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Steve Hotz, Chief Scientist

Steve Hotz

Steve Hotz serves CenterGate® as Chief Scientist, bringing a depth of expertise in networking, operating, and distributed systems, as well as broad skills in the areas of academic research, system evaluation, and project management. His experience in routing protocols, naming and directory services, large-scale and high-performance server systems, and transport protocol design and implementation provides a framework for CenterGate's system development projects. Steve brings eleven years of scientific experience with USC's Information Sciences Institute (ISI) to his leadership position at CenterGate.

Steve's long association with ISI, where he was mentored by Jon Postel and Paul Mockapetris, began in 1988 as a PhD student. He successfully defended his thesis dissertation on Route Computation and Information Organization for Heterogeneous Global Internetworks in 1994, and joined ISI as a research scientist. As a Computer Scientist at ISI, Steve was involved in a number of technical and funding proposals, and was a member of several key research teams.

His first efforts were in the emerging Domain Name System, where he developed tools to evaluate performance and diagnose system misconfigurations. He continued his work on DNS by serving as technical lead of the MINDEX Project, which produced the initial ideas for several DNS mechanisms that were developed within the IETF and are deployed in the 'bind' implementation today, i.e., the notify and the incremental transfer mechanisms. For the past five years, Steve has been the primary technical expert for DNS issues at ISI, including responsibility for technical oversight of the US Domain.

Steve contributed to a diverse set of projects during his tenure at ISI. These included the X-Bone project, an automated system for deploying private overlay networks, the Large Scale Active Middleware (LSAM) project, a system to automatically configure sets of interconnected proxy caches and algorithms to route HTML requests among caches, and the Netstation project, which focused on a system architecture where the system bus is replaced by gigabit LAN technology. As part of Netstation, Steve developed two high-performance transport protocol implementations: a custom Device Transport Protocol (DTP), and a port of TCP to the Netstation operating environment. As part of LSAM, Steve designed a mechanism based on IP multicast to automatically configure a hierarchical system of proxy caches.

Steve worked as a USC Research Assistant with Deborah Estrin from 1991-1994 on projects focusing on inter-domain routing. During this time he was a collaborator in the development of the Unified Routing Architecture, and designed a software simulation tool to generate very large internetwork models for use in research and commercial protocol development.

During his years at USC and ISI, Steve was selected for several visiting researcher and consulting positions. Most recently, he was a Network Systems Consultant to Genuity Inc. where he was the principle architect of their flagship "HopScotch" product and leader of the HopScotch development team. Steve was a Visiting Research Fellow at Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc. in the spring of 1994, and spent six months as a research intern with IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, where he designed, evaluated and published a configuration language for administrative policy for the ISO inter-domain routing protocol, IDRP.

Steve has eleven publications and over ten presentations to his credit, as well as several software distributions, including the widely used 'dig' tool for DNS queries. He has taught the senior operating systems class at USC, and has been a teaching assistant for various computer systems classes. He has served as a reviewer for National Science Foundation proposals, and for a number of professional conferences and publications including IEEE InfoCom, ACM SigComm, GlobeComm, Networld+Interop, Supercomputing, and IEEE Selected Areas in Communications.

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