The College of Arts and Letters named Dr. Bradley Fidler, a historian of computing and assistant professor of science and technology studies, as the recipient of the David and G.G. Farber Junior Faculty Fellow in Science and Technology Studies.
Established by Stevens Trustee Emeritus Dr. Dave Farber ’56 M.S. '61 Hon. D.Eng. ’99 and his late wife, Gloria (G.G.), the fellowship recognizes and supports faculty in the College who study and raise public awareness about the social impacts of scientific and technological development. The award was established under the leadership of Dean Kelland Thomas.
"I am incredibly grateful for, and humbled by, David Farber's support of the College of Arts and Letters and its interdisciplinary scholarly mission,” said Dr. Thomas. “Dr. Fidler is an ideal awardee of the David and G.G. Farber Junior Faculty Fellow in Science and Technology Studies, because his research examines the history of the internet and how the architecture of current cybertechnologies impact our society.”
“I look forward to Dr. Fidler’s continued contributions to understanding how cybertechnologies affect us and our society,” continued Dr. Thomas.
Fidler, the second recipient of the fellowship, studies the management and architectural evolution of networked systems, such as enterprise networks and the Internet. His current work focuses on metrics frameworks and labor productivity in enterprise networks, binding and mapping systems at different levels of analysis. Moreover, this research touches upon computer networks’ virtualization and neural networks.
“The David and G.G. Farber Fellowship gives me a lot more bandwidth to carry out historical research—empirical work that is needed to fully understand the evolution of these systems that are reorganizing our world everywhere we look,” said Fidler.
Moreover, Fidler’s research interests are well aligned with Farber’s own pioneering contributions to computer science. Farber helped build the early Internet with his efforts in CSNet and the NSFNET. He also led the effort to create the world’s first operational distributed computer system, and contributed to numerous other Internet protocols and research efforts. In 2013, Farber was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame, and in more recent years, he established a prestigious faculty chair to enhance leading-edge research in the Stevens’ computer science department.
Fidler’s research has also been supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Google, Lockheed-Martin, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). His first book, forthcoming with MIT Press, is a “shadow history” of how Farber’s community of computer scientists architected the Internet. For Google, he studies near-term cybersecurity challenges that the Internet’s technical administration must address (i.e., the “IANA functions”). For the NSF, he and his Kansas University computer scientist collaborators Professor Alex Bardas and Kailani Jones are working to improve automation strategies in the Security Operations Centers that run America’s corporate networks. Prior to Stevens, he was a researcher in UCLA’s Computer Science Department.
In addition, Fidler serves as a committee member on the Board of Trustees’ Research Enterprise and Technology Commercialization (RETCOM) group, and on the Faculty Senate’s Information Technology subcommittee. Previously, Fidler contributed to contracts with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
For now, Fidler looks forward to how Dr. Farber’s fellowship will empower his work and its impact. “Not only will it be of great help to my work on virtualization, but the historical materials that this effort will generate should be of great use to other researchers as well.”