Radia Perlman Photo

Radia Perlman

Dr. Radia Perlman’s work has had a profound impact on how networks self-organize and move data. Her innovations enable today’s link state routing protocols to be robust, scalable, and easy to manage. The particular protocol she designed in the 1980s (IS-IS) continues to flourish for routing IP today. She designed the spanning tree algorithm that transformed Ethernet from the original limited-scalability, single-wire CSMA/CD, into a protocol that can handle large clouds. Later, she improved on spanning tree-based Ethernet by designing TRILL (TRansparent Interconnection of Lots of Links), which allows Ethernet to make optimal use of bandwidth. Her textbook Interconnections made a science out of the murky field of network protocols. See her full bio here.