As the co-creator of the Internet, Vinton Cerf is one of the few people who can claim to have quite literally changed our world.
As a PhD student in computer science at the University of California at Los Angeles, Vinton Cerf – along with Robert Kahn – designed the protocols and the basic architecture for what became the Internet. In 1997, President Clinton recognized their work with the U.S. National Medal of Technology. In 2005, they received the highest civilian honour bestowed in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It recognizes the fact that their work on the software code used to transmit data across the Internet has put them “at the forefront of a digital revolution that has transformed global commerce, communication, and entertainment.”
Vinton Cerf’s many other awards include the ACM Alan M. Turing award, sometimes called the "Nobel Prize of Computer Science."
Today, as Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist with Google.com, Vinton Cerf is responsible for identifying new technologies and applications on the Internet and other platforms for the company. His quest for innovation extends beyond Google, however. He travels the world helping states and economies develop Internet-based activities. As a distinguished visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, he is contributing to a design for an interplanetary Internet. He is in Victoria this week at an international conference to explore how the Internet can be used to resolve disputes.
This conference is sponsored by Royal Roads University and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, an organization Vinton Cerf chairs. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the Endowment for Excellence in Education and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the International Engineering Consortium – to name but a few of his appointments.
Royal Roads University honours Vinton Cerf as a great scientist who exemplifies each one of the pillars of this university. His work has broadened the reach of science and facilitated developments in communication, sustainability, entrepreneurship, justice and peacebuilding. Most importantly, his fearless vision has created a transformative technology that this university embraced when it was created in 1995 and which continues to be fundamental to our model for delivering applied, professional education.
Mr. Chancellor, I am pleased to present Vinton G. Cerf for the degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.