Louis Pouzin

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Louis Pouzin

Louis Pouzin (born April 20, 1931 in Chantenay-Saint-Imbert ) is a French computer scientist. His pioneering work on packet switching was influential in the development of the Internet ( TCP / IP protocols).

Pouzin studied at the École Polytechnique from 1950 to 1952 . In the 1950s he worked on telephone networks for the computer manufacturer Bull in France . He was involved in the development of the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and developed an early command line program and shell script (RUNCOM) in 1963/64 . The name shell comes from him . Ideas from this were implemented by Glenda Schroeder , Pouzin and others at MIT in Multics , a Unix-Precursor. In the process, they also developed a precursor to email. After returning to France, he introduced the timeshare concept there.

From 1967 to 1969 he developed an operating system for the French national weather service (Métèo-France) on the Control Data CDC 6400. At that time he was an engineer at SEMA (Société d'économie et de mathématiques appliquées, later merged into Atos SE ). Later he was an engineer at the car manufacturer Simca . In the early 1970s he developed the innovative CYCLADES network with nodes in France, London and Rome as part of a project by the Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique (INRIA). It was discontinued by the French government in the late 1970s. Important Internet technologies were developed in the project ( datagram , which he is believed to have invented , packet switching ). He has also served on international standards committees on Internet technology. He was chairman of IFIP-TC-6 (data communications).

After the end of CYCLADES, he was involved in other government-funded projects in France: SOL (compiler and an operating system based on the Pascal programming language) and the office desktop computer project KAYAK (main engineer was Najah Naffah , who was previously also at CYCLADES ). In the 1980s he worked for the Center national d'études des télécommunications (CNET) in the organization of pilot projects and in the 1990s he headed the Institute Theseus in Sophia Antipolis , a business school of France Telecom with a focus on telecommunications.

In 2002 he was one of the founders of Eurolinc (a non-profit organization for the promotion of multilingualism in domain names with the NLIC (Native Language Internet Consortium)) and he was also involved in the establishment of alternative multilingual root name servers (Savoir-Faire 2011, Open-Root 2012 with Chantal Lebrument).

In 2019 he became a Fellow of the Computer History Museum for his pioneering work in the design and implementation of packet-switched networks that paved the way for the Internet . (Laudatory speech).

In 1997 he received the ACM SIGCOMM Award for pioneering work in wireless packet-switched communications. In 2003 he became a Knight of the Legion of Honor and in 2018 an officer of the Legion of Honor. In 2016 he received the Global IT Award, he received the IFIP Silver Core and in 2012 he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. In 2001 he received the IEEE Internet Award . In 2013 he was one of five engineers who received the first Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering as Internet pioneers (the others were Vint Cerf , Robert E. Kahn (the two developers of the TCP / IP protocol), Tim Berners-Lee (HTML, WWW) , Marc Andreessen (web browser)).


  • as editor (and co-author): The cyclades computer network: towards layered network architectures, North Holland 1982

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ For the pioneering design and implementation of packet communication networks that led the way to the internet . Fellows Computer History Museum