Bell Labs presented a unique, custom Bennett Award to Vint Cerf, widely regarded as a“Father of the Internet”. Cerf received Bell Lab’s Shannon Visionary Award for his participation in the Shannon Luminary Lecture Series and Award. The series continues the tradition of the renowned Bell Labs General Research Colloquia of the past, but with an orientation towards the future. This lecture series is comprised of speakers who are luminaries in a wide diversity of fields and who share their perspective on the most important technologies, science, engineering, mathematics – and even more aesthetic matters – that will transform human existence in the next decades. Each visionary speaker receives the Shannon Luminary Award (a custom award designed by Bennett Awards) and an honorarium of $5,000 to be donated to a cause of their choosing.
In 2017, Bennett Awards worked with Bell Labs to create a new custom award design for the Shannon Luminary Award. The sculptural component of this hand-sculpted award is based on an impressionistic figure representing Claude Shannon. The figure is surrounding by objects meaningful to Shannon’s life, including an electronic mouse, a clarinet, and a unicycle. The figure is also juggling, and the balls are supported by a flowing banner that contains some of the mathematical theorems developed by Shannon.
The most recent recipient of this award, Vint Cerf, is generally regarded as a “Father of the Internet”. He is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. In December 1997, President Bill Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and his colleague, Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet. In 2004, Cerf was the recipient of the ACM Alan M. Turing award (sometimes called the “Nobel Prize of Computer Science”) and in 2005 he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George Bush. Cerf gave his Shannon Luminary Lecture on March 20, 2018. In his lecture, titled “The Future of the Internet of Things: Desirable properties of an IoT ecosystem”, Cerf discussed the benefits and the potential pitfalls of a massively automated world.