USC Upstate News

Leonard Kleinrock, The Father Of The Internet, Holds Webcast With USC Upstate Students

04- 24- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - Students enrolled in Professor Adrianna Ahner’s Web Page Construction course at the University of South Carolina Upstate will have the opportunity of a lifetime on Wednesday, April 29 when they get to speak with Dr. Leonard Kleinrock, the Father of the Internet, via a Webcast. Kleinrock plans to share his life story and the evolution of the Internet with the 18 students in Ahner’s class.

KleinrockAhner’s class begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Health Education Complex, Room 2039. The Webcast starts at 6:30 p.m. The campus community and public are invited to attend but space is limited to 90 people and seating is available on a first come availability only.

“My students have been reading about pioneers of the Internet and I thought it was crucial they be exposed to one more than just in a textbook,” said Ahner, who teaches in the Department of Informatics. “But I have to admit that I was completely stunned with I got the call from Dr. Kleinrock saying that he would speak to my class.”

Kleinrock currently serves as a distinguished professor of computer science at UCLA and is known best known as Father of the Internet.  As a graduate student at MIT, during 1960-1962, he developed the mathematical theory of packet networks, the technology underpinning the Internet. This was nearly a decade before the birth of the Internet, which occurred in his laboratory when his Host computer at UCLA became the first node of the Internet in September 1969. Kleinrock wrote the first paper and published the first book on the subject; he also directed the transmission of the first message ever to pass over the Internet.

He is the recipient of a number of honorary doctorates across the world. Kleinrock was the first president and co-founder of Linkabit Corporation, the co-founder of Nomadix, Inc., and founder and chairman of TTI/Vanguard, an advanced technology forum organization. He has published over 250 papers and authored six books on a wide array of subjects, including packet switching networks, packet radio networks, local area networks, broadband networks, gigabit networks, nomadic computing, performance evaluation, and peer-to-peer networks. During his tenure at UCLAKleinrock has supervised the research for 47 Ph.D. students and numerous M.S. students. These former students now form a core group of the world's most advanced networking experts.

He was listed by the Los Angeles Times in 1999 as among the "50 People Who Most Influenced Business This Century." He was also listed as among the 33 most influential living Americans in the December 2006 Atlantic Monthly. Kleinrock's work was further recognized when he received the 2007 National Medal of Science, the highest honor for achievement in science bestowed by the President of the United States. This Medal was awarded "for fundamental contributions to the mathematical theory of modern data networks, for the functional specification of packet switching which is the foundation of the Internet Technology, for mentoring generations of students and for leading the commercialization of technologies that have transformed the world."

Ahner has been teaching Web design for seven years and has always wanted to do something special for her students. This, she says, is truly a once in a lifetime experience for her and the students.

“You meet a lot of people during your life that will inspire you and change how you think but how often do you meet someone who has changed the world,” she asked. “Dr. Kleinrock has changed the way we work, live and play. More than 80 percent of the world is connected to the Internet now and today 16,000 people in China are being connected to the Internet every hour. His work has changed the world, he has changed us.”

For additional information, contact the Department of Informatics at (864) 503-5432 or Adrianna Ahner at