March 27, 2011 in Los Angeles, Paul Baran died from lung cancer at the age of 84. He was a member of the SVEC Hall of Fame, winner of the Marconi Prize and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
Born in Grodno, Poland, Baran graduated from Drexel Institute of Technology in 1949 and later his master’s degree in electrical engineering from UCLA.
Baran worked for the Rand Corporation in the 1950s developing a command-and-control network that would survive a nuclear attack. He came up with a decentralized system would be held together by scores of small computers. Messages would be broken in small packets and would still get through switching from one surviving node to the next until it was reassembled at the destination. This packet switching was used by the Arpanet and eventually the Internet. The idea of an artificial intelligence network that could withstand anything lives on.
Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.