Daniel C. Lewin, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Internet communication company Akamai Technologies, died Tuesday aboard one of the American Airlines flights that crashed as part of an apparent terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
"Danny was a wonderful human being," said George H. Conrades, chairman and chief executive officer of Akamai, in a statement. "He will be deeply missed by his many friends at Akamai. Our thoughts and prayers are with Danny's family, friends, and colleagues during this time of national tragedy and personal loss."
Lewin co-founded Akamai in August of 1998. The company provides content-delivery service for leading Web technology companies. Geographically dispersed Akamai servers deliver advertisements, video, and other high-bandwidth content for the company's clients.
The idea for Akamai was born in MIT research labs, where Lewin and a colleague developed algorithms to solve the problem of Internet congestion. They developed mathematical algorithms for routing and replicating content over a large network of distributed servers. "After doing that for a couple years we realised we had built the underpinnings of a system that could be useful in the real world," Lewin told Infoworld's CTO magazine, which named him one of the nation's 25 most influential CTOs in March.
Before starting Akamai, Lewin worked at IBM's research laboratory in Haifa, Israel, according to his corporate biography on Akamai's website. He worked there as a full-time research fellow and project leader, while completing two undergraduate degrees at the Technion, Israel's premiere technology university. He received a bachelor's degree in Arts and Science from Technion, and a masters degree from MIT. Lewin was born in Denver, and raised in Jerusalem.
Lewin was 31, and leaves behind a wife and two children, said Caryn Brownell, a public relations manager for the company.
Photograph: Daniel C. Lewin