This computer pioneer’s invention made Zoom possible


NYU Tandon Alum Erol Gelenbe is recognized as a pioneer in the field of modeling and performance evaluation of computer systems and networks, and is best known for creating G-networks and random neural networks. 

"I was interested in computation — how computers can calculate and also by how the languages that the computers are able to process are transformed by random events that can occur for a variety of reasons. Then I became interested in the foundations of the design of computer systems and networks, and how design choices impact their performance," he explained.

Gelenbe says he had the most fun inventing the cognitive packet network for real-time adaptive routing in packet networks without routing tables, for which he holds a patent. He also holds two patents for the first packet-voice telephone switch, which he designed in the 1990s. This switch is the technology used to make platforms like Zoom and Skype possible. 

Along with innovating, Gelenbe enjoys academia, as "you’re always surrounded by young people, so you’re constantly in contact with people who are asking questions and don’t take things for granted."