Network Analysis News

Here is some information about net-analysis people and what they've been doing since net-analysis disbanded.

To submit or modify a news item, send a couple paragraphs of text (or mild HTML) saying what you have been up to and (optionally) a couple of photos. Mail to: If you submit photos, send along some captions for them.

Just because the 2004 reunion is over doesn't mean you can't send in a news update. I'll be keeping this page up so send an update now and I'll include it on the page.

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Page last updated 23 May 2004 10:55am EDT (Ginny Blake, Michael Frishkopf, Varda Haimo, Jeff Kimmelman, Ken Pogran and Zinky)

Kyle Adler

After I departed BBN in 1988, Mary and I spent two years in Philadelphia where I got my MBA, then we got married in Western Massachusetts and headed to the San Francisco Peninsula where we've lived ever since. Amazingly, I've been with the same employer, Hewlett-Packard, for the whole 14 years in California. In jobs there too numerous to list, I got the chance to market services and manage marketing teams in a variety of settings, from startup operations to mature businesses. For the last three years I have been HP's worldwide marketing manager for consumer services and support, a refreshing change of pace after marketing to enterprise customers for more than a decade. HP's culture has changed a lot during my tenure there, but I'm still enjoying the work most of the time.

Mary did stints as a technical writer with several companies, including five years with Oracle, but has really come into her own these past six years as manager of tech pubs with a software company called Actuate. She joined as their 59th employee, experienced the dubious dot-com era thrill of an IPO, survived the Internet bust, and now enjoys being part of a well-managed mid-sized company. Most of the young dot-commers who migrated westward in search of silicon gold are gone now, but we feel fortunate to be here still. The SF Bay Area has to be, along with Boston, one of the great places in the world to live.

Our two girls, Chloe (9) and Celeste (7), delight and confound us daily. They're great friends but have very different personalities. Chloe is thoughtful and introspective, prefering to read a good book or engineer games with her friends. She loves science projects, plays the clarinet and piano, and enjoys drama. Celeste is brash and athletic and won't sit still long enough to finish a book, but is equally bright and loves all her subjects at school. She enjoys gymnastics, piano, chess, and girl scouts. Keeping up with the girls is a challenge but it keeps life interesting.

I long ago got rid of the ridiculous 2-seater "car" and now drive a Volvo station wagon with 150,000 miles. But in other ways I have steadfastly refused to grow up since the NAG days. I still play trombone in a couple of local symphonies and chamber groups, and we continue to travel every chance we get. With Chloe and Celeste in tow, we have traveled recently to Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Egypt, Israel, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and throughout CONUS (an acronym I haven't used since my MILNET analysis days). We like to intersperse visiting exotic destinations with conventional ones, and these photos show both types of trips: in the first, the four of us stand on the rumbling slopes of Volcan Arenal in Costa Rica; the second one, taken by Chloe, shows Mary and me at a Hawaiian luau decked out in our tacky matching aloha wear.

Hope the NAG reunion is a blast. Sorry I won't be able to make it this time, but I do hope to see many of you soon. I have such fond memories of this great group of people.

Posted 5/04/04. Top of this page
Adler family at volcan arenal Mary and Kyle on Big Island
Susan Bernstein

Since I left BBN in 1996, I've been consulting on network- and internet-related contracts. Gradually but deliberately, I've shifted the content of what I work on to natural and environmental science. In my work with conservation scientists in the Northeast division of The Nature Conservancy, I make (i.e. design, develop, edit, produce, deliver) information products for other conservation professionals — extremely data-dense ones that force me to think about usability, first and foremost. Al Vaskas and I still live in Wellesley.

Posted 4/19/04. Top of this page
Virginia Blake

Sorry that I'll miss everyone on Sunday, but I've been enjoying a virtual reunion by reading the updates. When I left BBN I travelled in Asia for a year, then returned to Boston to begin a career as a high school math and computer science teacher. I am now the head of the math department at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Jessica, my little red-head, is 6 and the light of my life. She and I are still living in Somerville.

Posted 5/21/04. Top of this page
Ginny and Jessica Jessica on the steps
Cameron Claussen

Okay, since I don't want to bore everyone, here's the short version of life since we last reuned...

Work, work, work, ESI to Experian and now at BEA.

Still loving Colorado - had an entire Claussen clan reunion in Vail last summer. About 35 Claussens together for the weekend - what a blast.

No kids, but nephews and nieces are really terrific.

My fun project last year was to see if I could bring a product idea to a point where it could be trademarked and patented, and perhaps even brought to market. Met some really cool people along the way. Turned out to be too expensive to produce the way I envisioned, but one of these days I may be able to refactor in some way. Rather than give details, I want to send you a couple of them to give away at the reunion - you decide how the lucky recipients are randomly chosen.

