The 1997 SIGCOMM Award is presented jointly to Jonathan B. Postel of the
University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute, and to
Louis Pouzin, a consultant in France.
Jonathan Postel's contributions to the Internet development, documentation
and technical administration span 25 years. While obtaining his doctorate
at UCLA in the early 1970s, Jon contributed to the definition of the protocols
and performance measurement of the early ARPANET. Jon contributed to the
design of many protocols for the Internet, and wrote many of the basic
protocol specifications - for IP, TCP, UDP, Telnet, SMTP, and FTP. While
at SRI during the late 1970s, Jon jointly did pioneering work in data representation
and remote procedure calls.
Jon is most widely known as the editor of the Request for Comments or
"RFC" series, since the early 1970s. The RFCs, which originally formed
a series of technical documents and working notes within the ARPA-funded
network research community, are still the official publication channel
for Internet documents and standards. The technical and editorial quality
of the RFCs is a reflection of Jon's influence.
Throughout the history of the Internet, since the start of the ARPANET,
Jon has performed a critical function, that of administrator and registrar.
Jon has managed the assignment and publication of numbers for networks
and protocols, a task requiring creativity, tenacity and credibility. Jon
has performed this task selflessly for over 25 years, providing stability
and fairness during a time of enormous change.
The success of the Internet owes a large debt to Jon Postel for his
unique and vital contribution to the development and specification of the
main protocols, the documentation of the protocols, and Internet technical
Louis Pouzin is best known for his work as the inventor and advocate
of "Datagrams", later extended and renamed connectionless communication,
as the basic mode for the transmission of packets in a network. His ideas
in this area paved the way for a new thread of thought on how to manage
resources in networks, resulting in several major innovations, including
today's ATM networks.
At the Institut de Recherche d'Informatique et d'Automatique (IRIA)
in France in the 1970s, Louis directed the Cyclades project, which pioneered
many networking concepts. During this period, Louis was a strong focal
point for cooperation between research and industry, between Europe and
North America, and between the computer community, the datacom community
and the more traditional telecommunications community.
Louis has influenced many in the data and computer communication community
either through direct relationships or through the many lectures, conferences
and classes he has given for many years all around the world, as well as
his numerous publications. Louis served as a popular ACM lecturer for many
years, and in the early 1990s served as Dean of Information Technology
at THESEUS, a France Telecom institute providing MBA training for managers,
with emphasis on information technology and network strategy. Louis' deep
understanding of technical matters and how they combine with economic and/or
political forces, his sometimes provocative way of questioning the politically
correct evolution of our industry and his great sense of humor have characterized
a lifetime contribution to the field.