Home Web internet David Walden, computer scientist at Dawn of the Internet, dies at 79

David Walden, computer scientist at Dawn of the Internet, dies at 79


Mr. Walden eventually enrolled in San Francisco State College (now the university) and received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1964. His interest in computing grew out of a course he took in numerical analysis which involved working on an IBM computer.

After college, he went to work for Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory as a computer programmer in the Space Communications Division.

In 1965 he met Sara Elizabeth Cowles, an education administrator, and they married the following year. He was hired by Bolt Beranek and Newman in 1967. Shortly after, the company won a contract to build the first IMP

“It was a very small group that worked together all the time,” Walden said. mentioned in a 1990 interview with the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota, an archive and research center specializing in information technology.

“We were walking in and out of each other’s offices and helping each other debug,” he added.

Each discovery aroused enthusiasm. “We were running and saying, ‘Look, I’ve got this running! “”, Did he declare.

Mr. Walden left Bolt Beranek for a year in 1970 to work at Norsk Data, helping that company build an IMP-inspired computer. He returned to Bolt Beranek in 1971 and remained there until 1995. He then became an expert in the field of management. Passionate about computer history, he was editor of the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, published by what was originally the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Although he does not have a graduate degree, Walden received an honorary doctorate from California State University in 2014 for his work on the Arpanet. “He has commented to me on more than one occasion that he never thought he would get this kind of honor,” said Alex McKenzie, a former colleague of Mr Walden, in an interview.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Walden is survived by his son, Luke; her brother, Daniel; his sister, Velma Walden Hampson; and two grandchildren.