I'm going to miss all of you, but I'll check out the website for pictures. And I am planning on getting out there a little later this summer, so maybe I'll be able to catch up with some of you then!

Posted 5/09/04. Top of this page
Susan Coombs

Last February, when Genuity became Level3 and I learned they no longer had a job for me, along with a few other network analysis group members, I began searching for a new job. By far the best aspect of the job search was having the opportunity to catch up with other network analysis group folks, and other colleagues and friends, many of whom generously shared insights into their career development, along with job search lore, and news of their lives in general. By July I had found a new position as a contractor at Verizon, where I'm developing a rule-based expert system to isolate and diagnose faults in Layer-1 and Layer-2 protocols. We're even branching into Layer-3 with some recent IP-VPN additions.

Meanwhile, Effie and Julia, my two daughters, are now 14 and 10. Effie's finishing up her freshman year at Brookline High School, and enjoys sports (especially soccer), music, reading, and spending time with her friends. Julia has a great teacher this year in fifth grade, and has enjoyed learning about ancient civilizations, including Egyptian, and currently, Indian. She also especially enjoys dance, music, and reading.

It will be wonderful to see so many of you in a few weeks!

Posted 5/02/04. Top of this page
Susan and Effie at Effie\'s Lawrence graduation June 2003 effie and julia
Jim Dempsey

After the Network analysis group, I spent a couple years in BBN Software Products building Cornerstone, a cross platform statistical analysis/data visualization product. Then I joined slb in BBN Labs working on BBN Internet Server -- an all-in-one linux-based internet server for schools, administrated from a Macintosh. I left BBN in 1997 to join InTouch Systems, Mike Krasner's speech recognition telephony application startup. I had a great time there with Mike, Larry D, Stephen G., Fred W. In 1999 InTouch was purchased by Comverse, which is where I am now working on VoiceXML-based media servers.

My daughter Samantha is 13 (going on 17!) and my son Justin is 9. I live in Littleton and work in Wakefield. My wife Heidi just started working at BBN again! Reach me at

Posted 4/20/04. Top of this page
Justin and Heidi
Larry Denenberg

After leaving NAG I did nothing at all of any significance until last year, when I married Rachael Rosner. I've now worked for Mike Krasner at five companies; the latest is our little startup Oxy Systems, which builds software for mobile phones. I still spend a lot of time dancing, biking, and teaching. I live in Newton in the Hyde House, built in the seventeenth century and the oldest in the city.

Posted 4/20/04. Top of this page
Roger Fradenburgh

True confession: When the invite first arrived, it took me a few moments to remember I WAS a Net Analysis member for a while. Bad sign. How could I have forgotten the fun I had authoring one of the MILNET quarterly reports? :-) I'll be forever grateful to Irvin Schick and Hershel Safer for helping me survive the experience. But anyway,

I'm now with my fifth post-BBN employer, having exchanged business cards twice of my own volition since 1998 and twice, uh, ... the other way. The "past employers" section of my CV now includes a couple of outfits you've probably never heard of (Onsett, QinetiQ Trusted Info Mgt) and a couple that are well known (RSA Security & General Dynamics, where I found myself working nearby several *current* BBNers, including Roy Westerberg and Frank Bronzo). My present employer is Greenwich Technology Partners, where I'm a Managing Consultant in their security practice. My BBN past played a key role in landing there: My boss is ex-BBNer Brian Cincera. Brian joined Prof. Services just before my departure in early '98, so we really didn't get to know each other at the time. However, his experience there left him favorably disposed towards BBN people in general, both past and present, so "BBN" on my resume was a big plus. It also helped that my ex-PSO colleague Dan Lanzi has been with GTP since shortly after it was founded, and that Brian and I have both stayed in touch with Gil Falk, who no doubt got a phone call from each of us.

My wife, Jan, and I are still living in Harvard, MA, as we were when I first joined BBN. Daughter Jennifer graduated from Bowdoin in 2000, and has spent the past 3+ years in China, working in various capacities for an assortment of English language schools. Son Michael (the big guy with the goatee), is wrapping up a 2-year stint at Middlesex Community College, and plans to attend Salem State in the fall. We advised him that after MCC, his choices were 2 more years of college or "look for a job". It took him about 0.3 seconds to opt for the former. Smart kid!

That's my story in a nutshell. Anybody who wants to hear the boring details (a) may do so in person on the 23rd, and (b) really should get out more often :-).

Posted 5/07/04. Top of this page
3/4 of the Core Team, Easter 03
Michael Frishkopf

Hello everyone. As I'm now living in Cairo I can't make it to the party, but here's some quick news.

