Stanford versus Berkeley


stanfordSiliconBeat has a nice piece on how Stanford is the center of innovation, and how it attracts a lot of money, and produces entrepreneurs who start companies like Cisco Systems, Yahoo and Google. No wonder with such rich alumni, they are piping Harvard to the post when it comes to fund raising. I wanted to juxtapose this with the other Bay area university, University of California, Berkeley. While, that university has not produced as many mega-billion dollar companies (though Inktomi once was just that, and now is reduced to a foot note in search history), to my mind the role of Berkeley and its long term impact cannot be underscored. Just to clarify, I did not attend the two universities (and perhaps would not even be admitted to either one!) Think of it just a reminder, an isn’t it interesting quip.

stanfordI clearly see it as the leader in open source projects that have changed the world. BSD, the software that led to OS-X which makes my life better as an Apple user is one such product. Other projects that changed the world and came from the East Bay are email server Sendmail and DNS, the very bed rock of our Internet. There was the Berkeley DB. In more recent days, SETI@Home and Predictor@Home have come from Berkeley; and so has TinyOS, the open source operating system for wireless sensor networks. In this Salon piece on Sendmail author Eric Allman, Andrew Leonard writes,

“Allman’s creation, and later distribution, of sendmail did fit in naturally with the glorious hacking tradition of the computer science department at Berkeley — where mucking around with the innards of the Unix operating system was long considered, if not a God-given right, then at the very least a cherished responsibility.”


Om Malik

hey cerfer, just not saying who’s better. just pointing out obvious strengths of the two universities. just making that clear.


Bed rock of the Internet? Ever heard of TCP/IP or Vint Cerf?
After developing the Internet protocols as an assistant professor at Stanford, Cerf has remained one of the Internet¹s most vigorous and articulate champions-first as a diplomat in establishing TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) as the common language of networking, and more recently as a leader for the non-profit Internet Society and as a technical guru for a telecommunications company building the architecture for the Internet’s next generation.

Jason Mulliner

Don’t forget Berkeley SPICE from the EECS program. This standard circuit design/simulation software is widely used in academia and industry. Many commercial products are based on this standard and it is used to design much of the great analog circuitry that powers technology.


Don’t forget the seminal work of David Patterson at Berkeley that led to RISC processing and more importantly the concept of RAID on which the current mega billion dollar storage industry is based that allows it buy up companies like VmWare ( which by the way is a Stanford product) with the stroke of a signature and not even sweat about it.


Go Bears!! We care more about the technology and its uses for the public than making money! unlike the ‘other’ school which spends thousands of dollars in making their ‘palm drive’ look soo cool! :-)


And why did you decide to forget SUN – Stanford University Networks ? They have very cool technologies, even though the company stock is lying low, who cares ?

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