Oral history interview with Marc E. Levilion by Andrew L. Russell

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Oral history interview with Marc E. Levilion by Andrew L. Russell

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Charles Babbage Institute


Oral History


French computer engineer Marc Levilion reflects upon his career with computers and computer networking that spanned from the 1950s to the 1990s. Levilion describes his 33-year employment with IBM France, where he worked on projects at the intersection of computing and telecommunications including error-detection and correction codes, IBM digital Private Branch Exchanges, IBM’s Systems Network Architecture (SNA), and IBM contributions to the X.21 and X.25 international standards. Levilion describes the relationship between IBM facilities in La Gaude, France and Raleigh, North Carolina; compares the networking concepts behind SNA, X.21, and X.25 to the concepts deployed in the Arpanet and by Louis Pouzin in Cyclades; and explains IBM’s global standards strategy and IBM’s involvement with French standards committees, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the European Computer Manufacturers’ Association, and the Comité Consultatif International Téléphonique et Télégraphique. Levilion reflects on his participation in Open Systems Interconnection in various roles: as IBM France representative to committees in Association Française de Normalisation (AFNOR), as head of the AFNOR delegation to ISO, and as convenor of the OSI architecture Working Group. This set of nine interviews conducted with Tilly Bayard-Richard, Najah Naffah, Louis Pouzin, Marc E. Levilion, Michel Gien, Jean-Louis Grangé, Gérard Le Lann, Rémi Després, and André Danthine was funded by the ACM History Committee with a fellowship on “European Contributions to Computer Networks: An Oral History Project.”


Transcript, 38 pp.

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Marc E. Levilion, OH 417. Oral history interview by Andrew L. Russell, 2 April 2012, Paris, France. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. http://purl.umn.edu/155667

Suggested citation

Levilion, Marc E.. (2012). Oral history interview with Marc E. Levilion by Andrew L. Russell. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/155667.

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