After leaving NAG for the first time in 1987 (to do an MA in Ghanaian music at Tufts) I left again more finally in 1989 (did anyone else get two farewell parties?) when I moved to Los Angeles to do a PhD (in Arab music, at UCLA). Field research took me to Egypt, where I ended up studying Islamic and Sufi ritual ( I lived in Egypt about five years, meanwhile marrying my Arabic teacher Iman Mersal--also a noted poet (see 1997. After our 1998 exodus (following her completion of an MA on the Syrian poet Adonis), I had to scramble to finish writing my 1000+ page dissertation about ritual in Sufi orders in time to take a post-doc at the University of Alberta, which led to an assistant professor job in their Department of Music ( Iman has also been teaching courses in Arabic language at the same university.

We now have two children, Mourad (4) and Joseph (2), and live in Edmonton, a short walk from the North Saskatchewan river, lots of hiking trails and even a small ski area, and just a few hours' drive from the Canadian Rockies.

Last year we decided we would like to reconnect with Egypt (and escape the frequent -30 c days of Edmonton winter). I managed to obtain a grant from the American Research Center in Egypt and took an unpaid leave from the U of A in order to study the Egyptian music industry. Iman has been writing and moving forward on her PhD in Arabic literature (Cairo University), the kids have been learning Arabic, and we're all enjoying the chance to spend time with friends and family here.

Despite appearances, I'm not completely disconnected from computer science, math, networks, or former BBNers. A couple of years ago I was invited (along with Andy Latto and Shai Simonson) by friend and ex-BBNer Michael Cohen to give a lecture at the University of Aizu, Japan (where Michael now teaches and researches a number of topics (including computer music) at the Human Interface Lab ( I've recently gotten interested in social network analysis, a branch of mathematical sociology modeling social groups as networks (in a course I taught last year we studied our own music department as a network). I helped design our university's new MA program in Humanities Computing. And a new project (in collaboration with Smithsonian Institution) involves designing a multimedia database to gather all sorts of music documentation (music, video, scores, text, etc.), with facilities for electronic peer review and markup. I did a study of citation networks in ethnomusicology. Finally, living in our Edmonton house while we're away this year are none other than Martha Steenstrup and Rich Sutton, as the latter has taken an extremely-distinguished-professorship position at the University of Alberta's department of computing science ( We are greatly looking forward to having them as neighbors.

Having repressed all memories of late nights spent in solitary contemplation of my bitgraph, I'm now experiencing very powerful nostalgia for Network Analysis and especially the fine people of its Group. It is hard to believe that exactly 20 years have passed since I signed on with Jeff M. & Co.

My very best wishes to you all.


Posted 5/21/04. Top of this page
john doe text 1
Stephen Gildea

Dancing is still my major recreation. In 1997 I started doing competitive ballroom dancing, and that has replaced a lot of the time I used to square dance. But I still dance at Tech Squares weekly, where you can also find Andy Latto and Susan Coombs.

After NAG, I worked for the MIT X Consortium and spent the next six years developing X Window System standards and implementations. In 1996 I joined InTouch, where I eventually worked with Larry Denenberg, Fred White, and Jim Dempsey.

Currently I live Cambridge and work for another start-up. My office is across the street from Building 20 and down the hall from Larry's.

Posted 5/12/04. Top of this page
In 1995 I sailed to Bermuda on a 27' sailboat. Quickstepping
Varda Haimo

Let's see. I left BBN in 1996 - went to Fidelity - got remarried a month or so later to Jim Cervantes - worked on the Fidelity retail web trading site - got fried by Fidelity politics - went to a quasi-startup business process consultancy called Primix - played a lot of pool because they didn't have much business - finally got assigned to an oil services project in Tulsa Oklahoma - WOW - went to GTE Internetworking as a consultant for a few months - went to Putnam Investments as a consultant - had my third child, Jesse, who will accompany me to the reunion - stayed at Putnam working on one interesting project after another - survived through four episodes of them telling me that I should leave in a couple weeks only to get assigned to another project - finally one of those conversations took - now I'm working for TIAA-CREF as a consultant which means travelling to NYC a couple days a week - I like it there but the family doesn't always appreciate my absences. So I live in Lexington - my daughter Amelia who I took to Net Analysis when she was a few weeks old to show her off is now finishing her junior year and starting to think about colleges - my son Joe, a fellow graduate of CV with Samantha Dempsey, is soon to start high school. Really looking forward to seeing everyone.

