Roberts, Lawrence Gilman

Roberts, Lawrence Gilman, 1937–2018, American computer scientist, b. Westport, Conn., Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1963. He worked at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, a government research facility, until 1966, when he left to join the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). There he became program manager of ARPAnet, a precursor to the Internet that used packet switching, a distributive type of network design that remains an essential part of the Internet. In 1969 Roberts became director of DARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office, and in 1973 he founded Telenet, the first networking company to use packet switching. After Telenet was sold to GTE Corp. in 1979, Roberts left (1980). He became (1993) CEO and chairman of NetExpress and then (1993) president of ATM Systems, both of which worked on asynchronous transfer mode routers. He subsequently founded (1999) Caspian Networks and then (1994) Anagran, both of which focused on Internet Protocol routers. Roberts was one of the first proponents of email, seeing it as a practical use of the Internet.

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