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Old Mar 2, 2006, 02:11 PM   #1
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Turing Award Winners

The winner of the prestigious Turing Award for achievement in the Computer Science field has been announced.

Peter Naur, a Danish scientist, was part of the team that created the ALGOL 60 programming language, which was influential on almost all procedural languages that followed it, including Pascal and modern languages like Java as well.

He also developed BNF ("Backus-Naur Form") for the expression of context free grammars. It is still used, in various forms, to describe syntax today.

It's a little late for him to receive this award, but he certainly deserves it.

A list of previous Turing Award recipients can be found here.

Peter Naur photo
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Old Aug 30, 2007, 01:44 PM   #2
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They raised the Turing Award prize money from $100,000 to $250,000. The increased funding came from Google (news story).

We should all nominate ourselves, just in case, now that it's worth so much to win!
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Old Feb 11, 2008, 04:47 PM   #3
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The Turing Award winner for 2006 was Frances E. Allen, an IBM Fellow, for pioneering work in optimizing compiler techniques.

The Turing Award winners for 2007 are:
Edmund M. Clarke (Carnegie Mellon University)

E. Allen Emerson (University of Texas at Austin)

Joseph Sifakis (Verimag Laboratory)
for their work in systems modeling and hardware and software verification techniques.
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Old Feb 12, 2008, 12:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Q View Post
We should all nominate ourselves, just in case, now that it's worth so much to win!
YOU could do that, as you are a PhD in Computer Science, and (I presume) actively engaged in trailblazing research. For software developers with just a bachelors degree (like me ), it makes more sense to stock up on lottery tickets.
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 08:38 PM   #5
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The Turing Award winner for 2008 was Barbara Liskov at M.I.T., who was one of the early developers of modular programming techniques and abstract data types.

Hooray for women in computing!
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 09:05 PM   #6
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Doctor Q, just wondering if your doctoral thesis was something exciting like artificial intelligence and face detection or something more mundane like scalable match algorithms or graphical probabilitistic models?





probabilitistic is too fun to say!
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 11:31 PM   #7
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Doctor Q, just wondering if your doctoral thesis was something exciting like artificial intelligence and face detection or something more mundane like scalable match algorithms or graphical probabilitistic models?

probabilitistic is too fun to say!
My doctoral dissertation was about an obscure area of programming language design, of interest only to theoreticians. (Is "theoreticians" a fun word to say too?) The dissertation has been cited in other work, so that's the only proof I have that it wasn't entirely useless.

My Master's thesis was equally obscure, defining a programming language using a method called the Vienna Definition Language. Too bad I didn't get to go to Vienna for my research!
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Old Aug 12, 2010, 01:19 PM   #8
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The 2009 Turing Award winner was Charles Thacker, for his "pioneering design and realization of the first modern personal computer -- the Alto at Xerox PARC -- and seminal inventions and contributions to local area networks (including the Ethernet), multiprocessor workstations, snooping cache coherence protocols, and tablet personal computers."



The 1974 Alto was the first modern personal computer with a bitmapped screen and a WYSIWYG interface with menus, icons, and a built-in mouse. It could even network!



Thacker was a co-inventor of Ethernet and worked on the team that created the first laser printer.

He was lead developer of the first computer to use semiconductor memory and the first multiprocessor workstation.

In the 1980s he invented snooping cache coherence protocols. For those who don't hear that phrase very often, it refers to the way a multiprocessor will listen for updates to another multiprocessor's cache so it can remove out-of-date information from its own cache.

And if that wasn't enough, he worked on the first tablet computer prototypes at Microsoft. I guess we should credit him for the iPad!
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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The 2010 Turing Award winner is Dr. Leslie G. Valiant at Harvard, for his work in computer intelligence, including a landmark paper "A Theory of the Learnable" on computational learning theory.

His research was the basis for much software we know today, including email spam filters, speech recognition, handwriting recognition, computer vision, and IBM's Watson computer system (see Watson thread and Ken Jennings thread).
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Old Mar 13, 2013, 01:35 PM   #10
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The 2011 Turing Award went to Judea Pearl for his contributions to artificial intelligence, primarily his invention of Bayesian networks.



The 2012 Turing Award is going to Shafi Goldwasser and Silvio Micali for their work in the theoretic foundations of cryptography and the application of complexity theory.

Goldwasser is an MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science and a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Micali is an MIT professor of engineering.

Their research showed that cryptographic security must be computational and should be classified by degree of breaking difficulty. They developed fundamental primitives of encryption and digital signatures and made advances in random functions, interactive proofs, and zero-knowledge protocols. Lots of cool stuff to look up if you want to read more!

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Old Mar 18, 2014, 01:48 PM   #11
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The 2013 Turing Award went to Leslie Lamport for his contributions to distributed and concurrent systems.



Lamport works for Microsoft Research and has previously won awards for his work in distributed computing, concurrent programming, and fault-tolerant computing. Among the concepts he pioneered are causality and logical clocks, replicated state machines, and sequential consistency.

What it means:
"Logical clocks" refers to a method of ordering events using message exchanges, as an alternative to synchronizing clocks.

"Replicated state machines" is a technique for achieving fault-tolerarace using multiple copies of a service that maintains an internal state while reading input and writing output.

"Sequencial consistency" is a set of rules for cooperating concurrent programs, requiring that they see each other's operations in a well-defined order, even if one program does not necessary see operations performed by other programs (e.g., updating shared memory) in the order in which they actually occurred.
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