Computer Industry Pioneer Van Jacobson Joins PARC
Former Cisco Chief Scientist to Lead Content-Centric Networking Research
26 November 2006
Palo Alto, CA, Nov. 20, 2006 – PARC (Palo Alto Research Center, Inc.), a wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox Corporation, today announced that industry pioneer Van Jacobson will lead a strategic research program to innovate content-centric networking, a new networking approach to enable the world’s next generation of collaborative tools. Jacobson and his team aim to simplify network use, reduce operating costs and congestion, improve performance and security, and provide a seamless, consistent experience when people send and receive digital content from multiple locations, using mobile devices and diverse networks.
“Today’s networks are outdated. They were designed for the technologies of the 1970s, when we focused on moving packets that we attached to machine locations, rather than focusing on the information,” Jacobson said. “So many people today use mobile and wireless devices to transmit information, so we need networks that essentially can self-organize, and push content while anticipating and inferring our needs. I’m motivated by this problem myself: for example, the other day my wife wanted to access my son’s soccer schedule from my office e-mail, but couldn’t. Regardless of whether you’re using a laptop or a cell phone or a PDA, you should always be able to access the right information, at the right place, at the right time.
“I came to PARC to turn this vision into reality,” Jacobson continued. “For us to solve today’s networking problems and build a better Internet, we need to integrate theoretical insights, practical expertise, and a human-centered approach to science, which has always characterized PARC’s unique approach to communications research.”
Jacobson, who joined PARC in August as a Research Fellow, is widely credited with enabling the Internet to expand in size and meet increasing speed demands. He redesigned the TCP/IP’s flow control algorithms to better handle congestion; many point to Jacobson’s work as the direct reason that the Internet survived a major 1988-89 traffic surge without collapsing. He also co-wrote many de-facto, industry-standard network diagnostics tools. He has authored dozens of seminal, Internet-defining documents on the performance and scaling of IP networks. Before joining PARC, Jacobson held chief scientist roles at Cisco Systems and Packet Design, and previously, while at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL), he led the groundbreaking network research group. During his tenure there, Jacobson was one of the leaders in building the Internet Multicast Backbone (MBone), and his group developed the popular Internet audio and video conferencing tools that laid the groundwork for current commercial multicast applications.
Among Jacobson’s industry honors is the ACM SIGCOMM Award (2001) for his creative contributions and commitment to data networking. In 2002, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) identified Jacobson as “one of the primary contributors to the technological foundations of today’s Internet” when honoring him with the Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award.
“Van Jacobson has an extraordinary track record for seeing the way forward, and executing on visions for the future, including his work on network synchronization effects and scalable multimedia protocols and applications,” PARC president and director Mark Bernstein said. “Nearly every Internet host system today runs his high-performance TCP/IP algorithms. We believe that Van, in collaboration with PARC’s other network experts, can vastly improve upon those by creating a new paradigm for networking that will benefit people everywhere.”
PARC collaborates with sponsors and clients to discover breakthrough business concepts that solve real needs, and transform how enterprises deliver value to customers. PARC’s physical, computer, biological, and social scientists take an agile, cross-disciplinary approach to innovation, with the vision, expertise, and instinct to convert groundbreaking scientific findings into industrial-strength prototypes. Founded in 1970 as part of Xerox Research, then incorporated in 2002 as an independent research business, PARC is celebrated for such innovations as laser printing, distributed computing and Ethernet, the graphical user interface (GUI), object-oriented programming, and ubiquitous computing.
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Linda Jacobson, Manager, Communications & Marketing