Internet Guide Logo

Joyce Reynolds

Last Edit: 10/05/17

Joyce Reynolds was a computer scientist who contributed to the development of a number of Internet technologies, such as: Telnet Protocol, File Transfer Protocol, DARPA Experimental Multimedia Mail System, and Post Office Protocol. Reynolds studied at the University of Southern California, where she received: a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Social Sciences and a Master of Arts degree in the Social Sciences.

Worked with Jon Postel in the 1980's in performing IANA functions and editing RFC documents.
(Pictured: Joyce Reynolds)

Reynolds is primarily known for her work alongside Jon Postel in the 1980's and 1990's: as an editor for the Request for Comment (RFC) document series and helping to manage the IANA function of the Internet (assigning numbers and names). Jon Postel died in 1998, due to heart complications, and Reynolds continued her RFC editorial role until 2006 and worked with ICANN until 2001 (IANA became a department of ICANN in 1998 but Reynolds remained employed by ICI).

Some important RFC documents that Reynolds authored or co-authored include the following:

Reynolds helped develop (For Your Information) FYI RFCs: which provide an introduction to computer network based information. RFC 1150 (March 1990), published by G. Malkin and J. Reynolds, is titled "Introduction to the F.Y.I. Notes" and explains the purpose of FYI RFCs: which is to answer Internet users common operational questions and explain "Why it was was done this way" in relation to design issues.

Joyce Reynolds was employed at the University of Southern California (USC) Information Sciences Institute (ISI) from 1979 to 2015. The ISI was one of the earlist ARPANET nodes and would become the 'home' of the RFC document series when Jon Postel was employed at ICI from the 1970's onwards. Postel, and be extension ISI, would be at the 'heart' of developing the Internet. Reynolds would collobrate in this development until her death in 2015. Eventually the IANA function (1998) and RFC editorship (2009) was removed from ICI.

In recognition of her contribution to the development of Internet protocols, she was jointly awarded the Postel Award in 2006 - the Postel Award is given by the Internet Society (ISOC) - and the reason they gave for the award was as follows: "For her stewardship of the RFC (Request for Comments) series that enabled count-less others to contribute to the development of the Internet".