Tracy LaQuey Parker had no idea what she wanted to do when she started college at the University of Texas (UT) in the 1980s.
What she did know was that “computers were going to run the world, so I figured I better get involved with that,” she said.
As it turned out, besides being good at computer science, LaQuey Parker was also good at communicating the complexities of computers to the nonscientific masses.
After graduating, she took a job with a tech company but hated being stuck in a cubicle. So, she ended up back at UT, working at the computational center, which was building networks and communications systems.
“They soon found out I could communicate with people,” she said. “They sent me around to talk to professional organizations, to get them to use the network. My manager did not want to deal with national organizations.”
As a result, at only 23 years old, LaQuey Parker found herself representing UT at meetings of the Internet Society, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and similar organizations. But she wasn’t shy or intimidated. Rather, she said, she felt “super lucky” to be around so many intelligent people who understood the potential of the Internet.
In her excitement, she once even offered for UT Austin to host the next IETF meeting without clearing it with anyone.
“I think I got in trouble for that,” she said. “But we ended...
Do you know someone who has played a major role in the development and advancement of the Internet? The Internet Hall of Fame today officially opened nominations for its 2019 class of inductees, and is seeking nominations through 8 March, 2019. For more information, or to begin the nomination process, visit the Internet Hall of Fame Nominations page .
The Internet Hall of Fame was launched in 2012 by the Internet Society. With more than 100 inductees, the Internet Hall of Fame celebrates Internet pioneers and innovators from around the world who have helped change the way we live and work today. Their trailblazing accomplishments are as broad and diverse as the Internet itself; expanding the Internet’s benefits into new regions and communities, and creating new technologies and standards that were foundational to the Internet’s development and expansion.
The Internet Hall of Fame recognizes:
• Individuals who were instrumental in the design and development of the Internet with exceptional achievements that impacted the Internet's global advancement and evolution; or
• Individuals who made outstanding...
2012 Internet Hall of Fame inductee Lawrence Roberts, who was hired in 1966 by the U.S. Department of Defense to design the ARPAnet, died on December 26th, according to his family. He was 81. Roberts’ design of the ARPAnet was seminal as it established the foundation of the modern Internet.
As Chief Scientist of ARPA, Roberts based the ARPAnet’s design on a concept that was brand-new at the time, "packet-switching.” The concept, which drew on earlier research by fellow inductee and MIT colleague Leonard Kleinrock, enabled information to be cut up into “packets” and then reassembled. This technology, which optimizes channel capacity and minimizes latency, is what allows large amounts of data, such as video, to continue to be successfully sent over the network today.
Following his work on the ARPAnet, Roberts went on to found five startups, including Telenet, NetExpress, ATM Systems, Caspian Networks and Anagran.
Over his lifetime, in addition to his 2012 induction into the Internet Hall of Fame, he received numerous awards for his work, including the L.M. Ericsson prize for research in data communications, the ACM SIGCOMM Award, the IEEE Internet Award, the...
Despite being home to a wealth of information, the Internet largely remains unaccommodating to about 15 percent of the world’s population.
Although federal agencies and departments are required by law to make their sites accessible, only about 40 percent of disabled American adults feel comfortable using the Internet according to a 2016 Pew survey. In the United Kingdom, the number drops below 30 percent.
For example, someone who relies on voice commands to operate a computer has to sit and listen to every element on a single page just to get one piece of information. Gifs and other web components that flash more than three times per second can cause an epileptic to have a seizure.
In a recent interview with Quartz, Internet Hall of Fame Inductee Vint Cerf described the web’s lack of handicap accessible sites. Cerf is color blind and hearing impaired.
“It’s almost criminal that programmers have not had their feet held to the fire to build interfaces that are accommodating for people with vision problems or hearing problems or motor...
When Tracy LaQuey Parker left her full-time job with Cisco in 2001, she directed her passion towards a few different areas. In addition to raising her two loving sons, she continued to work with the University of Texas. There, she founded the UTeach Institute in order to replicate the UTeach science and math teacher preparation program at universities around the country.
But she has also found a new passion: The Texas Tribune, a non-profit, community-based, members-only digital media news organization in Austin that is one of a growing number of non-profit digital news operations that have sprung up around the country as newspapers have been dying.
“When I first heard about it, and the concept behind it, I had the same feeling about it as I did about the Internet,” she said. “So, I went online and made a really large donation, for me. It was completely unsolicited. I put it all on my credit card.
“I don’t know what was driving me, but I was like, this is going to disrupt journalism, and I don’t know how… but they were all...