Amateur Radio Digital Communications Completes Turing Scholarship Endowment

Apr 3, 2020
Brian Kantor’s Retirement Party at UC San Diego on January 3, 2018

The Center for Networked Systems (CNS) at UC San Diego has announced that following a $225,533 donation from the Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) association, the Alan Turing Memorial Scholarship is now fully endowed.

“We are incredibly grateful to ARDC for their generous gift,” said CNS Co-Director Stefan Savage. “Now that the endowment is complete, starting in the spring of 2021, we will be able to provide $10,000 scholarships for worthy students in perpetuity.”

A nonprofit based in California, ARDC promotes STEM education and digital development for amateur radio. Their gift honors former UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) employee and ARDC founder Brian Kantor, who died unexpectedly in November 2019.

Kantor worked at UC San Diego for 47 years, including a decade at CSE. During his long career, he was a university postmaster, ran the name servers, and helped manage network infrastructure. Among his many accomplishments, he wrote the protocol standard for rlogin, and designed the Network News Transport Protocol (NNTP) that was the foundation for Netnews. Kantor was a nationally known ham radio operator and co-founded and managed AMPRnet, the gateway between the amateur packet radio community and the Internet. He retired from CSE in 2018.

CNS established the scholarship in 2015 to encourage a more diverse and inclusive community of engineers and to pay homage to Alan Turing. “Alan Turing is a giant in the pantheon of computer science pioneers, and his story is both tragic and inspirational,” said CNS Co-Director George Porter. Turing is a co-founder of the field of computer science and a brilliant mathematician, and his work contributed substantially to the Allied victory in World War II through his brilliant codebreaking. After the war, Turing suffered outright persecution for his activities as a gay man. He died by suicide in 1954.

“I am delighted that you are able to support students through the Alan Turing Memorial Scholarship, said Dermot Turing, Alan’s nephew. “I am certain that this kind of initiative is one which would have received his whole-hearted support.”

The scholarship is for enrolled UC San Diego undergraduate students majoring in computer science or computer engineering, public policy, communications, and other programs touching on networked systems, and who are active in supporting the LGBT community. With generous donations from individuals, and corporations/foundations, CNS has awarded scholarships to six deserving UC San Diego undergraduate students since 2016. “CNS is extremely grateful to Brian Kantor and the ARDC for completing the endowment of this scholarship,” said CNS Administrative Officer Jennifer Folkestad. “It has and will continue to have a transformative impact on students for generations to come.”