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ALOHAnet 50th Anniversary Mini-Symposium

June 16 @ 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

Coastline in Hawai'i




ALOHAnet, the pioneering computer networking system developed at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Engineering is turning 50 this year, and the College is celebrating this anniversary with a 50th Anniversary Mini-Symposium to be broadcast live from Mānoa on June 16. The virtual event is free and open to the public, and runs from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm HST, with an agenda packed full of guest speakers, video presentations, and panel discussions highlighting the history of the technology, its impact on academia, and its impact on industry.

ALOHAnet was developed under the leadership of the late founder Dr. Norman Abramson, who passed away in December of 2020, as well as Dr. Franklin Kuo and a team of faculty and students. All wireless communications today – including mobile, satellite, cellular, and WiFi – utilize the ALOHA protocol to establish an initial link. In October of 2020, ALOHAnet was inducted as the third IEEE Milestone in the state of Hawai‘i.


Mahalo to our generous sponsors for making this symposium possible. Net proceeds generated from this event will fund a future scholarship in honor of ALOHAnet and its founder, the late Dr. Norm Abramson at the University of Hawai’i.

Fungible logo Platinum Presenting Sponsor: Fungible
Bass Trust logo featuring two rows of palm trees Presenting Sponsor: The Bass Trust
IEEE ComSoc logo Logo Sponsor: IEEE Communications Society



  • Introductory Remarks (8am)
    Brennon Morioka (Dean, UH College of Engineering)
    David Lassner (President, University of Hawai’i)
    David Ige (Governor, State of Hawai’i)


  • The meaning of Aloha (8:15am)
    Pono Shim (President and CEO, Oahu Economic Development Board)


  • Keynote Presentations (8:30am)
    Presentation: Celebrating Norman Abramson with an introduction by Joan Abramson
    Frank Kuo (ALOHAnet co-creator)
    Vint Cerf (Google) & Bob Kahn (Corporation for National Research Initiatives)


  • Panel: Memories of Creating ALOHAnet (9:30am)
    Tony Kuh (Professor, UH College of Engineering)
    Alan Okinaka (ALOHAnet technical staff)
    Chris Harrison (ALOHAnet technical staff)
    Dennis Streveler (ALOHAnet technical staff)


  • Panel: ALOHAnet’s Impact on Academia (10:30am)
    Moderator: Tony Ephremides (Professor, University of Maryland College Park)
    Robert Gallager (Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
    Len Kleinrock (Professor, University of California Los Angeles)
    Bruce Hajek (Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


  • Panel: ALOHAnet’s Impact on Industry (11:15am)
    Moderator: Monisha Ghosh (Professor, University of Chicago)
    Bob Metcalfe (Professor of Innovation, University of Texas)
    Charlie Bass (Chairman, Socket Mobile, Inc.)
    Ram Chandran (Vice President, Anacom Inc.)


  • Closing Session (12:15pm)
    IEEE ComSoc President Vincent Chan: ALOHAnet in Modern Times
    Dean Morioka: scholarship announcement; mahalo message



