Berners-Lee elected to NAS

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May 5, 2009

As announced April 28, 2009, by the National Academy of Sciences, NAS, Tim Berners-Lee, the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is among 18 foreign associates elected for NAS membership.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the Academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.

Berners-Lee, one of six MIT faculty elected to the NAS in 2009 (as reported by the MIT News Office, April 29), is a principal investigator with the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, CSAIL, where he directs the W3 Consortium, an open forum of companies and organizations with the mission to realize the full potential of the Web.

Upon graduation from Oxford University and with a background of system design in real-time communications and text processing software development, Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing. He was working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory at the time and wrote the first web browser and server in 1990.

Berners-Lee has authored the book, Weaving the Web, the original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web to address the questions most people ask - from "What were you thinking when you invented it?" through "So what do you think of it now?" to "Where is this all going to take us?".

His current research interest is the Semantic Web: using the WWW infrastructure to create a global, decentralized, weblike mesh of machine-processable knowledge.

Congratulations Tim!