ACM Turing Award
Turing-statue-Bletchley 11.jpg
Awarded forOutstanding contributions in computer science
CountryUnited States
Presented byAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Reward(s)US $1,000,000[1]
First awarded1966; 57 years ago (1966)
Last awarded2021

The ACM A. M. Turing Award is an annual prize given by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for contributions of lasting and major technical importance to computer science.[2] It is generally recognized as the highest distinction in computer science and is colloquially known as or often referred to as the "Nobel Prize of Computing".[3][4][5][6]

The award is named after Alan Turing, who was a British mathematician and reader in mathematics at the University of Manchester. Turing is often credited as being the key founder of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.[7] From 2007 to 2013, the award was accompanied by an additional prize of US$250,000, with financial support provided by Intel and Google.[2] Since 2014, the award has been accompanied by a prize of US$1 million, with financial support provided by Google.[1][8]

The first recipient, in 1966, was Alan Perlis, of Carnegie Mellon University. The first female recipient was Frances E. Allen of IBM in 2006.[9] The latest recipient, in 2021, is Jack Dongarra, of the University of Tennessee.


Year Recipient(s) Photo Rationale Affiliated institute(s)
1966 Alan Perlis For his influence in the area of advanced computer programming techniques and compiler construction.[10] Carnegie Mellon University
1967 Maurice Wilkes
Maurice Vincent Wilkes 1980 (3, cropped).jpg
Wilkes is best known as the builder and designer of the EDSAC, the first computer with an internally stored program. Built in 1949, the EDSAC used a mercury delay line memory. He is also known as the author, with Wheeler and Gill, of a volume on "Preparation of Programs for Electronic Digital Computers" in 1951, in which program libraries were effectively introduced.[11] University of Cambridge
1968 Richard Hamming For his work on numerical methods, automatic coding systems, and error-detecting and error-correcting codes.[12] Bell Labs
1969 Marvin Minsky
Marvin Minsky at OLPCc.jpg
For his central role in creating, shaping, promoting, and advancing the field of artificial intelligence.[13] Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1970 James H. Wilkinson For his research in numerical analysis to facilitate the use of the high-speed digital computer, having received special recognition for his work in computations in linear algebra and "backward" error analysis.[14] National Physical Laboratory
1971 John McCarthy
John McCarthy Stanford.jpg
McCarthy's lecture "The Present State of Research on Artificial Intelligence" is a topic that covers the area in which he has achieved considerable recognition for his work.[15] Stanford University
1972 Edsger W. Dijkstra
Edsger Wybe Dijkstra.jpg
Edsger Dijkstra was a principal contributor in the late 1950s to the development of the ALGOL, a high level programming language which has become a model of clarity and mathematical rigor. He is one of the principal proponents of the science and art of programming languages in general, and has greatly contributed to our understanding of their structure, representation, and implementation. His fifteen years of publications extend from theoretical articles on graph theory to basic manuals, expository texts, and philosophical contemplations in the field of programming languages.[16] Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica,
Eindhoven University of Technology
1973 Charles Bachman
Charles Bachman 2012.jpg
For his outstanding contributions to database technology.[17] General Electric Research Laboratory (now under Groupe Bull, an Atos company)
1974 Donald Knuth
For his major contributions to the analysis of algorithms and the design of programming languages, and in particular for his contributions to "The Art of Computer Programming" through his well-known books in a continuous series by this title.[18] California Institute of Technology,
Center for Communications Research, Center for Communications and Computing, Institute for Defense Analyses,
Stanford University
1975 Allen Newell In joint scientific efforts extending over twenty years, initially in collaboration with J. C. Shaw at the RAND Corporation, and subsequently with numerous faculty and student colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University, they have made basic contributions to artificial intelligence, the psychology of human cognition, and list processing.[19] RAND Corporation,
Carnegie Mellon University
Herbert A. Simon
Herbert simon red cropped.jpg