Pono Shim Pono Shim considers his exposure to Hawai’i leadership philosophies as a child to be the backbone of his ideas, actions, and words. His knowledge and skills have been sought by every sector of Hawai’i’s economy and he has served and continues to serve on various Boards in Hawai’i including the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace, Economic Development Alliance of Hawai’i, Hawai’i Public Housing Authority, Hawai’i Green Growth and the Small Business Development Corporation.
Frank Kuo Frank Kuo is a specialist in computer communication networks. He worked at Bell Laboratories for six years in the 1960s. At the University of Hawaii, in 1968, he and Norman Abramson developed the ALOHANET. a pioneer radio network for packet communications. In 1972, he and Norm published the earliest book on networking, called Computer Communication Networks (Prentice-Hall).  In the 1980s, at SRI International he led many projects in networking and information systems applications. One of them was the first NSF project on the architecture of the NSF network for science and education. The project served as the baseline for the architectural definition of NSFNET.
Charlie Bass Charlie Bass holds a PhD. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hawaiʻi where he participated in the ALOHA System research project, investigating broadcast computer networks. In 1975 he joined Zilog, which developed the Z80 family of processors, whose architecture continues to be employed worldwide in embedded applications. In 1979, he co-founded Ungermann-Bass, the first company to offer local networks as stand-alone products as well as develop a semiconductor to meet the Ethernet standard. In 1989 he formed a venture capital fund, Bass Associates, through which he co-founded, managed and invested in a number of successful private companies.
Vint Cerf Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google. Cerf has held positions at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, Stanford University, UCLA and IBM. Vint Cerf served as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and was founding president of the Internet Society. He served on the US National Science Board from 2013-2018. Widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” he received the U.S. National Medal of Technology in 1997, the Marconi Fellowship in 1998 and the ACM Alan M. Turing award in 2004. In November 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in April 2008 the Japan Prize and in March 2013, the Queen Elizabeth II Prize for Engineering.
Vincent Chan Vincent Chan, the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Professor of EECS, MIT, received his BS(71), MS(71), EE(72), and Ph.D.(74) degrees in EE from MIT. From 1974 to 1977, he was an assistant professor, EE, at Cornell University. He joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory in 1977 and had been Division Head of the Communications and Information Technology Division until becoming the Director of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (1999–2007). In July 1983, he initiated the Laser Intersatellite Transmission Experiment Program and the follow-on GeoLITE Program. In 1989, he formed and chaired the All-Optical-Network Consortium among MIT, AT&T and DEC, the Next Generation Internet Consortium, ONRAMP among AT&T, Cabletron, MIT, Nortel and JDS, and a Satellite Networking Research Consortium formed between MIT, Motorola, Teledesic and Globalstar. He chaired the Defense Science Board Task Force on Defense Communications, Networks and Satellite Communications and the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Advisory Committee. He also has been active with start-ups and was a Board Member of a Fortune-500 network company and a member of the Draper Corporation.
S. Ram Chandran S. Ram Chandran is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur in wireless & satellite communications industry.  Dr. Chandran was a founding member & Director of Engineering at Aloha Networks, a company with a proprietary technology to enable satellite-based internet access using low cost VSAT terminals.  He was also involved in a couple of other startups in Bay Area. At TeleSciences
Transmission Systems (later acquired by California Microwave), Dr. Chandran
designed a 64-QAM 155 Mbps modem for Digital Microwave Radios (among the
first of its kind in Industry). This was done using discrete components before the
advent of high-capacity modem chipsets from Broadcom, Intersil etc.
Anthony Ephremides Anthony Ephremides (IEEE Life Fellow) received his B.S. degree from the National Technical University of Athens (1967), and M.S. (1969) and Ph.D. (1971) degrees from Princeton University, all in Electrical Engineering. He has been at the University of Maryland since 1971, and currently holds a joint appointment as Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department and in the Institute of Systems Research (ISR) of which he is a founding member. He is co-founder of the NASA Center for Commercial Development of Space on Hybrid and Satellite Communications Networks established in 1991 at Maryland as an off-shoot of the ISR. He served as Co-Director of that Center from 1991 to 1994. He also holds the endowed Cynthia Kim Eminent Chair of Information Technology and has been designated as Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland.
Robert Gallager Robert G. Gallager received the Sc.D from MIT in 1960 and has been on the MIT faculty until gradually retiring. He invented low density parity check codes in his thesis, which, after 35 years ofobscurity, is a dominant capacity-approaching coding technique today. His early research focused on information theory and culminated in the 1968 textbook, ‘Information Theory and Reliable Communication,’ which is still in print. He is a member of the U.S. National Academies of Science and of Engineering and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Bruce Hajek Bruce Hajek is Professor and Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been on the faculty since 1979.   He received a BS in Mathematics and MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and the Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Prof. Hajek’s research interests include communication networks, auction theory, stochastic analysis, combinatorial optimization, machine learning, information theory, bioinformatics.   He served as Editor-in-Chief for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, and as President of the IEEE Information Theory Society.   He received the IEEE Kobayashi Award for Computer Communication and the ACM SIGMETRICS Achievement Award and he is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.
