Cookie usage policy

The website of the University Carlos III of Madrid use its own cookies and third-party cookies to improve our services by analyzing their browsing habits. By continuing navigation, we understand that it accepts our cookie policy. "Usage rules"

Prof. James F. Kurose

Laudatio Prof. James F. Kurose


Dear President of the University Carlos III, vice-minister, general director and subgeneral director of the regional government, authorities from the city hall of Getafe, other authorities, doctors and colleagues.

Also, and very specially, dear colleagues of the Telematics Department of the University and researchers of the IMDEA Networks institute. I know that this is a special day for you, as it is for me, since we are giving this important distinction to one of the most prominent researchers in our field.

And I would also like to thank the general secretary for telecommunications, Arturo Azcorra, for being here today and also for being the initial proposer of this honoris causa doctorate for Jim Kurose, before being appointed in his current post at the ministry.


It is my great pleasure to give this laudatio speech for Jim Kurose, a researcher that I profoundly admire.

Jim Kurose has been one of the pioneers of the Internet, which is the most complex system ever built by the human being. Without Jim’s contributions, the Internet would probably different from the network we all know today, and our understanding of it would also be less deep.

IMDEA Networks

Besides his highly impactful research contributions, Jim has also been an extraordinary asset to our research community for his activities in education, mentoring and service.

If you allow me a personal note, I would like to highlight Jim’s contribution to the IMDEA Networks research institute here in Madrid, which is a great example of how Jim’s service has greatly benefited our research community.

As you know, IMDEA Networks is a research institute which focuses on networking and is located in the region of Madrid. According to the most accepted ranking in the areas, IMDEA Networks is among the top research institutions in Europe in its field.

When back in 2006 we were starting to build the IMDEA Networks, we invited Jim to become a member of its Scientific Council. Even though the institute was nothing else than a project at that time, Jim kindly accepted the invitation.

Having Jim and others associated to the institute gave credibility to the initiative and was instrumental to convince top researchers to join us. Thank you very much Jim, for your great support and guidance all these years. Without you, IMDEA Networks would be a very different reality from what it is today.

Brief biography

After this introduction, I would like to highlight the biography of Jim Kurose along with his most remarkable achievements in terms of research, teaching and service.

Jim Kurose is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received his B.A. degree from Wesleyan University in physics and his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University in computer science.

After he finished his doctoral degree, Kurose became a faculty member of Computer Science in University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has been a visiting scientist at the University Paris, Institut Eurecom, INRIA, Technicolor and IBM Research.

From 2015, Dr. Kurose also serves as the Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation for Computer and Information Science and Engineering.


Kurose's research has focused on computer network architecture, network measurement, sensor networks, and multimedia communication.  He has made seminal contributions in the design, analysis, modeling and measurement of computer networks and their protocols.

Jim’s research has largely contributed to shape the network technologies that we have and we all use today, and it has received the recognition of the research community.

He is recipient of numerous research awards, including the most important ones in the area of networking: the IEEE Infocom Award, the ACM SIGCOMM Lifetime Achievement Award and, the ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time Award.

He was also elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for contributions to the design and analysis of network protocols for multimedia communication.


Jim is not only a great researcher but also an extraordinary teacher and mentor, as witnessed by the many awards he has received for such activities.

Kurose is the recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award from the National Technological University (8 times), the Outstanding Teacher Award from the UMass College of Natural Science and Mathematics, the Outstanding Teaching Award of the Northeast Association of Graduate Schools and he also received IEEE Computer Society Taylor Booth Education Medal.

With Keith Ross, he is co-author of the best-selling textbook in networking, which is entitled Computer Networking: a Top Down Approach. This book is unanimously considered as the main reference textbook in networking, and has sold more copies than all other networking textbooks combined.

Kurose’s book represents a revolutionary approach in teaching, by treating networking it in a top-down manner, by beginning at the application layer and working its way down toward the physical layer, in contrast to the traditional teaching approach of starting from down in the network and going up to the application. This proved very useful to teaching networking to students, which start with the applications they are familiar with and then learn what is going on underneath to make such applications work.


Jim has also stood out for his service to the community, as his activities over the past 35 years has truly furthered the field of computer science and shaped the industry. 

Through his career, Jim has distinguished himself as leader in numerous impactful service roles in the computing research community. In every setting, Kurose has brought his tireless energy, enthusiasm, and extraordinary collegiality to build community, and strengthen our field. 

It is particularly worth highlighting his role as Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at NSF, which an annual budget of $900 million. His visionary leadership as in launching new programs and initiatives across a broad spectrum of computing disciplines has greatly benefited the computing research community.

It is also worth highlighting Kurose’s service as Assistant Director for Artificial Intelligence at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. As part of his Artificial Intelligence leadership on behalf of the community, he led an all-of-government effort to conceptualize and launch the National AI Research Institutes. The National AI Institutes program was a huge success directly attributable to Kurose’s insightful and persistent leadership.

For these and other service contributions on government affairs, Jim Kurose received the Distinguished Service award granted by CRA, the Computing Research Association.

In terms of service for the networking research community, Jim’s contributions have also been of great value. Dr. Kurose was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, which is the most prestigious journal in our areas. He has been active in the program committees for a number of years of the top conferences in the field, such as IEEE INFOCOM, ACM SIGCOMM, and ACM SIGMETRICS, and has served as Technical Program Co-Chair for these conferences.


I would like to close my laudatio speech by congratulating Jim for this distinction and thanking him for all his invaluable contributions to our research community. Jim: you are a reference and an inspiration for all of us.