ACM ByteCast

Radia Perlman - Episode 3

July 7, 2020

In this episode of ACM ByteCast, Jessica Bell is joined by Radia Perlman, ACM Fellow and renowned computer scientist, who has made fundamental contributions to Internet routing and bridging, including work on network resilience. Currently a Fellow at Dell EMC, Perlman is famous for writing the spanning tree protocol (STP), which powers the Ethernet. She reflects on her early days at MIT and later Digital Equipment Corporation, where she worked on DECnet, one of the first peer-to-peer network architectures, and how that inspired her doctoral thesis on routing in the face of malicious network failures. Perlman then relates how she wrote the algorithm behind STP “over a long weekend.” They also discuss the importance of teaching critical thinking in STEM education, healthy corporate culture, and the reciprocal value of mentorship.

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