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Leonard Kleinrock is an American computer engineer who has made many important contributions to computer science, especially to the foundations of computer networking. He played a key role in the history of internet. In 1969, his host computer in his UCLA laboratory became the first internet node in history, and from there he directed the first message transmission to pass over the internet.
Leonard Kleinrock was born on June 13th, 1934 in New York City. Graduating from Bronx High School of Science in 1951, he received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the city college of New York in 1957. He earned his master's degree as well as a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science in 1958 and 1963 respectively from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He later joined the faculty at the University of California at Los Angeles. Between 1991 and 1995, he served as the Chairman of the computer science department at UCLA.
His best known and perhaps most significant contribution was on the queueing theory which has wide applications in many domains. In late 1970 along with student Farouk Kamoun, his theoretical work on hierarchical routing became one of the most critical components of today's internet. Kleinrock’s first contribution to queueing theory was his 1962 doctoral thesis at MIT, which was later published as a book. Kleinrock was also the chairman of a group which presented the report to U.S. Congress on the National Research Network in 1988. It was influential in the development and funding of the internet.
Kleinrock has received many professional awards including the National Medal of Science, the United States' highest scientific honor, in 2007 for his fundamental contribution to mathematical theory of data networks and also for the functional specification of packet switching. In 2010, Kleinrock also shared the Dan David Prize. In 2012, he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society and was also inducted in 2011 as an Eminent Member into IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu. In 2014, he was awarded the ACM SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contribution Award and in the same year for his seminal contributions to the theory and development of internet was granted the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award.