Ray Tomlinson


  • M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1965
  • B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1963


Reading, music, writing programs (Kaleidoscope program, puzzle simulations) for fun


Ray is associated with many of BBN Technologies’ most significant networking innovations. He has contributed to the design of several network protocols, including the ARPANET host-host protocol, NVT protocol, TCP and IP protocols, packet radio protocols, and multimedia email protocols. He designed and implemented the first network email system, participated in the design of a secure network communication system, and implemented the first electronic key distribution. Although his accomplishments are numerous, Ray is perhaps best known as the creator of the @ protocol for addressing email.

Ray has also played a key role in the development of time-shared computing. He developed the software for the real-time input-output system of a timeshared SDS-940 computer system and was one of the principal designers of the TENEX time-sharing monitor for the DEC PDP-10 computer.

During his 32 years at BBN Technologies, Ray made significant contributions to many additional projects. He was the principal designer of Jericho, a single-user computer for use by BBN scientists, and he implemented a large portion of its operating system. As a member of the Monarch team, Ray developed the instruction sequencer for a large, shared-memory parallel processor computer using custom-designed VLSI circuits. He was the principal software architect for the Pathfinder project, which developed systems for health and status monitoring of and communication between members of special teams operating in situations with inadequate information infrastructure. Ray has also worked on a video information server and multimedia conferencing systems. For the past 17 years, he has held the title of Principal Engineer, a position of distinction at BBN Technologies. More recently, Ray developed a Logistics Anchor Desk (LogAD) to provide a situation awareness display and other tools that integrate database information on the location of critical resources to aid logisticians in discovering problems and creating solutions. Ray also spent a year revising the CyberTrust software architecture to make it more effective. Currently, he is working on the Advanced Logistics Project (ALP), an agent-based logistics planning system architecture aimed at incorporating adequate persistence to survive an outage without data loss.

Ray has published and presented extensively on processor hardware design, distributed architecture, networking protocols, time sharing, and speech synthesis.