Dr. Radia Perlman

Friday 20 November, 2020

“The world would be a better place if more engineers, like me, hated technology. The stuff I design, if I'm successful, nobody will ever notice. Things will just work, and will be self-managing.” 


This week's quote is by the legendary 'Mother of Internet' - Dr. Radia Perlman

Radia is a prominent American computer programmer and network engineer. Her invention of the algorithm behind the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), was instrumental in making today's internet possible. 

While growing up, Radia constantly talked about literature and music with her mother as she was really interested in those subjects. It was her obsession of getting straight A's in all classes that acquainted her with computer science and maths.

Her teacher in high school encouraged her to take a programming class and that is how she started to consider a career that involved computers. She was the only woman in the class and after that class she said  "I was not a hands-on type person. It never occurred to me to take anything apart. I assumed I'd either get electrocuted, or I'd break something" 

Studying in MIT and being one of the 50 woman out of 1000, never really bothered her that much. She later completed her Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT in 1988. Her doctoral thesis at MIT addressed the issue of routing in the presence of malicious network failures.

Among other powerful women in STEM, Radia has inspired us to continuously innovate and challenge the technological norms. Despite not being surrounded by women and in a male dominated field, Radia made a name for herself by making a tremendous contribution to the world of Internet. This made her a role model for many women in STEM and at DDSN we applaud that. 
We strongly believe and encourage women to be inspired by such stories and keep working hard. 
At DDSN we also resonate with what Radia said about technology being self-managing as we keep working everyday to create customised digital solutions for our clients to streamline their operations and make them more efficient.

Today's Quote

“The world would be a better place if more engineers, like me, hated technology. The stuff I design, if I'm successful, nobody will ever notice. Things will just work, and will be self-managing.”

Who is Dr. Radia Perlman?

Dr. Radia Perlman is an American computer programmer and network engineer. She is renowned for her invention of the spanning-tree protocol (STP), which is fundamental to the operation of network bridges, while working for Digital Equipment Corporation.

She also made large contributions to many other areas of network design and standardization, such as link-state routing protocols.

More recently she has invented the TRILL protocol to correct some of the shortcomings of spanning-trees. 

Radia has delivered keynote speeches across the world, and is still a computer programmer and engineer for Dell EMC.

Fun Fact

Dr Perlman disapproves of her title as Mother of the Internet because she says "I did indeed make some fundamental contributions to the underlying infrastructure, but no single technology really caused the Internet to succeed. And sometimes, things get invented multiple times until the time just happens to be right. The thing that happened to be there at the right time isn’t necessarily better than the other ones."

At DDSN we believe in working hard and creating easy-to-use digital platforms for our clients to make their operations more efficient, so that they can focus on what they do the best.