Danny Cohen (engineer)

Danny Cohen (engineer)
Danny Cohen
Born Israel
Residence Bay Area, California
Fields Mathematics, Computer Science, Computer Graphics
Institutions Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, University of Southern California, Myricom, Sun Microsystems
Alma mater Technion, Harvard
Doctoral advisor Ivan E. Sutherland
Known for Internet Pioneer, first to run a visual flight simulator across the ARPANet
Notable awards National Academy of Engineering member, IEEE Fellow, USAF Meritorious Civilian Service Award

Danny Cohen (born in Israel) is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (2006) [1] and an IEEE Fellow (2010).[2] In 1993 Cohen received a USAF (United States Air Force) Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

In 1967, he developed the first real-time visual flight simulator on a general purpose computer and also developed the first real-time radar simulator. In 1981, he adapted the visual simulator to run over the ARPANet (the forerunner to the Internet) which was the first application of packet switching networks to real-time applications.

Starting in 1973, Cohen led several projects on real-time interactive applications over the ARPANet and the Internet, such as packet-voice (also known as Voice over Internet Protocol) and packet-video.

In 1967, flight simulation work by Cohen led to the development of the Cohen-Sutherland computer graphics line clipping algorithms, created with Ivan Sutherland.[3]

After serving on the computer science faculty at Harvard University (1969–1973) and Caltech (California Institute of Technology) in 1976, Cohen joined USC/ISI (University of Southern California/Information Sciences Institute) to work on a project designed to allow interactive, real-time speech over the ARPANet. Cohen worked at USC/ISI (1973–1993), where he started many network related projects, including Packet-Voice, Packet-Video, and Internet Concepts. He started the MOSIS project in 1980. Cohen also started the FastXchange project (Electronic commerce), Digital Library, and ATOMIC which was the forerunner of Myrinet, a high-performance system area network. In 1993, he worked on Distributed Interactive Simulation through several projects funded by DoD (United States Department of Defense). In 1994, Danny co-founded Myricom (with Chuck Seitz, et al.) which commercialized Myrinet.

Cohen served on several panels and boards for DoD, NIH (National Institutes of Health), and NRC (United States National Research Council), including 5 years on the USAF Scientific Advisory Board. He served as both a factual and expert witness in several patent infringement legal cases about VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Cohen is a commercial pilot with SEL/MEL/SES and Instrument ratings.

Cohen is probably best known for his 1980 paper "On Holy Wars and a Plea for Peace"[4] which adopted the terminology of endianness for computing.


Education and early work

Danny earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics at the Technion (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology) in 1963 and a PhD from Ivan Sutherland at Harvard in 1969. His thesis was titled: "Incremental Methods for Computer Graphics".[5] Danny has served on the computer science faculty at Harvard, Technion, and Caltech. He also spent two years as a graduate student in the math department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1965-1967.

Current work

Since 1991 Danny Cohen has been a Distinguished Engineer for Sun Microsystems [6] working on very fast communication over short distances, using optical and electrical signaling, in Sun's CTO (Chief technical officer) organization.

Danny is also an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at USC.[7]

Selected publications

  • Danny Cohen (1980-04-01). "On Holy Wars and a Plea for Peace". Internet Experiment Note 137. http://www.ietf.org/rfc/ien/ien137.txt. Retrieved 2010-01-17.  — also published in IEEE Computer, October 1981 issue.
  • "AI as the Ultimate Enhancer of Protocol design" (with J. Finnegan), Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering, Ed. Derek Partridge, ABLEX Publishing Corporation, Norwood, NJ. ISBN 0-89391-606-4, 1991, Chapter 22, pp. 463–472, and also in the Proceedings of the Third Annual Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Computer Technology Conference, Long Beach, CA, April 1987, pp. 329–337. Available online at [1].
  • "Protocols for Dating Coordination" (with Y. Yemini), Proceedings of the Fourth Berkeley Conference on Distributed Data Management and Computer Networks, San Francisco, CA, August 1979, pp. 179–188.
  • "Incremental Methods for Computer Graphics" (PhD Thesis), Harvard Report ESD-TR-69-193, April 1969. Available from DTIC (AD #AD694550/U).[5]
  • "On Linear Differences Curves", published as a chapter in the book Advanced Computer Graphics, Economics, Techniques and Applications, edited by Parslow and Green, Pleunum Press, London 1971, and also in Proceedings of the Computer Graphics '70 Conference, Brunel University, England, April 1970.
  • "RFC 0741: Specifications for the Network Voice Protocol (NVP)", Nov-22-1977.
  • "A VLSI Approach to Computational Complexity" by Professor J. Finnegan, in VLSI, Systems and Computation, edited by H. T. Kung, Bob Sproull, and Guy L. Steele, Jr., Computer Science Press, 1981, pp. 124–125.
  • "A Voice Message System", in Computer Message Systems edited by R. P. Uhlig, North-Holland 1981, pp. 17–28.
  • "The ISO Reference Model and Other Protocol Architectures" (with J. B. Postel), in International Federation for Information Processing 1983, Paris, September 1983, pp. 29–34.
  • "MOSIS: Present and Future" (with G. Lewicki, P. Losleben, and D. Trotter) 1984 Conference on Advanced Research in VLSI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, January 1984, pp. 124–128.
  • "A Mathematical Approach to Computational Network Design", Chapter 1 in Systolic Signal Processing Systems (E. E. Swartzlander, ed.), Marcel Dekker, 1987, pp. 1–29.
  • "Computerized Commerce", International Federation for Information Processing 1989, San Francisco, August 1989, pp. 1095–1100.
  • “Myrinet: A Gigabit-per-Second Local Area Network” (with Boden, Felderman, Kulawik, Seitz, Seizovic, and Su), IEEE-MICRO, February 1995, pp. 29–36.
  • RFC 1807: A Format for Bibliographic Records” (with R. Lasher), IETF, June 1995.
  • “The Internet of Things” (with N. Gershenfeld and R. Krikorian), Scientific American, October 2004, pp. 76–81.
  • "Internet-0: Interdevice Internetworking" (with N. Gershenfeld), IEEE Circuits and Devices Magazine, September/October 2006, Vol:22, Issue:5, pp. 48–55



  1. ^ http://www.nae.edu/nae/naepub.nsf/Members+By+UNID/4424CB034570705786257552006B36FC?opendocument Member, NAE
  2. ^ http://www.ieee.org/portal/cms_docs_iportals/iportals/membership/fellows/2010_fellow_class.doc IEEE Fellow, 2010
  3. ^ Principles of Interactive Computer Graphics p.124 and p.252, by Bob Sproull and William M. Newman, 1973, McGraw-Hill Education, International edition, ISBN 0070855358
  4. ^ Cohen, Danny (1 April 1980). On Holy Wars and a Plea for Peace. IEN 137. http://tools.ietf.org/rfcmarkup?url=ftp://ftp.rfc-editor.org/in-notes/ien/ien137.txt. "...which bit should travel first, the bit from the little end of the word, or the bit from the big end of the word? The followers of the former approach are called the Little-Endians, and the followers of the latter are called the Big-Endians."  Also published at IEEE Computer, October 1981 issue.
  5. ^ a b http://www.dtic.mil/srch/doc?collection=t3&id=AD0694550 Incremental Methods for Computer Graphics
  6. ^ http://research.sun.com/people/mybio.php?c=123 Sun Microsystems CTO People
  7. ^ http://www.cs.usc.edu/faculty-staff/details.asp?lname=Cohen&fname=Danny Adjunct USC Faculty

External links

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