Ivan Frisch received a BS in physics, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Queens College and Columbia University on a combined plan program in 1958. He received his MS and PhD from Columbia in EE in 1959 and 1962. From 1962-69 he was an Assistant and then Associate Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. From 1969-1980 he was Senior Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors at the Network Analysis Corporation (NAC), of which he was a co-founder. At the time of its sale to Contel in 1980, NAC was the largest company in the country devoted to telecommunications consulting. From 1980 to 1986 he was General Manager of New York Operations and President of the Information Products Division at Contel. From 1987 to 1992 he was Technical Director, and then Director of the Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications (CATT) at Polytechnic University. From 1992 to 1994 he served as Provost at Polytechnic University. In 1994 he was named Executive Vice President and Provost of the University. He is now Presidential Fellow of Polytechnic Institute of New York University and Professor Emeritus in its Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
At NAC he led teams in the development of ARPANET, the world's first packet switching network, and NASDAQ, one of the first nationwide computerized financial transaction processing systems, and the world's first CATV design program. He was the founding Editor in Chief of Networks, published by Wiley, and he is co-author of one of the earliest books on computer communication systems Communication, Transmission and Transportation Networks (Addison Wesley, 1971), which won an award from the Operations Research Society of America. He has published over 125 other articles, papers and chapters in books. He is the founder and was academic director of an executive format masters program in Information Systems Engineering at Polytechnic University.
He has been a member of the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society and a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Communications Society, and Vice President, Technical Affairs. He was Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Circuit Theory and Features Editor of the IEEE Communications Magazine. He has chaired the IEEE Communication Society Workshop on Network Management and Control, whose proceedings were published by Plenum Press.
He was a member of the Board of Trustees, and Chairman of CIESIN, a member of the Board of Directors of NAC, NYSERnet and, from 1992 to 2012, Standards Microsystems Corp.
He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu, has held a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Residency at Bell Laboratories, and has been elected a Fellow of the IEEE for his contributions to the development and applications of telecommunications networks.
He holds the Wheeler Award for Achievements in Telecommunications of the Long Island Section of the IEEE. He is the co-recipient of the IEEE 1999 Eric E. Sumner Award for Outstanding Contributions to Communications Technology, specifically for “Innovative Contributions to the Modeling and Design of Communications Networks”. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.