Donald Watts Davies

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Donald Watts Davies (born June 7, 1924 in Treorchy , † May 28, 2000 in Esher , England ) was a British physicist and one of the pioneers of information technology .


Davies grew up in Portsmouth and studied at Imperial College, London. From 1943 he worked on nuclear research at the University of Birmingham . In 1947 he came into contact with the group around Alan Turing (decipherer of the Enigma (machine) and developer of the Turing machine ) who were working on the development of the Pilot ACE computer - one of the first digital data processing devices in the world.

From 1963 on, Davies developed the packet switching method , which has been used to handle all Internet data exchange ever since.

The decentralized network structure - in contrast to the ring and star structures favored in the early 1960s - was propagated by Davies (see also Paul Baran and History of the Internet ).

In 1979, Davies gave up his senior position at the National Physical Laboratory and turned to the increasingly pressing security problems on the Internet. In 1984 he retired, but continued to work as a consultant.

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