Posted 5/22/04. Top of this page
John Heimann

After leaving BBN in 1986, I went to GTE Govt. Systems to join former BBNer Ruth Nelson's internet security research team. I became facinated by security technology and cryptography, and have worked in that field ever since. In 1996 I moved to San Francisco to take a position at Oracle, where I am now product management director responsible for security in Oracle Applications. In my spare time I've been diving, running, and hiking a lot. I achieved one long-term goal in 1994 of diving the Andrea Doria, and if I can shave a few minutes off my marathon time, hope to qualify for another by running the Boston Marathon in 2005. If I do I will make sure to look up the net-analysis gang while I'm there.

Posted 4/30/04. Top of this page
john heimann dry john heimann wet
Frederick Hirsch

Since NAG I've married Lorraine, produced two energetic children, Elizabeth and Wolfie, sculled in the Head of the Charles, worked on web research at the OSF RI, learned at two startups, and am currently heavily involved in web services standards work at Nokia. I travel a lot which leaves little time for restoring my old house in Melrose.

Posted 5/15/04. Top of this page
Frederick on the Charles Frederick and Lorainne
Jeff Kimmelman

It's amazing how much BBN seems to define the lives of those of us who worked there. It certainly has stuck with me.

Of course, I joined NAG during my 7th or 8th year with BBN. Before that, I was in the underwater acoustics group, which some of you may remember. However, I've never gone back to those roots.

I left NAG to work with Steve Cohn and Steve Kent (and a bunch of other people way smarter than me) on network security. We got to develop some really neat crypto stuff that got pretty involved (from a software point of view). While there, I was asked to help out with some security issues at the stock exchanges in NYC. This was the first real work I had done for a commercial client as a part of Gil Falk's Internet Consulting and Engineering (ICE) group. While a part of BBN proper and not BBN Planet (under all its incarnations), we were, nevertheless, strongly affected by that rollercoaster. Eventually, that lead to my membership in what became BBN Professional Services, later GTE Professional Services. A few NAG alumni rolled into and out of that organization including Lynnell Stern, Ken Pogran and Roger Fradenburgh.

Once GTE purchased BBN, our organization rolled up under the GTE CyberTrust division. This was an unfortunate fit. CyberTrust was sold to Baltimore Technlogies, severing my nearly 20 year relationship with BBN. The business of the new company was digital certification--not my cup of tea. I took the opportunity to leave and try out something new. Unfortunately, as I've learned, venture-capital-backed startups can prove to be a rotten place to try to park a career. It took me two such experiences (Fiderus and Vigilinx) before it sank in.

Thus, I've now embarked on my latest venture. Still in the same security and network consulting vein, I've started a firm, Network & Security Technologies (, with my good friend Adam Lipson. He was the general manager of BBN Professional Services. This startup is self-funded, so we don't have to dance to the whim of the "money people." Moreover, I get to do what I like to do best: help my customers solve their problems. So far, after just a year in business, we have a large backlog of work and have grown to ten people.

Of course, all this work stuff has taken most of my time. So, I don't have a lot of non-work accomplishments to report. Iva and I still live in Stow. The house has grown over the years as we've added a kitchen (which I built myself) and renovated the barn into living space (for which I was the architect). Iva's business (Pet Source) has grown, as well. She now owns three stores in Stow, Concord and Lexington. But, even more impressive, she has really done well in her avocation; breeding, exhibiting and conditioning her dogs. (Many of you will remember us with one or another of our Whippets at previous NAG parties.) She has won two National Specialty titles (only one awarded per year) and is a highly-respected AKC judge. (She's judged the AWC National show in 2003, drawing a record entry, and is going to Amsterdam and Melbourne this year to officiate in those countries.) For myself, we've picked up a couple of Chihuahuas (Beep-beep and Bang-bang), who keep me amused when I get to be in town (which isn't a lot these days).

I can only say that I'm looking forward to seeing you all at the party on Sunday. I just hope my aging brain can put all the names to all the right faces!

Posted 5/21/04. Top of this page
Lost in Translation Iva with Swan and Racine
Anne-Marie Lambert

On the work-side, after NAG I stayed at BBN S&T for a while working on projects various related to Network Management, then joined the speech recognition group and spun off with Parlance for a few interesting years in Medford. Just in time for the stock to decline, I called George Swallow back and joined Cisco, where I've been for 5 years running a group working on MPLS VPNs, including embedded management.

Meanwhile, in a fit of emotion over a local forest a distant developer wants to chop down, I ran for Town Meeting Member here in Belmont and am otherwise in the process of getting immersed in local politics, trying to understand its baffling algorithms.

Emily is now a freshman at Belmont High School, and enjoys the cello, especially composing duets for cello and trombone with a good friend of hers. At 11 years old, Claire is our sports maven, happiest with a soccer ball, but a basketball, softball or tennis ball will do also. Our daughters enjoy a wonderful relationship with Susan Coombs' daughters; it's a treasure just to watch the four of them goofing around, playing games and pontificating. Arvy and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last year! He is still an NPR and general news addict, a lover of food and cooking, and manages to keep the rest of us tolerably close to the border between sane and insane when it comes to scheduling a bazillion activities which keep us educated and entertained and connected with family and friends.

