Topol lecturer to examine Internet issues

Vinton G. Cerf, senior vice president of technology strategy at MCI, will present the annual Sidney Topol Distinguished Lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. in the ECSC-II (ELab-II) Lecture Hall. Cerf will discuss “Convergence and Control in an Internet World.”

The lecture series was established by Sidney Topol, Class of 1947, a telecommunications pioneer who helped forge the cable-satellite connection that triggered the growth of cable television in the U.S.

In his role as senior vice president of technology strategy, Cerf is responsible for helping to guide corporate strategy development from the technical perspective. Widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet.

In December 1997, President Clinton presented the National Medal of Technology to Cerf and his partner, Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet.

Prior to rejoining MCI in 1994, Cerf was vice president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). As vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982-1986, he led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial e-mail service to be connected to the Internet.

During his tenure from 1976-1982 with the U.S. Department of Defense''s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Cerf played a key role leading the development of Internet and Internet-related data packet and security technologies.

Cerf serves as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Cerf served as founding president of the Internet Society from 1992-1995 and in 1999 served a term as chairman of the board. In addition, Cerf is honorary chairman of the IPv6 Forum, dedicated to raising awareness and speeding introduction of the new Internet protocol.

In 1994, People magazine identified Cerf as one of that year''s "25 Most Intriguing People."

In addition to his work on behalf of WorldCom and the Internet, Cerf has served as a technical advisor to production for "Gene Roddenberry''s Earth: Final Conflict." and made a special guest appearance on the program in May 1998. Cerf has appeared on television programs such as "The Next Wave with Leonard Nimoy" and "World Business Review" with Alexander Haig and Caspar Weinberger. Cerf also holds an appointment as distinguished visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he is working on the design of an interplanetary Internet.