Donald Watts Davies was a Welsh computer scientist who co-invented
the packet-switching technology. Born in the Rhondda Valley,
he later studied at Imperial College London, and spent most
of his career conducting research at the UK's National Physical
Laboratory. When Davies first began working at National Physical
Laboratory, he worked alongside the pioneer of computer science,
Alan Turing. It's reputed that Davies highlighted some errors
within Turing's theoretical programming, much to the chagrin
of the aforementioned computer scientist.
Turing, at that time, was working on a project to develop
a automatic computing engine. Ambitious in the scope, it failed
to meet expectation, which led to Turing's exit. Davies took
over the project, limited it's ambitions and delivered a working
ACE computer by the early 1950's. Davies became interested
in researching communication between computers in the 1960's.
While visiting MIT in the US, he noticed some problems in
their research, and came back to the UK to develop packet-switching.
By the end of the 1960's, Davies had built a packet-switching
network for the National Physical Laboratory, named Mark I.
While Davies was developing the Mark I network, his work
had inspired the Advanced Research Project Agency of America
to develop their own packet-switching network. Named ARPANET,
it evolved to become the Internet. Packet-switching is still
a part and parcel of how the Internet functions. Davies spent
most of his career working for the National Physical Laboratory.
However, he did spend time in the private sector, working
as an advisor for computer security.