The chair was established by the late Postel’s friends and family to honor his achievements and contributions to the development of the Internet. Postel Ph.D. ’74, who has been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame, was a key member of Professor Leonard Kleinrock’s lab that served in 1969 as the first node in what was then the ARPANET, a precursor to today’s Internet.
Postel later played an important role in creating the Internet Assigned Number Authority, which sets technical standards that drive the Internet. Postel died in 1998.
Endowed chairs are reserved for faculty with a record of dedication to the mission of UCLA and excellence in teaching and research. The Postel Chair in Computer Science, held by Professor Lixia Zhang, and Postel Chair in Networking are intended for faculty members making significant contributions to Internet-related research.
Gerla joined the Computer Science Department faculty in 1976. His research is in the area of computer networks; routing, multicast and congestion management in tactical networks; peer-to-peer communications; and cognitive radio and spectrum sharing, with applications in traffic management, vehicle networks, wireless security and privacy.
He received an engineering degree from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA, studying under faculty adviser Leonard Kleinrock.
He is the director of the Center for Autonomous Intelligent Networks and Systems, a multidisciplinary lab at UCLA Engineering, and the Network Research Lab. Among other honors, Gerla has been named an IEEE Fellow. Earlier this year he was named the chair of the Computer Science Department.
“I am honored to be named to the Postel Chair, especially since Jonathan and I were classmates and friends,” said Gerla.
Said UCLA Engineering Dean Vijay K. Dhir, “Mario has had a profound influence in networking and mobile data sensing, and is one of the longest-serving and most distinguished members of our Computer Science faculty. It is befitting that he receives this honor.”