22 Facts About Robert Metcalfe


Robert "Bob" Melancton Metcalfe was born on April 7,1946 and is an American engineer and entrepreneur who contributed to the development of the internet in the 1970s.


Robert Metcalfe co-invented Ethernet, co-founded 3Com, and formulated Metcalfe's law, which describes the effect of a telecommunications network.


Robert Metcalfe was born in 1946 in Brooklyn, New York.


Robert Metcalfe's father was a test technician who specialized in gyroscopes.


Robert Metcalfe's mother was a homemaker who later became a secretary at Bay Shore High School.


Robert Metcalfe graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969, receiving two Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and industrial management.


Robert Metcalfe then attended Harvard University and received a Master of Science in applied mathematics in 1970 and a PhD in computer science in 1973.


At MAC, Robert Metcalfe was responsible for building some of the hardware that would link MIT's minicomputers with ARPAnet.


Robert Metcalfe made ARPAnet the topic of his doctoral thesis, but Harvard initially rejected it.


Robert Metcalfe decided how to improve his thesis while working at Xerox PARC, where he read a paper about the ALOHA network at the University of Hawaii.


Robert Metcalfe identified and fixed some of the bugs in the AlohaNet model, then added that work to his revised thesis.


Robert Metcalfe was working at PARC in 1973 when he and David Boggs invented Ethernet, initially as a standard for connecting computers over short distances.


Robert Metcalfe later recalled that Ethernet was born on May 22,1973, the day he circulated a memo titled "Alto Ethernet" which contained a rough schematic of how it would work.


In 1979, Robert Metcalfe departed PARC and co-founded 3Com, a manufacturer of computer networking equipment, in his Palo Alto apartment.


Robert Metcalfe spent 10 years as a publisher and pundit, writing an internet column for InfoWorld.


Robert Metcalfe became a venture capitalist in 2001 and subsequently a general partner at Polaris Venture Partners.


Robert Metcalfe was a keynote speaker at the 2016 Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders and in 2019 he presented the Bernard Price Memorial Lecture in South Africa.


In June 2022, Robert Metcalfe returned to MIT by joining the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory as a research affiliate and computational engineer, working with the MIT Julia Lab.


Robert Metcalfe received the National Medal of Technology in 2003 "for leadership in the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet".


Robert Metcalfe was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2007, for his work with Ethernet technology.


In March 2023, Robert Metcalfe was awarded the 2022 Association for Computing Machinery's Turing Award for his contributions to the invention of Ethernet technology.


In 1995, Robert Metcalfe argued that the Internet would suffer a "catastrophic collapse" in the following year; he promised to eat his words if it did not.