Thursday, September 6, 2007
4:15 pm
B17 Upson Hall

Computer Science
Fall 2007

Tom Leighton
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Akamai Story: From Theory to Practice

In this talk, we will describe how research in theoretical computer science at MIT evolved into an S&P500 company that accelerates the distribution of content and applications on the internet.  The talk will cover some of the challenges that we face in making the Internet be more secure and scalable, some of the theoretical underpinnings of Akamai's technology, as well as some of the steps in making the transition from concepts to practice.  The talk will be introductory in nature.

Tom Leighton is a Professor of Applied Mathematics  at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is the co-founder and Chief Scientist of Akamai Technologies.  He graduated from Princeton in 1978, and received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT in 1981.

Professor Leighton is one of the world's preeminent authorities on algorithms for network applications. He holds numerous patents involving cryptography, digital rights management, and algorithms for networks.  He has published more than 100 research papers, along with two books, including a leading text on parallel algorithms and
architectures.  During the course of his career, he has served on dozens of government, industrial, and academic review committees, program committees, and editorial boards. From 2003 to 2005, he served as the Chairman of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) subcommittee on Cyber Security.  He is also a former two-term editor-in-chief of the Journal of the ACM.

Tom Leighton is a Fellow for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004, he was elected into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for contributions to the design of networks and circuits and for technology for Web content delivery.  In 2006, he received the ACM-SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize.