Two Longhorns Join the Internet Hall of Fame

Two Longhorns are being honored for all the networking they’ve done—but it’s probably not the type of networking you’re thinking of.

Cockrell School of Engineering professor Bob Metcalfe and College of Liberal Arts alum Robert Taylor, BA ’57, MA ’64, Life Member, were among the 32 people inducted into the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame in Berlin on Saturday.

“This year we had two Longhorns,” says Adrienne Lee, digital content manager at the Cockrell School of Engineering. “Both of them were put into the pioneer category, which means they were pivotal in the creation of the Internet.”

Established in 2012, the Internet Society recognizes three categories—pioneers, innovators, and global connectors—to honor those who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the Internet. Internet enthusiasts are encouraged to submit nominations, and an advisory board makes the final decision on inductees.

With a job title like Professor of Innovation (yes, that’s his actual title here at UT), it’s no surprise that Metcalfe was chosen as a pioneer. He’s best known as the co-inventor of the Ethernet cable, and is also a venture capitalist and entrepreneur who founded 3Com Corporation in 1979.

“I have been fortunate over these 43 years to play a wide variety of roles in advancing the Internet,” Metcalfe says. “Getting into the Internet Society’s Hall of Fame feels to me like taking on yet another role … I feel a certain new duty to act more like a grownup in pushing for the Internet’s continued healthy evolution and growth and in professing its many lessons for innovators.”

Taylor, who retired 17 years ago from his position as the director of the Information Processing Techniques Office of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, is known as a leader in the creation and development of computer networking, and many consider him the father of the Internet. In his acceptance statement, he recognized the contributions of others and also expressed gratitude for being inducted.

“Every one of the Internet Hall of Fame members are here, in part, because of the work of many other contributors,” he wrote. “I retired 17 years ago in 1996 and had, long ago, given up thinking about such things. But I am grateful nonetheless.”

Top: Robert Metcalfe. Photo courtesy the Cockrell School of Engineering. Left: Bob Taylor. Photo courtesy Internet Hall of Fame.


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