1976 Michael O. Rabin
M O Rabin.jpg
For their joint paper "Finite Automata and Their Decision Problem",[20] which introduced the idea of nondeterministic machines, which has proved to be an enormously valuable concept. Their (Scott & Rabin) classic paper has been a continuous source of inspiration for subsequent work in this field.[21][22] Princeton University
Dana Scott
Scott Dana small.jpg
University of Chicago
1977 John Backus
John Backus 2.jpg
For profound, influential, and lasting contributions to the design of practical high-level programming systems, notably through his work on FORTRAN, and for seminal publication of formal procedures for the specification of programming languages.[23] IBM
1978 Robert W. Floyd For having a clear influence on methodologies for the creation of efficient and reliable software, and for helping to found the following important subfields of computer science: the theory of parsing, the semantics of programming languages, automatic program verification, automatic program synthesis, and analysis of algorithms.[24] Carnegie Mellon University,
Stanford University
1979 Kenneth E. Iverson
Kei younger.jpg
For his pioneering effort in programming languages and mathematical notation resulting in what the computing field now knows as APL, for his contributions to the implementation of interactive systems, to educational uses of APL, and to programming language theory and practice.[25] IBM
1980 Tony Hoare
Sir Tony Hoare IMG 5125.jpg
For his fundamental contributions to the definition and design of programming languages.[26] Queen's University Belfast,
University of Oxford
1981 Edgar F. Codd For his fundamental and continuing contributions to the theory and practice of database management systems, esp. relational databases.[27] IBM
1982 Stephen Cook
Prof.Cook (cropped).jpg
For his advancement of our understanding of the complexity of computation in a significant and profound way.[28] University of Toronto
1983 Ken Thompson
Ken Thompson 02.jpg
For their development of generic operating systems theory and specifically for the implementation of the UNIX operating system.[29][30] Bell Labs
Dennis Ritchie
Dennis Ritchie 2011.jpg
1984 Niklaus Wirth
Niklaus Wirth, UrGU (cropped).jpg
For developing a sequence of innovative computer languages, EULER, ALGOL-W, Pascal, MODULA and Oberon. Stanford University,
University of Zurich,
ETH Zurich
1985 Richard M. Karp
Karp mg 7725-b.cr2.jpg
For his continuing contributions to the theory of algorithms including the development of efficient algorithms for network flow and other combinatorial optimization problems, the identification of polynomial-time computability with the intuitive notion of algorithmic efficiency, and, most notably, contributions to the theory of NP-completeness. University of California, Berkeley
1986 John Hopcroft
Hopcrofg (cropped).jpg
For fundamental achievements in the design and analysis of algorithms and data structures. Cornell University
Robert Tarjan
Bob Tarjan.jpg
Stanford University,
Cornell University,
University of California, Berkeley
1987 John Cocke For significant contributions in the design and theory of compilers, the architecture of large systems and the development of reduced instruction set computers (RISC). IBM
1988 Ivan Sutherland
Ivan Sutherland at CHM.jpg
For his pioneering and visionary contributions to computer graphics, starting with Sketchpad, and continuing after. Stanford University,
Harvard University,
University of Utah,
California Institute of Technology
1989 William Kahan
William Kahan 2008 (cropped).jpg
For his fundamental contributions to numerical analysis. One of the foremost experts on floating-point computations. Kahan has dedicated himself to "making the world safe for numerical computations." University of California, Berkeley
1990 Fernando J. Corbató
Fernando Corbato.jpg
For his pioneering work organizing the concepts and leading the development of the general-purpose, large-scale, time-sharing and resource-sharing computer systems, CTSS and Multics. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1991 Robin Milner For three distinct and complete achievements: 1) LCF, the mechanization of Scott's Logic of Computable Functions, probably the first theoretically based yet practical tool for machine assisted proof construction; 2) ML, the first language to include polymorphic type inference together with a type-safe exception-handling mechanism; 3) CCS, a general theory of concurrency. In addition, he formulated and strongly advanced full abstraction, the study of the relationship between operational and denotational semantics.[31] Stanford University,
University of Edinburgh
1992 Butler Lampson
