David L. Mills

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David L. Mills
DL Mills-2.jpg
David L. Mills, 2005
Born (1938-06-03) June 3, 1938 (age 84)
Alma mater
Known for
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Delaware

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] inspired the author of ping for BSD (1983),[8] 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 Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 2008, Mills was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for contributions to Internet timekeeping and the development of the Network Time Protocol. 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."[9]

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.[10][11]


  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. ISBN 1555580335.
  5. ^ RFC 778: DCNET Internet Clock Service, D.L. Mills, COMSAT Laboratories, April 18, 1981
  6. ^ RFC 958: Network Time Protocol (NTP), D.L. Mills, M/A-COM Linkabit, September 1985
  7. ^ "Fuzzball: The Innovative Router" Archived 2011-05-20 at the Wayback Machine, web page on NSF's "The Internet: Changing the Way We Communicate" Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "The Story of the PING Program" Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine, Mike Muuss
  9. ^ "IEEE Internet Award Recipients: 2013 - David Mills", IEEE Web site, accessed 27 January 2013
  10. ^ Dave Mills Personal Stuff, Web page, University of Delaware
  11. ^ "Amateur License - W3HCF - Mills, David L", FCC Universal Licensing System

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