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The ACM A.M. Turing Award - my thoughts for next year’s selection

On June 15 and 16 of 2012 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing (June 23, 1912) in San Francisco (http://turing100.acm.org/final_program/tcc_final_program.pdf) with 33 living ACM A.M. Turing Award winners!  It was especially great to see Nicklaus Wirth on the "Programming Languages: Past Achievements and Future Challenges" panel along with Susan Graham, Barbara Liskov and Frances Allen. You can watch the replays of the sessions at http://amturing.acm.org/acm_tcc_webcasts.cfm.  Each year the ACM gives out the Turing Award to a person (or persons) "for major contributions of lasting importance to computing."  I also visited the Alan Turing Codebreaker exhibit at the Science Museum in London back in September where I presented RAD Studio XE3 along with Bob Swart at our RAD Studio XE3 tour and the UK Developers Group meeting.

I am a huge fan of software engineering, programming, programming languages, compilers and tools.  There are many of my computer science heroes who have won the Turing Award in these categories, http://amturing.acm.org/bysubject.cfm?cat=34, including:

I hope some of the following will be considered for the 2012 ACM Turing Award (to be awarded in 2013), or in future years, based on their significant contributions to the world of computing:

I can’t wait to see who will be selected by the ACM next year - http://amturing.acm.org/alphabetical.cfm

{ 6 } Comments

  1. Mason Wheeler | January 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I certainly hope no one goes considering Bjarne Stroustrup for a Turing award. A Turing award winner is supposed to be someone who has improved the state of computer programming, while Stroustrup’s contribution has been of negative value. In fact, it’s hard to think of anyone else who’s done more damage to our craft! If he hadn’t been able to ride Ritchie’s coattails by marketing his utter disaster of a language as a successor to C, no one would have given it a second look, much less actually taken it seriously!

    And then the computer industry would be a much better place, because all of the software that’s been written in C++–a language that seems to go out of its way to encourage and make it easy for developers to screw up in subtle, difficult-to-understand ways–would not have been written in C++, and we’d all have more stable, better behaved computer systems than we have today.

  2. David Intersimone | January 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Mason - quoting from the ACM Turing Award site: the Turing award is given "for major contributions of lasting importance to computing." This is definitely different from your statement about the winner having "improved the state of computer programming". It is not just about programming. Because of my personal interest computing areas: programming, compilers, languages and software engineering, most of the people on my list fit inside my categories with the exception of John von Neumann.

    I will choose to respectfully disagree with you about your assessment of Bjarne’s contribution to computing. Stroustrup created C with Objects, a noble effort that helped move the C language forward into the world of object oriented programming. With the successful use of C++ in millions of applications, systems and devices, C++ has, in my opinion, definitely moved computing and computer programming forward in so many important ways.

  3. Peter Lund | May 18, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Hamming got the 1968 Turing Award.

    I agree with you on Brinch Hansen (but not on Naur) — but they don’t give the Turing Award to dead people.

  4. Fernando Pelliccioni | July 11, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Oh, please!
    Before criticize the work of Bjarne, first, check if gives you abstractions able to:
    1. Describe general purpose Components.
    2. Without losing efficiency ( As fast as Assembly language )

    After that, send me an email with your results, we can have an interesting conversation.

  5. Fernando Pelliccioni | July 11, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    **Posting againg**

    Oh, please!
    Before criticize the work of Bjarne, first, check if (INSERT YOUR FAVORITE PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE HERE) gives you abstractions able to:
    1. Describe general purpose Components.
    2. Without losing efficiency ( As fast as Assembly language )

    After that, send me an email with your results, we can have an interesting conversation.

  6. Fernando Pelliccioni | July 11, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    fpelliccioni at gmail dot com

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