Larry Peterson


"During my time at Purdue, I learned the basics of how to conduct research -- select important problems, think clearly and rigorously about them, learn whatever I need to learn to solve them, and tell a compelling story about the value of the work. That simple formula has been a key for my entire academic career."


The CV for Larry Peterson chronicles a lifetime of achievements as a researcher in the computer science field. But the distinguished professor at Princeton University credits his academic success to a simple but profound formula honed while pursuing his doctoral degree at Purdue in the mid-1980s. Select important problems. Think clearly and rigorously about those problems. Learn what's needed to find a solution. And tell the compelling story about the value and the potential impact of the research. The Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science at Princeton, Peterson is known for his work on the design and implementation of networked systems. He has generated more than $32 million in sponsored funding for his research since 1986. He co-authored the best-selling networking textbook "Computer Networks: A Systems Approach," now in its fifth edition, and served as chair of Princeton's Computer Science Department from 2003-09. In addition, Peterson chaired the initial planning that led to the National Science Foundation's GENI initiative, and is director of the Princeton-hosted PlanetLab Consortium. Peterson serves as chief scientist at business startup Verivue Inc., as Westford, Mass., company founded in 2007 to address the Internet protocol distribution and delivery space. The company develops and markets high-performance IP platforms that enable network operators to distribute, deliver and manage enormous amounts of IP-based media traffic across a growing and diverse number of end devices.

  • BS '79, Computer Science, University of Nebraska, Kearney
  • MS '81, Computer Science, Purdue University
  • PhD '85, Computer Science, Purdue University

Career Highlights:

  • 1987 Outstanding Paper, 6th Symposium, Reliability in Distributed Software and Database Systems
  • 1995 Distinguished Teaching Award, College of Science, University of Arizona
  • 1999 Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • 2010 Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
  • 2010 IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award
  • 2010 Selected Member of National Academy of Engineering

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