internet Society to honor those who, like Postel, have made outstanding contributions in service to the data communications community. The award is focused on sustained and substantial technical contributions, service to the community, and leadership.

With respect to leadership, the nominating committee places particular emphasis on candidates who have supported and enabled others in addition to their own specific actions.

Previous recipients of the Postel Award include Jon himself (posthumously and accepted by his mother), Scott Bradner, Daniel Karrenberg, Stephen Wolff, Peter Kirstein, Phill Gross and Jun Murai. The award consists of an engraved crystal globe and $20,000.