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Robert Metcalfe

Professor of Innovation, The University of Texas at Austin
How I invented Ethernet at MIT Project MAC 1969-1972

Bob Metcalfe '68 is an MIT engineer-entrepreneur who made it into the Internet Society's Pioneer Hall of Fame based on work started on the 9th floor of Technology Square at MIT Project MAC in 1970. His Harvard PhD dissertation, Packet Communication, was for work done at Project Mac and was first published as MAC TR #114 -- still available at  Bob went on to the Xerox Palo Alto Research where he led the team that invented Ethernet, of which today over a billion new ports ship annually, if you count WiFi, which Bob does.  He next went on to found Silicon Valley billion-dollar networking giant, 3Com Corporation, which after 30 years merged in 2010 into the Hewlett Packard Company. After 3Com, Bob spent the 1990s as a publisher-pundit with IDG InfoWorld and the 2000s as a venture capitalist with Polaris Venture Partners.  Bob is a Life Trustee of MIT, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and received the National Medal of Technology for "leadership in the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet."  Bob has started his fifth 10-year career as Professor of Innovation in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.  His mission is to help Austin be a better Silicon Valley.