This reminds me: I would selfishly like to plead with people to come early, as I'll only be able to stay until 2:00, at which point I have to join the rest of my family who will already be out-of-state for various college graduation events with Arvy's family.

Look forward to seeing those who will be there in person -- I can be reached at (or as a backup).

Posted 5/17/04 and updated later that same day. Top of this page
Julia Coombs Fine and Claire Lambert Mackevicius Effie Coombs Fine and Emily Lambert Mackevicius Emily and Claire
Jeff Mayersohn

First, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at The Reunion. And thanks so much to Fred for doing the heavy lifting.

Linda and I have three kids -- Andrew (15), Rebecca (12) and Anna (9). Linda and the three kids have a dog, Sawyer (1.5). (Does anyone know what the life expectancy of a golden retriever is?)

I left BBN in 98 for a startup called Sonus Networks, doing VoIP for carriers. Rubin Gruber (most of you will remember him) co-founded the company in late '97.) It has been a very, very wild ride. Fortunately, I've managed to convince a number of former colleagues to join me over there -- so when I get lonely, I prowl the hallways and find Cliff Romash, Gil Falk, Ken Laube, Gerry Kobelski, Mark Topham, Terry Fagin and more than a few others.

Work still keeps me too busy although I've recently begun to take vacations. I also am actively planning my retirement which will involve long naps, time with the kids, ownership of a bookstore with irregular hours, learning about the last twenty years of development in physics, progressive politics (does SDS still exist?) , and more network analysis reunions.

I attached a photo of the three kids at Stonehenge, just to prove that I do take vacations. I have very few photos of myself since I'm the photographer in the family. Those who wish to see how poorly I've aged will just have to show up on the 23rd.

Posted 5/01/04. Top of this page
john doe text 1
Ken Pogran

I realize this is a little late to get in before Sunday's reunion, but... my excuse is that I've just completed my first three-business-trip month since selling Internet consulting for BBN Professional Services back in 1999-2000. But I get ahead of myself...

Checking up first on the personal stuff, Jude and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in April, and I hit the Double Nickel in the birthday department back in March. Our son, Mike, whom many of you will remember from the newborn picture I posted outside my office on the 6th floor of Bldg. 20, is now 14, and getting ready to make the transition from middle school to high school.

Since Network Analysis, DDN, and all that, I was with BBN Professional Services, where VP Peter Hussey succeded in turning me into a commissioned sales person, selling our particular brand of network and security consulting, provided by Gil Falk's and Jeff Kimmelman's groups, respectively. I spent a good deal of time selling with the GTE Internetworking (soon-to-be-Genuity) sales team in the Dallas area (which was the LAST time I had a three-business-trip month).

BBN PS became part of GTE CyberTrust, and we were eventually sold to Baltimore Technologies (the Public Key Infrastructure security company out of Dublin, Ireland that was a flash in the pan at the tail end of the Internet boom). Of course, they hadn't a clue what to do with the first class consulting capability that came with the deal, and I found myself part of the first (but by no means last!) Baltimore layoff in May, 2001.

Ever the glutton for punishment, I joined Genuity's eServices (i.e., professional services) organization in January of 2002, again on the sales side. After the next layoff there, I found myself managing what was left of the eServices sales team, reporting to Mary Byrne. Professional services kinds of things NEVER being well understood by product companies, I was part of the group not invited to join Level 3 in February of 2003.

This time, I landed after three months at a rather unique small company based in Lexington Center, of all places (I'm really enjoying my 1.7mi. commute). Evans Griffiths & Hart, Inc. is a 34-year-old, 20-person company that builds large-scale administrative and database software for major Telcos. If you live in Verizon, SBC (ex-Pacific Bell, ex-Ameritech, ex-SNET), or Qwest territory, everything anyone would ever want to know about your telephone number is stored in an EG&H system (along with data about 250M other TN's). Two of the first four employees of the company worked for BBN in the '60s, and the company is the closest I've yet come to the warm and friendly atmosphere of Network Analysis. Curiously, Peg Primak worked there before she came to BBN!

After doing business development for their first 33 years the old BBN way (having the lead technical staff do it), EG&H hired me as their first full-time business developer, to help the company branch out. So I've moved back from the Internet world to the Telco world--though, of course, Voice over IP is The Next Big Thing in telephony. And along the way I've learned more than I ever wanted to know about such things as Signalling Sysem 7 and Line Information Data Bases.

