It’s really amusing when some members of the younger generation scoff at mathematics and its importance in their world. I usually ask them to do a search on their smartphone for “Leonard Kleinrock internet equations”—Afterwards they ask, “Who is Leonard Kleinrock?” they are astounded at what they find.
I go on to tell them that they would never be able to search the web for answers, send a Tweet, use Facebook or look at a YouTube video without mathematical equations and Leonard Kleinrock, the Father of the Internet.
It all started with Claude Shannon’s equation says Kleinrock. Shannon had a great influence on Kleinrock who commented that he had a very complex problem and the answer turned out to be very simple. He walked into Shannon's office as soon as he got the result and asked him, “Why does it turn out so easy?” In two minutes Shannon had it and he never seen the problem before.
Kleinrock’s Independence Approximation was the next mathematical key to the Internet. See Figure 1 and Equation 1 and Reference 6.
Kleinrock commented on the 1969 big events, “For one thing we put a man on the moon. Second thing is the Woodstock Festival took place up in New York State–A bunch of crazy people running around doing different kinds of things. An Event with probability of zero occurred: the Mets Won the World Series In baseball. Charles Manson went on a murderous killing spree in Los Angeles. Oh, And by the way, the Internet was born. Nobody noticed. Even those of us who were putting it together didn't notice in some sense.”
Kleinrock says that the key to the success of the Internet was not really in the technology but the environment in which it was developed. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) managers’ interests in the so-called Internet was primarily concerned with long-range funding, high-risk/high-payoff, and their brilliant program managers had a limited term so they had no real agendas that could affect the long term and they did not interfere with the studies.
There was a very relaxed attitude by the principle investigators in the research, so graduate students were allowed to blossom and show off their creativity in cross-university cooperation. No one was really in charge, but they trusted each other and put the best ideas into action. That was the big contribution to the success of the Internet in the early days.
I highly recommend that you check out this film: Lo and Behold–That's Leonard Kleinrock pounding on that Interface Message Processor!
4 Leonard Kleinrock: Charting the Course of the Internet (This is on IEEE XPlore which will require a purchase of a membership)