June 29, 2022

Paul Mockapetris Receives 2019 ACM Software System Award

August 28, 2020 – The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Paul Mockapetris the recipient of the 2019 ACM Software System Award for Domain Name System (DNS) Development. DNS provides the globally distributed directory service that is an essential component of the functionality of the global Internet.

The award is given to an institution or individual recognized for having developed a software system that has had a lasting influence, reflected in concept contributions. The Software System Award has a prize of $35,000.

Paul Mokapetris. Image courtesy of IPTC Photo Metadata.

Mockapetris joined the Institute for Information Science (ISI) at the University of Southern California in 1978 and developed the first Simple Mail Transfer Protocol mail server, a method for transferring mail from one user to another. other. He held several positions at ISI, including Director of the High Performance Computing and Communications Division (now called the Networks and Cybersecurity Division).

Throughout his career, Mockapetris has had a significant impact on the development of the Internet through his research and contributions to the field. An Internet Hall of Fame inductee, Mockapetris is also renowned for his early work in distributed systems at UC Irvine and his leadership roles in networking startups.

At ISI, Mockapetris proposed the DNS architecture and its first implementation in 1983. DNS serves as the foundation for dozens of applications, including email and web addresses. All internet users depend on DNS whenever they access a web URL or send an email message, because DNS translates the first part of the URL into the numeric address needed to locate the web page.

“DNS was invented at ISI by Mockapetris and his colleagues. Today it’s a core product of hundreds of businesses and organizations – it’s part of everything from your local pizzeria’s website to the infrastructure that sends every email,” said John Heidemann, senior scientist at ISI and DNS researcher. “The basic protocol established by Mockapetris is still around, but even today, ISI researchers are exploring and extending how DNS works to meet new challenges.”

Source: Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California