BOSTON — West Liberty University alumna Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler was invited to participate in a gathering of Internet pioneers, joined by today’s leading visionaries and held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab and Café ArtScience in Cambridge, Mass. on July 16, 2019. The event celebrated the beginnings of the Internet.
Dubbed “[email protected],” it also took a critical look at where the net is heading as it marks 50 years of existence, according to Xconomy website, which covers business, life sciences, and technology news. Topics covered at the forum included:
- Internet call to action
- How to fix social media
- Connectivity as a human right
- IoT & small data
- Interspecies Internet (featuring musician Peter Gabriel)
Feinler is a member of WLU’s Wall of Fame and in 2014. She was named a WLU Professor Robert W. Schramm Notable Science Alumni. She earned a bachelor’s in chemistry at WLU and completed graduate work in biochemistry at Purdue University, before entering the new field of network information.
She also was an editor at Chemical Abstracts Service in Columbus, Ohio; and then joined SRI International in Menlo Park, Ca., where she pioneered and managed first the ARPANET Network Information Center (NIC), and then the Defense Data Network NIC under contract to the Department of Defense (DoD).
Both of these early networks were the forerunners of today’s Internet. She and her group developed the first Internet “yellow-” and “white-page” servers, and served as the early Internet central information hub. Before the arrival of commercial outfits, such as GoDaddy and Network Solutions, the group administered Internet addresses and managed the Host Naming Registry from 1972 until 1989. As part of this effort, they developed the first query-based network host name and address (WHOIS) server, as well as the top-level domain-naming scheme of .com, .edu, .gov, .mil, .org, and .net, which is still in use today.
She was a founding member of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), was inducted into the Internet Society’s 2012 Internet Hall of Fame, and received the IETF Postel service award in 2013. Since retirement she has served as volunteer Internet consultant to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Ca.
Feinler remains active with WLU Alumni Association.