Often referred to as the "Mother of the Internet," Radia Perlman invented the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) algorithm that allows computers to exchange information over the Internet in a more reliable way. She invented the algorithm in 1985. STP maintains the flow of information on a computer network. If one, or a number of network links fail, STP provides an active path so the network remains connected and keeps the traffic of information sharing flowing. During her career, Pearlman has applied for, and secured, some 80 patents. She is still heavily immersed in the Internet, specializing in security issues [source: MIT].