Danny Lewin, co-founder, chief technology officer of Akamai Technologies, was on board the American Airlines Flight that crashed in New York City on September 11. Danny was 31 years old and is survived by his wife and two sons.
Danny founded Akamai in September 1998, along with Tom Leighton and a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists and business professionals. As chief technology officer, he was responsible for Akamai's research and development strategy, creating innovative Internet infrastructure services that would produce an entirely new industry segment and forever change the way people and companies distributed content, data, and applications worldwide. He was recently named one of the 25 most influential CTOs by InfoWorld.com, and ranked seventh in the Power 100 list of the Enterprise Systems Journal.
Previously, Danny worked at IBM's research laboratory in Haifa, Israel, where he was a full-time research fellow and project leader while simultaneously completing two undergraduate degrees at the Technion, Israel's premier technology university. In 1995, Technion named him the year's Outstanding Student in Computer Engineering.
At IBM, he was responsible for the development and support of the company's Genesys system, a processor verification tool that is used widely within IBM and in other companies such as AMD and SGS Thompson.
First and foremost, Danny was known for his brilliance. He published and presented several breakthrough papers at top computer science conferences and received several awards, including the 1998 Morris Joseph Lewin Award for Best Masterworks Thesis Presentation at MIT. His master's thesis included some of the fundamental algorithms that make up the core of Akamai's services. He was a Ph.D. candidate in the Algorithms group at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science.
On a personal note, he had a deep affinity for speed and freedom, maintaining an avid interest in motorcycles, fast cars, and skiing. Everyone who knew Danny knew a man who was always on the go, deeply driven, and incredibly competitive. He inspired everyone around him to work at their very best, never taking no for an answer, and calling anything that got in his way obstreperous, his most favorite word.
Born in Denver, CO, and raised in Jerusalem, Danny was an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, having served in the country's military for more than four years. He received a bachelor of arts and of science, summa cum laude, from Technion and a master's degree from MIT.
He will be deeply and sadly missed.
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