Brad Fidler

UTC−04:00
Office hours 4:30-6:30pm Thurs

brfd@protonmail.ch
Public Key
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Research
Books
Publications
Talks

Blog (rss)
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Hello, World

I am a consulting historian of computing, which means I use historical analysis to improve outcomes for STEM and tech policy organizations and research projects. I specialize in the evolution of computer network protocols, architectures, security, and technical management.

I am an Assistant Professor with the Stevens Institute of Technology, in the Science, Technology, and Society Program. Previously I was a researcher with the UCLA Computer Science Department. Prior to that I studied political economy, economic history, and the history of technology.

Current Funded Research Projects

Google: DNSSEC and the IANA Functions. This study is an assessment of how the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions will incorporate the present and expanded technical and coordination requirements imposed by the Domain Name System Security Extensions.

Lockheed Martin: Mission Engineering and Multi-Domain Operations. Multi-Domain Operations integrate communications between assets across multiple domains (e.g. subsea, sea, land, air, and space) as a coherent system-of-systems.

National Science Foundation: Sociotechnical Metrics Frameworks for Network and Security Operation Centers. I am working with fellow PI Alex Bardas to specify a new class of metrics frameworks for enterprise network Security Operations Centers.

ICANN: Visualizing the Evolution of Internet Identifiers. This project is creating a comprehensive dataset of node/edge relationships governing the maintenance, assignment, and reservation of Internet identifiers, from their origins in 1967 until 2017.

Books

I have three book projects underway; manuscripts for the first two are nearly complete.

Inventing Protocol is under contract with The MIT Press and supported by the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (USC/ISI), where I am a Visiting Research Scholar. It is a historical analysis of the ontological systems that structure key Internet protocols, as well as incremental changes and clean-slate redesigns.

The Creation and Technical Administration of Internet Identifiers is the first systematic study of the forms of authority behind the IANA functions), from their inception until the IANA Stewardship Transition. Co-authored with Russ Mundy, introduction by Vint Cerf and Steve Crocker; Google and ICANN funding.

Anxiety continues my PhD research on how networked computation mediates the relationships between mental illness diagnostic categories and self.

Publications

Repositories

Zotero (a list of publications with PDFs); ORCID (nothing like a persistent identifier to really tie the system logic together); ResearchGate (a horrid company, but I keep them updated); Google Scholar

Upcoming

Political Values in Technical Systems: Reconsidering IETF Human Rights Protocol Considerations is a paper that Farzaneh Badiei and I are writing. We presented it at IETF 104 and I posted the very early draft.

Adapting the Internet to the COVID-19 Crisis: Early Findings from a Security Operations Center, is a paper on reconfiguring enterprise networks to suit the qualitative shifts in Internet use brought on by the pandemic.

Lineages of Network Centric Warfare: Origins of the present crisis in defense modelling and simulation. With some yet-unidentified co-authors.

The Origins of Bindings is a paper on the evolution of binding architectures that I aim to publish one of these years.

DNSSEC and the Future of the Root Zone is a technical report on the institutional basis of the Domain Name System Security Extensions.

Modestly Selected Talks

2020 Against the Encrypted Network Society, ISG Research Seminar, Royal Holloway, University of London, London; 2020; From Blood Feuds to Domain Names: A Social History of Bindings, Stevens Institute of Technology Humanities Forum, Hoboken; 2019 Political Values in Technical Systems: Human Rights Protocol Considerations (see paper). With Farzaneh Badii. Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) 104, Prague; 2018 Toward a Political Economy of Cybersecurity, University of California Irvine Informatics Department Seminar Series, Irvine; 2017 Social Relations and Routing Architectures, Special Interest Group for Computing in Society (SIGCIS), Computer History Museum, Menlo Park; 2017 Cybersecurity and the End-to-End Principle, Workshop on New Connections for Digital Humanities and Cybersecurity, Arizona State University, Phoenix; 2016 The Dependence of Cyberspace: Political and Technical Maintenance of Internet Resources, The Maintainers: A Conference, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken; 2015 The Emergence of Border Router Protocols and Autonomous Systems c. 1968-89, Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) Special Interest Group for Computers, Information and Society (SIGCIS), Albuquerque; 2013 Localized Data on the Early Internet: Sociohistorical Implications of ARPANET and NSFNET Traffic Patterns, Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), San Diego; 2012 Mental Health and Economic History: Changes in Antipsychotic Drug Markets in the US c. 1960-2000, Research Forum in Medical History and the Medical Humanities, University of California, Los Angeles, 2012; 2009 Twitter Freedoms: Intellectual Property Rights and Social Media, 140 Conference, New York; 2005 Debating Theory and Methodology for Late Imperial China, York Center for Asian Research, York University, Toronto

Teaching

My courses include Computing and Capitalism, Internet Politics and Protocols, and Cyberspace and National Security. I am creating a new course on foundational principles in computer science, co-taught with Stevens Software Engineering, and another on the intersection of psychopharmacology markets and computation.

Affiliations

ACM & SIGCOMM (member), Friends of the SEP Society (associate), my town’s historical society (volunteer), Internet Histories (editorial board). Reviewer for IEEE Annals, MIT Press, Science Technology & Human Values, History & Technology, Internet Histories.

Formerly: University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (USC-ISI; visiting scholar), UCLA Digital Humanities (faculty affiliate), UCLA High School Summer Research Program (volunteer guide), UCLA Center for Health Services and Society (affiliate), UCLA Center for Society and Genetics (affiliate), IEEE Annals of the History of Computing (department editor), Beijing University (visiting student), University of Toronto (visiting graduate student), Problematique (graphic designer)

Landscaping & Python

I do my best. Follow me on Strava for cycling and boxing yard projects.

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