Montana State University

Wi-Fi, Ethernet 'fathers' to meet for first time at Oct. 4 awards presentation at MSU

September 24, 2012 -- By Evelyn Boswell, MSU News Service

Edward O. Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and professor emeritus at Harvard University, returns to Montana State University to present the 2012 Stibitz and Wilson Awards. (Photo courtesy of Harvard University).   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- The "fathers" of wireless and wired communication will meet in person for the first time at Montana State University during an annual awards presentation honoring pioneers in technology and science.

"Father of Wi-Fi" Vic Hayes and Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe will share the stage on Thursday, Oct. 4, when they each receive a George R. Stibitz Computer and Communications Pioneer Award at a free public event presented by the American Computer Museum of Bozeman. The event, titled "Human Nature and Social Media," will begin at 7 p.m. in the ballrooms of MSU's Strand Union Building.

"I know they are looking forward to seeing each other," event organizer and museum director George Keremedjiev said of Hayes and Metcalfe.

MSU President Waded Cruzado said, "How many of us use wireless communications on a daily basis? Attending this event will be a wonderful opportunity for MSU students and all of us who have benefited from their vision and accomplishments."

The evening will not only feature two pioneers who revolutionized the world of communications and computers, but three scientists who made significant contributions in biodiversity, Cruzado added. Edward O. Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and professor emeritus at Harvard University, will present the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Awards to Paul Anastas of Yale University, May Berenbaum from the University of Illinois, and Gary Strobel from MSU.

Anastas, the "Father of Green Chemistry," is director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering and the Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale.

Berenbaum, the world's foremost bee entomologist and head of the University of Illinois' entomology department, is known for her contributions to understanding insect chemical ecology and the public understanding of biodiversity. In addition to her research on the chemical interactions between plant-eating insects and their host plants, she has built a second career as a science communicator.

Strobel, the "Indiana Jones of fungus hunters," is known for his contributions to understanding antibacterial, antifungal and other bioactive plant compounds. One of the world's leading microbiologists and fungi experts, he is professor emeritus in MSU's Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology.

Keynote speaker this year will be Paul Ceruzzi, curator of aerospace electronics and computing at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. MSU history professor Robert Rydell will moderate a panel discussion involving the award recipients and select MSU honor students.

At the end of the evening, Wilson will be available to sign his latest book, "The Social Conquest of Earth." The book signing will take place in the hallway just outside of SUB Ballroom A.

The American Computer Museum launched this awards ceremony in 1997 to honor living pioneers of the computer, communications and information age. Museum founder and event organizer Keremedjiev received an MSU honorary doctorate in 2009.

The Stibitz award is named for George R. Stibitz who pioneered the use of relays for digital computation at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey in 1937. Previous recipients of the award have included Steve Wozniak, co-founder of the Apple Computer Company; Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web; Martin Cooper, an inventor of the cell telephone; and Ross Perot, founder of Electronic Data Systems and U.S. presidential candidate in 1992 and 1996.

Sponsors for this year's event are MSU's Office of the President, College of Engineering, College of Letters and Science, Montana Institute on Ecosystems, Humanities Institute, University Honors Program, Phi Kappa Phi, the Department of Computer Science and other organizations and individuals.

For more information, go to

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or