Posted 5/21/04. Top of this page
Peg Primak

After Net-Analysis I moved on to speech recognition, firewalls, then DSL deployment. The DSL job was a real burnout, leading development, IT and tech support as we went from our first 5000 customers to over 100,000 with a product that was barely ready for prime time. I was happy to leave Genuity in the first round of layoffs in 2001. I took the summer off, then started my own business doing probate accounting for elder lawyers and their clients. The work isn't the most exciting but I'm good at it and the perks are great -- part-time, work from home, no deadlines, very flexible schedule, well-paying, smart clients (though non-technical and non-analytical), growing field with no competition and minimal problem collecting payment. So I'm spending a lot less time and energy on my job and a lot more enjoying life.

My son Gus just turned 13. He had a rough transition into middle school last year, but this year is going much better. Our latest entertainment is listening to NPR together. Gus has fallen in love with Car Talk and This American Life. He listens to the news regularly and has grown up enough that it's fun talking to him about politics and current events.

When not in mom-mode I'm out hiking in the summer (finished all the NE 4000-footers, 100% solo), skiing in the winter, and recently started swing dancing. I'm also enjoying re-connecting with friends, so I'm really looking forward to seeing y'all at the reunion.

Posted 5/05/04. Top of this page
Peg looking professional Skiing!!!
Bob Pyle

While you are all carousing happily, I shall be somewhere between Winston-Salem, NC (American Musical Instrument Society meeting) and NYC (Acoustical Society meeting). I wish I could be with you, but I haven't yet solved the problem of being in two places simultaneously.

I left BBN in November 1994 to "retire", in the sense of not having any earned income, but to remain busier than ever working on the acoustics of brass musical instruments. I have become a sort of pseudo-academic, giving about one paper per year at a variety of meetings. These have been (so far) in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, France, Italy, and Sweden. Germany follows next October. I ran into Michael Frischkopf at a meeting in Toronto in November 2000, also Carol Krumhansl, another ex-BBNer that I expect none of you know, who was at BBN from 1969 to 1972.

In addition to the meetings and papers, I have guest-lectured about brass instruments at Tufts and Dartmouth, and to a bunch of home-schooled kids between 10 and 15 years old.

I am a shareholder in the S. E. Shires Co., makers of the world's very finest trombones (Mike Frischkopf's boss at the University of Alberta agreed!). If in recent years you have heard the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Metropolitan Opera, Dallas Symphony, Seattle Symphony, etc., etc., then you have heard one or more of our trombones. We have distributors in the US (of course), Norway, Germany, Japan, and Korea (that I know of).

The company started just as I left BBN (no coincidence). The accompanying picture shows me with company president and founder Steve Shires, at the annual shareholders meeting just past. I get to do experiments and kibitz on instrument design. We're branching out into trumpets, using a bell that I adapted from a Vincent Bach trumpet, that in turn was a copy of a Selmer ca. 1925. It's a whole different kind of hardware than anything I encountered at BBN!

The company is *now* doing very well, but nearly went under in the aftermath of 9/11. Our customers are nearly all serious players who already own professional-quality instruments. In the uncertainty in late 2001, suddenly no one was willing to spend money. New orders shrank to almost zero just as we had consciously raised production to cut the backlog down to offer quicker delivery. Layoffs and a pool of red ink followed, but new orders resumed in early 2002. Alas, there is still a good bit of the red ink to blot up, although we are incrementally profitable. Current production is nearly 50 instruments a month, up about 30% from last year.

On the day 9/11 itself, Connie and I were in Perugia, Italy, at an International Symposium on Musical Acoustics. This is an Umbrian hill town that has been there since the Etruscans 2500 years ago. We heard about the attacks within 15 minutes of the second crash at the World Trade Center, thanks to the Internet. I guess this communications stuff that we all worked on functions pretty well.

I'm still playing French horn (less well than I used to, alas), and hope to design a horn to be produced at the Shires plant. For economic reasons, this will wait until we have established ourselves in the trumpet market (lots more trumpet players out there).

My research involves various experiments and subsequent data reduction, i.e., a lot of computer programming. I'm now trying to become an honest-to-god Macintosh OS X programmer, relearning the ins and outs of pointer arithmetic in C, and slowly conquering Objective-C and OS X. The programming tools are good, but the documentation on third-party hardware (A/D and D/A, for example) often leaves a lot to be desired. There is a lot of information and help on the Internet, but you have to find it.

Family news: daughter Elisabeth, the family Ph.D. mathematician, works for the DoD at Fort Meade (you know what that means). Son Robin works about 25 hours a week at the trombone plant when he's not free-lancing on trumpet; he's been married almost five years now. Vivian and Sasha, my two older daughters by my first marriage, have produced four grandchildren who will be 13, 14, 15, and 16 by the end of July, two in Virginia and two in New Mexico. The Virginians are quite musical (cello and violin). My granddaughter Sasha won their youth orchestra concerto competition this year, and just performed two movements of the Elgar Cello Concerto last week. Connie is recovering nicely from three torn knee ligaments suffered in March when she (on her bicycle, of course) was nailed by a car in a supermarket parking lot in Somerville.

I hope you are all happy and healthy. I wish I could join you to see how big everyone's children are and whether we are any grayer yet. (My late mother-in-law had it right; when she was about 85, she said, "Inside, I still feel about the same as I did at eighteen, but my body just doesn't work as well!").

Posted 5/15/04. Top of this page
Bob Pyle and fellow horn maker
Hershel Safer

The biggest change in my life since seeing y'all is that my family and I moved to Israel in 1998. We've had a fairly soft landing as uprooting experiences go and are happy to be here. The picture is from our family vacation last summer, on a beach in southwest Ireland; Nogah is now 18, Aliza is 14, and Eitan is 12.

Since 1993 I've been working in bioinformatics, the field of using computation and mathematics to make sense of the masses of data from the Human Genome Project and other endeavors in molecular biology. I currently work at the Weizmann Institute of Science, managing a group that helps biologists use bioinformatics tools. Visit us at

You can reach me at

Posted 4/26/04. Top of this page
Safers summer 2003 in southwest ireland
Josh Seeger

Upon learning in February 2003 that there was no job for me at Level3, I remembered the fun times I'd had visiting one of Genuity's largest hosting customers, Tribune Co. in Chicago, and thinking what a cool thing it would be to work for a multimedia company making innovative use of the Internet. They had an opening in the broadcasting group, and I thought, yippee - here's my chance to get paid to be on the AV squad. This rainy Saturday morning, having been up a good part of the night fighting the latest worm infestation of all these $&#*ing Windows machines, I'm realizing that a job is still a job. But as jobs go, I love it. The scope of what I get to learn about and muck around in is incredibly broad, and to top that, think of the relevance - without us, millions of people wouldn't get to watch Friends! And I get to travel! So much so that when my boss told me I couldn't go to Vegas this year for the annual NAB extravaganza, I was relieved. Last year, that was where I spent my first 6 days on the job.

Well, but the really big event in our lives is that we moved to Chicago last Fall. What a trauma! We're adjusting, but talk about change of life. If I'd only known what it would be like to move after 20 years of root propagation in and around Cambridge, I might have opted for even more travel. But we're ok, really. Judith and I bought a townhouse right on Lincoln Park and a 5 minute walk from the lake (The Lake). We have Rocky, our 4-year old German Shepherd, and Olive, our 10-year old cat, fighting it out in a smaller space, while we work out the details (and dollars) of decorating. The kids are no longer kids. Adam, 29, is making a name for himself, and getting patented, at Intel in Santa Clara. Jeanine, 26, is married and buying a house in Lake Worth, FL, near where she's a personal trainer soon to be certified to teach Pilates.

Posted 5/1/04. Top of this page
Seeger Passover 2003
Fred Serr

After the breakup of Net-Analysis I continued to focus on performance, traffic and capacity analysis for BBN's government and commercial customers. The networks got faster (typical IP backbone provider links are now ~200,000 times the bandwidth of the ARPANET links in the 80's) and the technology evolved from PSNs to routers. The company morphed from BBN to GTE Internetworking to Genuity, until we finally went bust and the assets were sold to Level3. I like to think that I was able to carry on a bit of the NAG spirit through the years. There was a time in 2000-2001 when I had a couple dozen people working on almost the full range of Network Analysis activities: modeling, design, performance analysis, even some tool development. There were even a few long-time BBNers, like Susan Coombs and Irvin Schick, as part of the mix. I finally left Level3 last August, just two months shy of 20 years continuous service with BBN/GTEI/Genuity/Level3.

It was a good, long run, but now it is time to move on to new challenges. On April 29th (the day after Mary and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary), I started work at Cisco, in their Network Management Technology Group. The scope of my job is still being defined, but I expect to also work closely with their Government Systems business unit.

I'll be working out of Cisco's Boxborough offices, less than 10 miles from our home in Concord. Rebecca, who was less than a year old when I first joined NAG, just turned 21 and is a junior at Stanford. Patrick is 16, a sophomore at Concord-Carlisle High School, and about to get his driver's license. As they get older, Mary and I are starting to get glimpses of what life post-kids might be like. (But first, we've got a few more years of college tuition to take care of!)

