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F. Don Smith

Research Professor

(42) Ph.D. 1978, UNC-Chapel Hill. Computer networks; operating systems; distributed systems; multimedia.


F. Donelson (Don) Smith is a research professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received a B.S. in Chemistry in 1962, an M.S. in Industrial Management in 1964, both from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1978. He worked as a scientific programmer at the atomic energy laboratories in Oak Ridge, Tenn., from 1963 to 1965, prior to joining IBM. At IBM, from 1965 until his retirement in 1997, Dr. Smith held a number of technical and management positions, most of them in networking product development at Research Triangle Park, N.C. He has broad experience in a number of areas at IBM including computer architecture (IBM 8100 system), network architecture (Systems Network Architecture–SNA), programming languages and compilers (Format and Protocol Language–FAPL), multimedia networking (Person-to-Person), and network performance measurements. From 1983 to 1986, he was assigned to Carnegie Mellon University where he was assistant director of the Information Technology Center and a principal in the Andrew Project, responsible for developments in networking and user interface toolkits. While at IBM he also held visiting and adjunct faculty appointments in computer science at UNC-Chapel Hill. He became a research professor in the department in 1997. Dr. Smith’s research interests are in networking, multimedia, distributed systems, and operating systems.