Larry L. Peterson


Larry L. Peterson earned his Ph.D. in computer science in 1985 at Purdue University and then went to the University of Arizona, where he established himself as a leader in the field of computer networks and distributed computing, the foundations of the Internet. By 1996, he was the department head at Arizona. His influential 1996 textbook on computer networks, Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, is now in its fifth edition.

In 1998, Larry came to Princeton as professor of computer science, where he conducted the very successful PlanetLab project, among other research. PlanetLab is a collection of 1,000 computers at 500 locations worldwide, run as a cooperative consortium that serves as a testbed for computer networking and systems research. In the first decade of this century, it was the most effective and widely used tool for measuring the Internet to evaluate new protocols and for deploying innovative kinds of distributed services at scale.

Larry served as chair of Princeton’s Department of Computer Science for six years. One of his important legacies to Princeton is the remarkably good and amazingly successful new faculty hired during this period.

He is a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and in 2010 was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Also in 2010, Larry won the IEEE Kobayashi award for outstand­ing contributions to the integration of computers in communications. In 2013, he won the SIGCOMM lifetime achievement award “for ground-breaking advances in how networking and distributed sys­tems research is conducted, and major contributions to education.” In addition, Larry has served as the editor in chief of the leading journal in his field, ACM Transactions on Computer Systems.21

Larry transferred to emeritus status as the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science. He and his wife have moved back to Tucson, the city that they love, where he divides his time between an appointment at the University of Arizona and work in the net­working industry.