Jerry Saltzer bigraphy, stories - American computer scientist

Jerry Saltzer : biography

09 October 1939 -

Jerome Howard "Jerry" Saltzer (born October 9, 1939 Nampa, Idaho) is a computer scientist who has made many notable contributions.

Other interests

He is also very interested in 19th century landscape art of the western United States; he has prepared the catalogue raisonné of the paintings of the painter Frederick Ferdinand Schafer.


He is known to all (colleagues, students, friends and family) as "Jerry". In 1961 he married Marlys Anne Hughes. They have two children: Rebecca (born 1962) and Sarah (born 1963). He has two grandchildren: Hannah (born 1997), and Caroline (born 1999), both Sarah's. in addition he has three dogs, Belle, Greta, and Callie.

caroline grossman(granddaughter)


Saltzer has been a designer or the inspiration for a number of important pieces of systems software, which are either still in use or have descendants still being used today.

  • RUNOFF, a very early text-formatting program which was the basis for roff and nroff.
  • PC/IP, the first TCP/IP stack for the IBM PC, which became the basis for a company called FTP Software.
  • Kerberos, an authentication protocol, part of Project Athena, still used today.

Additionally, while technical director of Project Athena, he was supportive of the development of the X Window System, an open windowing system, still used and developed to this day on Linux and UNIX.


He received an Sc. D in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1966. Starting in 1966, he was a faculty member of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.

One of his earliest involvements with computers was with MIT's CTSS time-sharing operating system in the early 1960s.

In the later 1960s and early 1970s, he was one of the team leaders of the Multics operating system project. Multics, though not particularly commercially successful in itself, has had a major impact on all subsequent operating systems; in particular, it was an inspiration for Ken Thompson to develop Unix. His contributions to Multics included the now-standard kernel stack switching method of process switching, as well as often-cited work on the security architecture for shared information systems.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the research group he led, the Computer Systems Research group of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science, was one of the key players in the development of the Internet, and ring network technology for local area networks. One of his notable accomplishments was a key patent used by the Proteon ProNet ring network. Perhaps his most notable contribution in that area was his contribution to the End-to-end principle in systems design, which is one of the important underlying principles that governs the operation of the Internet.

From 1984 through 1988 he served as Technical Director of MIT Project Athena. is one of the few Athena usernames with a capital letter, and legend has it that several special case hacks were required to support this functionality. In September 1995 he retired from his full-time faculty position, but continued writing and teaching part-time at MIT.

Pedagogical influence

He has had significant impact on the development of computer systems through the influence of a legion of students, both graduate students, as well as undergraduates who took his famous MIT course in information systems, .

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine