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David Dana Clark

Last Edit: 24/06/17

David Dana Clark is an American scientist who contributed to the development of the 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); eventually receiving a Ph.D. Clark's MIT profile page states that he was "leading the development of the Internet" from the mid 1970's and is still involved in activities that evolve the "architecture of the Internet in the post-PC era". Alongside his Internet work, 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.

David Clark, played an important role as chair of the IAB and influenced the early work of the IETF.
(Pictured: David Clark)

Clark became involved in the development of Internet protocols when DARPA was 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: helping to install Internet protocols onto the following computer systems: Multics, Xerox Alto, and IBM PC.

When a final standardised version was released in 1981, the Internet Activities Board (IAB) was created to continue it's developing. Due to his involvement in the standardisation process, Clark was employed as the first chairman of the IAB, a role he fulfilled from 1981-1990. Clark was at the helm of the most important Internet organisation when the modern Internet was forming, and he was directly involved in the creation of the IETF. Clark's philosophy for the Internet can be summed up by his famous quote: "We reject kings, presidents and voting. We believe in rough consensus and running code".

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

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

Dave Clark was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame (pioneer) in 2013. Dave Clark played an important role in evolving the architecture of the Internet and in ensuring this evolution was an open internationalisation process rather than a U.S. centric one. Clark has authored or co-authored the following Internet publications:

- The design philosophy of the DARPA Internet protocols. (1988)
- A Taxonomy of Internet Telephony Applications. Telephony, the Internet, and the Media. (1998)
- Provisioning for Bursty Internet Traffic: Implications for Industry and Internet Structure. (1999)
- Rethinking the design of the Internet: The end to end arguments vs. the brave new world. (2001)