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Radia Joy Perlman is a software designer and network engineer specializing in network and security protocols for Sun Microsystems, now Oracle, a multinational vendor of computers, computer components, computer software, and information technology headquartered in Santa Clara, California. She holds more than 50 patents from Oracle alone. Dubbed the “Mother of the Internet,” she is most famous for her invention of the spanning-tree protocol???a link layer network protocol that ensures a loopfree topology for any bridged local area network (LAN)???that is fundamental to the operation of network bridges. She developed it while working for Digital Equipment Corporation (Digital), in Maynard, Massachusetts, a pioneering company in the computer industry, which merged with Hewlett-Packard and is now under the HP name.