Robert Metcalfe was born in 1946 in Brooklyn, New York. His father was a testing technician, who specialized in gyroscopes. His mother was a homemaker but later became the secretary of Bay Shore High School. In 1964, Metcalfe graduated from Bay Shore High School to join the MIT Class of 1968. He finally graduated from MIT in 1969 with two S.B. degrees, one in electrical engineering and the other in industrial management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He then went to Harvard for graduate school, earning his M.S. in applied mathematics in 1970 and his PhD in computer science (applied mathematics) in 1973.