Posted 5/01/04. Top of this page
Heading out for our 25th anniversary Rebecca and Pat toast Becca's 21st Birthday
Lynnell Stern

I am looking forward to seeing many of you at the reunion!

After Network Analysis, I was in the Professional Services Consulting Dept at BBN. After GTE had purchased BBN and then when GTE and Bell Atlantic were merging and creating Verizon and Genuity, the Professional Services Dept was sold as part of Cybertrust to Baltimore Technologies in March 2000. After about a year, they let most of our dept go (on May 29th, 2001). I then started working for a great, small, start up in Kendall Sq, Black Ink Systems. It was the perfect job for me. I was doing mathematical modeling for a product we were building for the telecom industry, so I was getting to use both my math and telecom/networking skills. As the name of the startup implies, our product would help the carriers to make money. But on May 28th, 2002 we lost all funding and were closed down that day. In the Fall of 2002, I was a full time math professor at Bentley College. Since then I have collected unemployment, done some math tutoring and have been taking care of the rest of my very busy life!

Not exactly what I had planned, but I am a single mother of three children. My son Dylan is 11 years old, and my twins Elizabeth and Juliana turned 4 years old in February. They are all great but naturally life is extremely busy with three children and all the activities, appointments and needs they have. In addition, we have been going to Long Island to see my father at least every other weekend for the past 10 months. It is a very tragic story. My father went in to the hospital, a very, very active man back in July, to have elective knee replacement surgery. But he got a very resistant staph infection in the hospital (MRSA) in his blood and it permanently damaged three of his heart valves. He is now very seriously ill. He is now on a ventilator, has a feeding tube and is often unresponsive. It is a very sad situation. I am the main health care advocate for him as well as taking care of all the finances for my parents. So I feel like I am working a full time job with all of my responsibilities.

My email address is

The pictures attached include my three children and me on vacation in NH last August, the class pictures of my three children from the Fall, the twin's birthday party in February and our ski trip to Quebec in February.

Posted 5/06/04, Updated with pictures 5/14/04. Top of this page
Lynnell and family, NH 08/2003 Lynnel's twins' class picture Lynnell's son's class picture Twin's birthday party Skiing in Quebec, Feb 2004
Carl Tropper

It seems almost impossible to realize that 20 years have passed since I left BBN. I took a job at McGill University (Montreal) in the computer science department, and have been there ever since. My research area has been parallel simulation, which I have been doing since the late 80's pretty much exclusively. I had a wonderful time, including a sabbatical at JPL in Pasadena (I got to see the LA riots and the Los Angeles Lakers). Evy worked for the University of Quebec (or should I say the People's Republic of Quebec).

As for real life, we raised three daughters, ages 22, 25, and 28. The youngest became a jazz musician, is graduating this year and is looking for work. The middle one tried the world of financial programming in New York and has decided to save the world instead. The oldest, sadly, is schizoaffective. This has turned into the center of our life; it is impossible to describe.

We live near Lake Placid, New York State. The hiking, climbing and skiing are just outside the front door and are all awesome. I hope that some of you will visit the area.

Posted 5/13/04. Top of this page
Dick Vacca

I left BBN and moved to Madison, Wisconsin in summer of 1990. After spending 15 years writing, writing, writing, I was looking for a way to get out of that and into the technology of publishing. So I got involved in structured docs and SGML, and turning mountains of paper into digital textbases, and document management. I thought bringing structure to unstructured information was going to save the world... Well, you can't win 'em all.

I returned to Boston in fall of 1999 to work at InConcert, a workflow software company that promptly got bought out, and what started as a good situation gradually devolved into something far less than that. When they offered me a buyout last summer, I grabbed it...

...And spend all my time writing, writing, writing. I'm working on a book, Making the Scene: People, Places, and Boston Jazz, which I would be delighted to tell you about if you drop me an email ( My days are filled with reading old newspapers, talking to old musicians, and trying to convince editors that they want to publish this book. I freelance when I can find it. So it's taken me almost another 15 years to come full circle: I left BBN convinced I was done with writing, technical or otherwise, for a living. Now I'm convinced I shouldn't be doing anything else.

Posted 5/19/04. Top of this page
John Zinky

I have the distinction of being the only member of the Network Analysis Group that does not qualify for the xbbn mailing list. I transferred out of Network Analysis Group into the BBN distributed systems group in 1993 and have continued my life long quest to have "no commercial potential." I do research in Quality of Service management for distributed systems. For technical details see

Nancy Ishihara and I have two children. Derek (13) is an avid piano player and Mara (8) loves to create 3-D art. We live, work, and play in Cambridge. There really is no reason to go more than 3 miles from Central Square, except to attend the NAG reunion.

Posted 5/23/04. Top of this page
Nancy and John May 04 Derek and Mara 2003

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