AUSTIN (KXAN) — The ACM A.M. Turing Award is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize in Computing”. The 2022 award winner is one of Austin’s own. The Association for Computing Machinery has named Professor Bob Metcalfe as the recipient of this year’s Turing.

Professor Metcalfe is an Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Research Affiliate in Computational Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But he has another title, this one being perhaps the biggest reason he’s the 2022 Turing award winner.

Professor Bob Metcalfe is the Father of the Ethernet.

It happened in 1973. He was at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. He wrote a memo describing what he calls a “broadcast communication network” connecting the first personal computers within an office. This memo created the blueprint for what we now know as the Ethernet.

But he faced a challenge 50 years ago. The problem was there were no personal computers. Advancing the Ethernet would require an increase in the number of personal computers.

He finds it amazing that the Ethernet is still being used 50 years after he wrote that infamous memo in 1973. He says it hasn’t been easy, that it’s been a long fight as other contenders tried to replace Ethernet.

He is particularly gratified at the many ways the Ethernet is being used. What was originally designed as being a conduit for personal computers within an office or a building is now being utilized worldwide.