His early academic research work, at the Information and Computer Science Department of the University of California at Irvine, was focused on creating the world’s first operational Distributed Computer System.
After moving to the University of Delaware, Farber helped conceive and organize the National Science Foundation’s Computer Science Network (CSNet), which made then-experimental networking technology available to academic computer scientists and was instrumental in spreading the technology globally, to both industry and academia. Farber also helped plan and develop NSFNET and National Research & Education Network (NREN), efforts that led to the development of the current commercial Internet. Along with Bob Kahn, he conceived the pioneering Gigabit Testbed activity of the NSF.
He received the 1995 SIGCOMM Award for lifelong contributions to computer communications and Philadelphia’s John Scott award for Contributions to Humanity.
He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society and on the US President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee.
A 1956 graduate of the Stevens Institute of Technology, he is now the Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy at the School of Computer Science in Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University. He also teaches in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at that university.