Chris Harrison Chris Harrison is a retired electrical engineer who was recruited by Dr. Norm Abramson to work on the ALOHA Project while it was in its infancy. After joining the Aloha Project, he was sent to California to learn a bit about DEC systems and the ARPA Network. Having knowledge of Intel and their newly in-work processors he was granted the right to purchase some very new microcomputer boards while talking with Intel Corporation on their new microprocessor product line. Recognizing the possibilities of using a processor like the new Intel 8080, as the main logic device, he pursued a preliminary design for a radio computer terminal using the Intel microprocessor chip–building and hand coding the world’s first microprocessor terminal using an 8080 Intel integrated circuit processor chip.
Governor David Ige Governor David Y. Ige was sworn in as the eighth governor of the State of Hawai‘i on December 1, 2014.  Governor Ige is focused on improving the lives of Hawaiʻi’s people and making the islands a place future generations choose to call home. He is increasing affordable housing, reducing homelessness, moving toward the state’s 100% renewable energy goal, and remodeling public education to prepare students for the innovation economy of the 21st century. Under his leadership, the state has aggressively moved to ensure financial sustainability and enable future growth. He believes that we can achieve our shared goals because we have always been better together than alone.
Bob Kahn Robert E. Kahn is President & CEO of Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), a non profit organization he founded in 1986. He received a B.E.E. from the City College of New York in 1960, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University in 1962 and 1964 respectively. He worked on the Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories and then became an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT. In 1966, he took a leave of absence from MIT to join Bolt Beranek & Newman (BBN), where he was responsible for the system design of ARPANET, the pioneering packet switched computer network.
Leonard Kleinrock Leonard Kleinrock is Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at UCLA. He is considered one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” having developed the mathematical theory of packet networks, the technology underpinning the Internet as an MIT graduate student in 1962. His UCLA Host computer became the first node of the Internet in September 1969 from which he directed the transmission of the first Internet message. Kleinrock received the 2007 National Medal of Science, the highest honor for achievement in science bestowed by the President of the United States.
Tony Kuh Anthony Kuh is currently a Professor in the Department, serving as director of the interdisciplinary renewable energy and island sustainability (REIS) group. Previously, he served as Department Chair of Electrical Engineering. Dr. Kuh’s research is in the area of neural networks and machine learning, adaptive signal processing, sensor networks, and renewable energy and smart grid applications.  Dr. Kuh is an IEEE Fellow and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards such as the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award.  Most recently, he served as a program director for NSF in the Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems.
David Lassner David Lassner is the 15th president of the University of Hawaiʻi (UH). In that capacity he leads the 10-campus UH system, the state’s sole provider of public post-secondary education, as well as Hawaiʻi’s flagship research university, UH Mānoa.  Lassner has an ongoing focus on helping more Hawaiʻi residents earn college credentials and strengthening the state’s economy while creating more high-quality jobs. He is also advancing UH’s commitments to sustainability and becoming a model indigenous-serving university. Facing the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the economy of Hawaiʻi, Lassner is currently leading the university through the most serious financial and health crisis in its history while embracing UH’s critical role to shape a more sustainable and resilient economy for Hawaiʻi and its people.
Bob Metcalfe Bob Metcalfe was an Internet pioneer beginning in 1970 at MIT, Harvard, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Parc), Stanford, and 3Com. He invented Ethernet at Parc on May 22, 1973. Today Ethernet is the Internet’s standard plumbing, adding billions of ports per year, especially if we let Bob count Wireless Ethernet (AKA Wi-Fi). Bob remains a champion of Ethernet and connectivity more generally. The Internet turned 50 in 2019, and the most important new fact about the human condition is that we are now suddenly … connected.
Alan Okinaka Alan Okinaka graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa with a Masters degree in electrical engineering in 1971. Between 1969 and 1976, he served as a research associate for the ALOHA System Project–responsible for design, development and construction of the Terminal Control Unit (TCU). In the years that followed, he went on to have a long and illustrious career with GTE Hawaiian Tel that included a stint as a technology manager at GTE Labs.





Learn more about ALOHAnet by visiting our ALOHAnet historical page.


June 16
8:00 am - 1:00 pm
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