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David "Dave" Clark

Last Edit: 10/01/17

David Dana Clark, usually called Dave Clark, is an American computer scientist who helped develop the protocol (software systems) architecture of the Internet from 1975 to 1990. Clark was born on the 7th of April, 1944, and studied electrical engineering in the 1960's and 1970's at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Clark also became a research scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL); which was created in 2003 to study: artificial intelligence; computational biology; graphics; computing vision; computing language; theory of computation and robotics.

Clark first became involved in the development of Internet protocols when DARPA were funding the development of TCP/IP in the 1970's. In 1975, DARPA contracted three academic/research institutions/companies to develop a working version of the Transmission Control Program. The result was a suite of protocols, the two core protocols were IP and TCP. Dave Clark was involved in the development of a working version of TCP/IP from 1975 to 1981. During 1981-1982, a final operational version of TCP/IP had been developed, and it became a 'standard' for military computer networks.

Due to the importance of TCP/IP, DARPA (an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense) created an organisation to continue the development of TCP/IP. The name of the organisation was the Internet Activities Board (IAB), and it was chaired (chairman) by David Clark from 1981-1990. TCP/IP enabled U.S. federally funded computer networks to interconnect during the 1980's and they became known as the Internet (interconnected networks). Dave Clark, led the development of TCP/IP during this period, and therefore, was one of the most important individuals in the development of the Internet in the 1980's.

David Clark, in RFC 1336, describes the importance of the Internet:

Dave Clark describes the importance of the development of tcp/ip and the Internet.