Professional Developers Conference 2009 Technical Leaders Panel 6 (cropped).jpg
For contributions to the development of distributed, personal computing environments and the technology for their implementation: workstations, networks, operating systems, programming systems, displays, security and document publishing. PARC,
1993 Juris Hartmanis
Juris Hartmanis(2002).jpg
In recognition of their seminal paper which established the foundations for the field of computational complexity theory.[32] General Electric Research Laboratory (now under Groupe Bull, an Atos company)
Richard E. Stearns
Dick Stearns (cropped).jpg
1994 Edward Feigenbaum
27. Dr. Edward A. Feigenbaum 1994-1997.jpg
For pioneering the design and construction of large scale artificial intelligence systems, demonstrating the practical importance and potential commercial impact of artificial intelligence technology.[33] Stanford University
Raj Reddy
ProfReddys Photo Cropped.jpg
Stanford University,
Carnegie Mellon University
1995 Manuel Blum
Blum manuel (cropped).jpg
In recognition of his contributions to the foundations of computational complexity theory and its application to cryptography and program checking.[34] University of California, Berkeley
1996 Amir Pnueli
Amir Pnueli.jpg
For seminal work introducing temporal logic into computing science and for outstanding contributions to program and systems verification.[35] Stanford University,
Tel Aviv University,
Weizmann Institute of Science
1997 Douglas Engelbart
Douglas Engelbart in 2008.jpg
For an inspiring vision of the future of interactive computing and the invention of key technologies to help realize this vision.[36] SRI International,
McDonnell Douglas,
Bootstrap Institute/Alliance,[37]
The Doug Engelbart Institute
1998 Jim Gray
Jim Gray Computing in the 21st Century 2006 (cropped).jpg
For seminal contributions to database and transaction processing research and technical leadership in system implementation. IBM,
1999 Fred Brooks
Fred Brooks (cropped).jpg
For landmark contributions to computer architecture, operating systems, and software engineering. IBM,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2000 Andrew Yao
Andrew Yao MFO (cropped).jpg
In recognition of his fundamental contributions to the theory of computation, including the complexity-based theory of pseudorandom number generation, cryptography, and communication complexity. Stanford University,
University of California, Berkeley,
Princeton University
2001 Ole-Johan Dahl For ideas fundamental to the emergence of object-oriented programming, through their design of the programming languages Simula I and Simula 67. Norwegian Computing Center
Kristen Nygaard
2002 Ron Rivest
Ronald L Rivest photo.jpg
For their ingenious contribution for making public-key cryptography useful in practice. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Adi Shamir
Adi Shamir at TU Darmstadt (2013).jpg
Leonard Adleman
University of Southern California
2003 Alan Kay
Alan Kay (3097597186) (cropped).jpg
For pioneering many of the ideas at the root of contemporary object-oriented programming languages, leading the team that developed Smalltalk, and for fundamental contributions to personal computing. University of Utah,
Stanford University,
Apple ATG,
Walt Disney Imagineering,
Viewpoints Research Institute,
HP Labs
2004 Vint Cerf
Dr Vint Cerf ForMemRS (cropped).jpg
For pioneering work on internetworking, including the design and implementation of the Internet's basic communications protocols, TCP/IP, and for inspired leadership in networking. University of California, Los Angeles,
Stanford University, DARPA,
MCI (now under Verizon),
CNRI, Google
Bob Kahn
Bob Kahn.jpg
Bolt Beranek and Newman,
2005 Peter Naur
For fundamental contributions to programming language design and the definition of ALGOL 60, to compiler design, and to the art and practice of computer programming. Regnecentralen (now under Fujitsu),
University of Copenhagen
2006 Frances Allen
Allen mg 2528-3750K-b.jpg
For pioneering contributions to the theory and practice of optimizing compiler techniques that laid the foundation for modern optimizing compilers and automatic parallel execution. IBM
2007 Edmund M. Clarke
Edmund Clarke FLoC 2006 (cropped).jpg
For their roles in developing model checking into a highly effective verification technology, widely adopted in the hardware and software industries.[38] Harvard University,
Carnegie Mellon University
E. Allen Emerson
E-allen-emerson (cropped).jpg
Harvard University
Joseph Sifakis
Joseph Sifakis img 0966.jpg
French National Centre for Scientific Research
2008 Barbara Liskov
Barbara Liskov MIT computer scientist 2010.jpg
