Paul Mockapetris
Paul Mockapetris was born on 18 November, 1948 in Boston Massachusetts. He received BS degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1971, and a PhD in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine in 1982.


Paul’s earliest professional work was while he was an MIT student: an early multiprocessor operating system for the Architecture Machine Group; virtual machine operating systems for IBM; and simulation work at Draper Labs.At UC Irvine for his PhD, Paul worked on the Distributed Computer System where he built one of the earliest ring LAN hardware systems and matching network operating system.
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At USC’s Information Science Institute, Paul started as a research assistant and eventually headed the Communications division. During this time Paul’s research included work on many of the fundamental internet protocols, including development of the first SMTP server, and later the invention of the Domain Name System, and deployment of early root servers and DNS operations. The DNS is an essential part of all web and email addresses and essentially every application on the internet.Paul has been active in internet community service, spending 3 years as program manager for networking at ARPA, and 2 years as IETF chair, as well as numerous other roles.In 1995, Paul left academia, and took leadership roles at startups including cable internet at @Home, email at, integrated SONET and IP products at Fiberlane/Cerent/Siara.

At present, he is Chairman and Chief Scientist at Nominum, where he has returned to his interest in DNS, advancing naming and directory systems for the internet. He also serves and advisor and board member for various other startups. Paul continues to believe that the internet’s future is ahead of it.
Paul Mockapetris expanded the Internet beyond its academic origins by inventing the Domain Name System (DNS) in 1983.


At USC’s Information Sciences Institute, Mockapetris recognized the problems with the early Internet (then ARPAnet)’s system of holding name to address translations in a single table on a single host (HOSTS.TXT). Instead, he proposed a distributed and dynamic naming system, essentially the DNS of today.Rather than simply looking up host names, DNS created easily identifiable names for IP addresses, making the Internet far more accessible for everyday use. After the formal creation of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 1986, DNS became one of the original Internet Standards.