Each year on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, observed on the anniversary of Sept. 11, we remember those we lost, honor those who responded and renew our shared commitment to maintaining strong communities.
On this solemn day, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) recognizes Inductee Danny Lewin, a visionary inventor who was lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and whose work continues to contribute to reaching new frontiers of technology.
Connecting People and Ideas
In the late 1990s, while he was a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Danny Lewin worked with mathematics professor and NIHF Inductee Tom Leighton to devise methods of addressing web congestion. Lewin and Leighton invented a way to intelligently replicate and deliver content over a large network of distributed servers. Their Content Delivery Network (CDN) technology would ultimately solve the frustrating congestion known as the "World Wide Wait." Together, the co-inventors founded Akamai Technologies in 1998 with the goal of improving internet speed and reliability for users everywhere.
During his graduate studies, Lewin published several breakthrough papers on computer science and received many accolades. Before co-founding Akamai, he worked at IBM's research laboratory in Haifa, Israel, as a research fellow and project leader while also completing two undergraduate degrees at the Technion, Israel's premier technology university. Lewin, who was born in Denver and raised in Jerusalem, also served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces for more than four years.
Shaping the Future
Tragically, Lewin was among the American Airlines Flight 11 victims whose plane was hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. At the time, Lewin, a beloved husband and father to two young sons, was a doctoral candidate at MIT and held one U.S. patent. Twenty-five more U.S. patents have since been issued in his name.
Today, many of the world’s largest companies continue to rely on Akamai to provide solutions designed to help them reliably and securely deliver digital experiences to billions of people every day. The company currently provides trusted solutions to top video streaming services, automotive companies, retailers, banks and more.
Lewin and Leighton’s dedication to connecting people and supporting reliable access to information launched an industry that has helped our world progress. It was Lewin’s tenacity, forward-thinking nature and commitment to advancing computer science that Leighton says led to Akamai’s mantra, “Faster Forward.” Lewin’s work is an indelible part of America’s rich history of technological innovation.