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UMSI event explores the history of the internet with Doug Van Houweling

Looking Back at the Future: Reflections of the Internet Pioneers. Friday, November 4. Doug Van Houweling. Professor Emeritus of Information.

Wednesday, 10/19/2022

Nathaniel Borenstein has been shaping the future of the internet since the 1980s. An adjunct lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Information, Borenstein is best known as the author of the MIME standard, which enabled email attachments and multimedia objects in email and the web.

On November 4 at noon, Borenstein will be looking at the past, present and future of the internet with internet pioneer and UMSI professor emeritus Doug Van Houweling. Van Houweling was instrumental in building the NSFnet (the first national internet backbone), Merit Networks, and Internet 2.

Borenstein says the goal of the event is to help students think critically about the role of the internet in our lives and explore its history. 

“The internet has become such an important part of our lives that it seems like a fact of nature.  But when you talk to the people who built it, you can see that it could have turned out very differently, and still might,” he says. 

“I think it's important that students have a bigger picture that helps them see that the internet is still, in fact, in its infancy, and that everything that it is or will be is the result of individuals pursuing their own diverse visions.  The more of these visions we can understand, the more likely we are to evolve towards the best possible Internet for all of us,” he adds. 

The event will be virtual on November 4 at noon. It will be live streamed through Zoom at this link:

Learn more about the event here.