Paul V. Mockapetris (born 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts, US) is an American computer scientist and Internet pioneer, who, together with Jon Postel, invented the Internet Domain Name System (DNS).
Official Biography: Paul Mockapetris
Paul Mockapetris, the inventor of the Domain Name System (DNS), is Chief Scientist and Chairman of the Board at Nominum, Inc. His mission is to help guide DNS and IP addressing to the next stage.
Paul created DNS in the 1980s at USC’s Information Sciences Institute, where he was later the Director of ISI’s High Performance Computing and Communications Division.
Throughout his career, Paul has contributed to the computing research community and to the evolution of the Internet. His earliest work at UC Irvine on distributed systems and LAN technology preceded the commercial Ethernet and Token Ring designs
At ISI, after working on the design and initial implementation of the SMTP protocol for email as part of the birth of the Internet in 1983, Paul took on the challenge of designing DNS, and then operated the original “root servers” for all Internet names. After the formal creation of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 1986, DNS became one of the original Internet Standards. The IETF continues to be the focus of new applications and extensions to DNS. Paul has been associated with the IETF since its creation, chaired several DNS and non-DNS working groups, and was Chair of the IETF from 1994 to 1996.
Paul was program manager for networking at ARPA in the early 1990s, supervising efforts such as gigabit and optical networking. From 1995 on, Paul held leadership roles at several Silicon Valley networking startups, including @Home, Software.com (now OpenWave), Fiberlane (now Cisco), and Siara (now Redback Networks). Paul’s mission at Nominum is to help guide DNS and IP addressing to the next stage.
Paul has dual B.S. degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine.
Mockapetris graduated from the Boston Latin School in 1966, received his bachelor’s degrees in physics and electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1971 and his doctorate in information and computer science from the University of California at Irvine in 1982.
In 1983, he proposed a Domain Name System architecture in RFC 882 and RFC 883. He had recognized the problem in the early Internet (then ARPAnet) of holding name to address translations in a single table on the hosts file of an operating system. Instead he proposed a distributed and dynamic DNS database: essentially DNS as it exists today.