Endowed Chair Honors Internet Pioneer Glen Culler
By EILEEN CONRAD
AN ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIP honoring Glen Culler, one of the earliest pioneers in the development of the Internet, has been established with a $500,000 gift from alumnus Huican Zhu and two anonymous donors.
The Glen and Susanne Culler Chair in Computer Science will support the teaching and research of a leading scientist in the discipline that Culler helped shape.
“We are deeply grateful to UC Santa Barbara alumnus Huican Zhu and the other generous donors for their vision and commitment to technological innovation and the future excellence of the campus,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “The Glen and Susanne Culler Chair honors the memory of Professor Culler and his seminal role in the development of the Internet, which has transformed the way we communicate and live.”
Culler, who died in 2003, was an emeritus professor of electrical and computer engineering. He received the National Medal of Technology in 2000 for his “pioneering innovations in multiple branches of computing, including early efforts in digital speech processing, invention of the first on-line system for interactive graphical mathematics computing, and pioneering work on the ARPAnet.” The ARPAnet eventually became the Internet. His wife, Susanne, also deceased, taught at Santa Barbara City College.
Zhu, a senior software engineer at Google, earned his doctorate in computer science in 2000. Financial support he received from the department made it possible for him to attend UCSB, Zhu said. “I was really fortunate to be at UCSB where I learned all the training for my work at Google,” he said. “I want to give back to the university so that it can hire good professors and attract good students.”
Noted Amr El Abbadi, chair of computer science: “Endowed chairs are critical for us to attract the brightest junior researchers and faculty available. The momentum that junior faculty bring to the department is invaluable. The Culler Chair holds much potential to recruit outstanding faculty, especially in tight fiscal times.”