QUEST Meets Vint Cerf: Renowned “Father of the Internet”
On the 23rd of March, members of the QUEST community attended a talk at the DC Google Headquarters with Vint Cerf, the renowned “father of the Internet”. Topics covered through the talk included the Internet of Things (IoT) and its future on security around the world, as well as how the internet is able to connect with third world countries. Organized by QUEST Corporate, this was an event that had people within the QUEST community hyped for a very long time. It was a hugely successful event, with alumni and students ranging between Cohorts 1 and 26 in attendance that evening.
The arrangements for this event couldn’t have been possible without the QUEST community’s input. After a survey that was sent out in the spring of 2015, this event was initially intended to be something where people of the QUEST community could network with the Google Company itself. Initially, connections and outreach were made to various Google employees, such as Q14 alumnus Aditya Yerramilli and UMD graduate student Jose Oyola Sepulveda. Eventually, they collectively were able to hold this spectacular event.
Many people who attended could attest to how tremendous of a speaker Vint Cerf was, as well as rave about his humbling personality. “Vint was a captivating speaker and had me on the edge of my seat, hanging on to each of his words,” quoted Q26 student Jenny Mandl. “It expanded my perspective on the IoT movement to hear him discuss the security implications. I’ve never been interested in cyber security but when he outlined all of the ways someone could interject malware into a device before an encryption of data event happens, I was imagining all of the smart fridges and smart cars that could be taken over by rouge hackers. He made the topic very interesting.”
Towards the end of the talk, Vint Cerf gave his own advice from his experiences. “One thing [Vint Cerf] said was to stay connected,” said Andrea Kyeremeh of Q22 and the QUEST Corporate committee. “[Vint Cerf] was a really cool guy, like a grandfather with a billion anecdotes and life advice, but a grandfather who invented the internet. He was incredibly humble and kind,” said Q26’s Ben Graney Green. Afterwards, students and alumni alike were able to talk with him and tour around the modern and sleek Google DC office. This event was something many people will rave about for years to come.