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David L. Mills

David L. Mills (2005)

David L. Mills (born June 3, 1938) is an American computer engineer and Internet pioneer.[1] Mills earned his PhD in Computer and Communication Sciences from the University of Michigan in 1971. While at Michigan he worked on the ARPA sponsored Conversational Use of Computers (CONCOMP) project and developed DEC PDP-8 based hardware and software to allow terminals to be connected over phone lines to an IBM 360 mainframe.[2][3]

Mills was the chairman of the Gateway Algorithms and Data Structures Task Force (GADS) and the first chairman of the Internet Architecture Task Force.[4] He invented the Network Time Protocol (1981),[5][6] the DEC LSI-11 based fuzzball router that was used for the 56 kbit/s NSFNET (1985),[7] the Exterior Gateway Protocol (1984),[8] inspired the author of ping for BSD (1983),[9] and had the first FTP implementation. He has authored numerous RFCs.

In 1999 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, and in 2002, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). In 2008, Mills was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). In 2013 he received the IEEE Internet Award "For significant leadership and sustained contributions in the research, development, standardization, and deployment of quality time synchronization capabilities for the Internet."[10]

Currently, Dr. Mills is an emeritus professor at the University of Delaware, where he was a full professor from 1986 to 2008. He also currently holds an adjunct appointment at Delaware so that he can continue to teach.

Mills is an amateur radio operator, callsign W3HCF.[11][12]


  1. ^ "David L. Mills Biography and Credentials", University of Delaware
  2. ^ The Data Concentrator, David Mills, May 1968, CONCOMP Project, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  3. ^ System/360 interface engineering report, D. L. Mills, November 1967, CONCOMP Project, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  4. ^ John S. Quarterman (1990). Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems Worldwide (2 ed.). Digital Press. pp. 185–186.  
  5. ^ DCNET Internet Clock ServiceRFC 778: , D.L. Mills, COMSAT Laboratories, April 18, 1981
  6. ^ Network Time Protocol (NTP)RFC 958: , D.L. Mills, M/A-COM Linkabit, September 1985
  7. ^ "Fuzzball: The Innovative Router", web page on NSF's "The Internet: Changing the Way We Communicate"
  8. ^ Exterior Gateway Protocol Formal SpecificationRFC 904: , D.L. Mills, April 1984
  9. ^ "The Story of the PING Program", Mike Muuss
  10. ^ "IEEE Internet Award Recipients: 2013 - David Mills", IEEE Web site, accessed 27 January 2013
  11. ^ Dave Mills Personal Stuff, Web page, University of Delaware
  12. ^ "Amateur License - W3HCF - Mills, David L", FCC Universal Licensing System

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