Survivability: Networks and Statues Converge

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Dr Richard Thompson, Director of the SIS Telecommunications Program, is leading a network survivability research project funded by Telecontinuity Inc located in Rockville, MD. During a recent meeting of his research team, in which the focus of discussion revolved around how best to display network status representations, Dr Thompson suggested that they "Go see the best" referring to the AT&T Global Network Operations Center(GNOC). SIS's Institutional Advancement officer Andrew Falk arranged for a tour of the AT&T facility on April 12 of this year.

Andy drove a carload of team members from Pittsburgh, while a group of Telecontinuity personnel left from Rockville, converging on Bedminster, NJ. While approaching the AT&T headquarters building the group paused to admire the historical "Golden Boy" statue standing near the entrance.

For many years, this statue was perched at the very top of AT&T's headquarters building, when AT&T was the parent company of the Bell System, and HQ was a skyscraper at 195 Broadway in NYC (about two blocks from the World Trade Center).

Golden Boy also posed as an alternate Bell System logo.
Dr. Thompson, who worked for AT&T's Bell Labs before coming to Pitt, hadn't seen Golden Boy since he visited AT&T's HQ in 1967, before the WTC was even built.

From left to right, the group assembled in the photograph includes:
Eugene, Shi Lu, Raul Vera, Dr.Thompson, Boonchai, Artprecha, and Budi. Eugene, Boonchai, and Art are Pitt Telecom PhD students working on the Telecontinuity project. Shi Lu is another Telecom PhD student, who will graduate this April, and he is a Telecontinuity employee working in Pittsburgh. Raul Vera Telecontinuity's Chief Technology Officer. Budi is a former Pitt MST student, currently employed by Telecontinuity. Andy Falk, part of the Pittsburgh contingent, is not present in the picture. The Rockville contingent included Raul, Budi, and Bob Bozsa, who took the picture.

The AT&T people were outstanding hosts and their GNOC is amazing. It reminded us of NASA's Manned Space Control Center in Houston. Telecontinuity will do something a little less ambitious.