This paper “launched a revolution and, ultimately, a religion,” the award committee said in its commendation. “This paper gave system designers, and especially Internet designers, an elegant framework for making sound decisions.”
The paper, which is widely taught in both operating systems and networking courses, was published in ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 2(4):277-288, Nov. 1984.
Reed is recognized as an expert on networks, decentralized computing platforms, and group information systems. While a PhD candidate at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science, Reed contributed significantly to the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) architecture that underlies today's Internet and World Wide Web.
His contributions to this design process, and his PhD thesis on coordination protocols in large-
scale distributed systems, were a large part of the inspiration for the paper that won the award.
He was a professor at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science when the paper was published, and continues as an adjunct professor at the MIT Media Laboratory.