Professor Lixia Zhang, jointly with Amin Vahdat of Google, won the 2020 SIGCOMM Lifetime Award for Networking, the top ACM networking award. Past winners include Internet pioneers such as Baran, Cerf, and Kahn.
Zhang’s fingerprints are all over the Internet protocols from TCP timers to helping chart a course for secure DNS to the Stream Control Transmission Protocol. One of her most enduring contributions is to Internet QoS. RSVP, the protocol she helped create at XEROX PARC, has changed the way QoS is reserved today. Furthermore, RSVP has spawned two major protocols widely deployed in the industry: RSVP-TE, a traffic engineering protocol used for decades, and GMPLS, a key to the 7 billion dollar optical switching market today. She has also been one of the longest-serving members on the Internet Architecture Board. This broad array of contributions shares a common theme: understanding the interaction between complex components, as described in her SIGCOMM citation.
Zhang’s SIGCOMM Award brings the number of SIGCOMM Award winners still actively associated with UCLA to 3, the highest of any university in the world.