For contributions to practical and theoretical foundations of programming language and system design, especially related to data abstraction, fault tolerance, and distributed computing. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2009 Charles P. Thacker
Chuckthacker (cropped).jpg
For his pioneering design and realization of the Xerox Alto, the first modern personal computer, and in addition for his contributions to the Ethernet and the Tablet PC. PARC,
Microsoft Research
2010 Leslie Valiant
Leslie Valiant (cropped).jpg
For transformative contributions to the theory of computation, including the theory of probably approximately correct (PAC) learning, the complexity of enumeration and of algebraic computation, and the theory of parallel and distributed computing. Harvard University
2011 Judea Pearl[39]
Judea Pearl at NIPS 2013 (11781981594) (cropped).jpg
For fundamental contributions to artificial intelligence through the development of a calculus for probabilistic and causal reasoning.[40] University of California, Los Angeles
New Jersey Institute of Technology
2012 Silvio Micali
Silvio Micali (cropped).jpg
For transformative work that laid the complexity-theoretic foundations for the science of cryptography and in the process pioneered new methods for efficient verification of mathematical proofs in complexity theory.[41] Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Shafi Goldwasser
Shafi Goldwasser.JPG
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Weizmann Institute of Science
2013 Leslie Lamport
Leslie Lamport.jpg
For fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of distributed and concurrent systems, notably the invention of concepts such as causality and logical clocks, safety and liveness, replicated state machines, and sequential consistency.[42][43] Massachusetts Computer Associates (now under Essig PLM),
SRI International,
Compaq (now under HP),
Microsoft Research
2014 Michael Stonebraker
Michael Stonebraker P1120062.jpg
For fundamental contributions to the concepts and practices underlying modern database systems.[44] University of California, Berkeley,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2015 Whitfield Diffie
Whitfield Diffie Royal Society (cropped).jpg
For fundamental contributions to modern cryptography. Diffie and Hellman's groundbreaking 1976 paper, "New Directions in Cryptography",[45] introduced the ideas of public-key cryptography and digital signatures, which are the foundation for most regularly-used security protocols on the Internet today.[46] Stanford University
Martin Hellman
2016 Tim Berners-Lee
Sir Tim Berners-Lee (cropped).jpg
For inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale.[47] CERN,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
World Wide Web Consortium
2017 John L. Hennessy
John L Hennessy (cropped).jpg
For pioneering a systematic, quantitative approach to the design and evaluation of computer architectures with enduring impact on the microprocessor industry.[48] Stanford University
David Patterson
David A Patterson.jpg
University of California, Berkeley
2018 Yoshua Bengio
Yoshua Bengio - 2017.jpg
For conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing.[49] Université de Montréal, McGill University,
Geoffrey Hinton
Geoffrey Hinton at UBC (cropped).jpg
University of Toronto,
University of California, San Diego,
Carnegie Mellon University,
University College London,
University of Edinburgh,
Google AI
Yann LeCun
Yann LeCun - 2018 (cropped).jpg
Bell Labs,
New York University,
Meta AI
2019 Edwin Catmull
VES Awards 89 cropped.jpg
For fundamental contributions to 3-D computer graphics, and the revolutionary impact of these techniques on computer-generated imagery (CGI) in filmmaking and other applications.[50] University of Utah,
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Pat Hanrahan
Pat Hanrahan Tableau Customer Conference 2009.jpg
Princeton University,
Stanford University
2020 Alfred Aho For fundamental algorithms and theory underlying programming language implementation and for synthesizing these results and those of others in their highly influential books, which educated generations of computer scientists.[51] Bell Labs,
Columbia University
Jeffrey Ullman Bell Labs,
Princeton University,
Stanford University
2021 Jack Dongarra
For pioneering contributions to numerical algorithms and libraries that enabled high performance computational software to keep pace with exponential hardware improvements for over four decades.[52] Argonne National Laboratory,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
University of Manchester,
Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study,
University of Tennessee,
Rice University

See also


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