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1:06pm on Sunday, 16th November, 2014:

Award Winners


I've been aware of Alan Turing's work since my undergraduate days (Essex University's founding Professor of Computer Science, Tony Brooker, knew him). Because of this, I've also been aware of the Turing Award, which thanks to Google is now on a par with the Nobel Prize in terms of prize money at $1,000,000. It's a bit sad that the mathematical equivalent, the Fields Medal, comes with a prize valued at roughly a 75th of the Turing Award's, but that's what happens when there are no multi-billionaire mathematics companies out there to fund it.

Anyway, because it was recently in the news, I wondered how many names of Turing Award's winners I recognised. Here's the full list of those I've heard of (ones in brackets being joint winners I haven't heard of but I've heard of the other one):
1966 Alan J. Perlis
1967Maurice Wilkes
1969Marvin Minsky
1971John McCarthy
1972Edsger W. Dijkstra
1974Donald E. Knuth
1975Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon
1976Michael O. Rabin and Dana S. Scott
1977John Backus
1980C. Antony R. Hoare
1981Edgar F. Codd
1983Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie
1984Niklaus Wirth
1991Robin Milner
1993(Juris Hartmanis and) Richard E. Stearns
1994Edward Feigenbaum and Raj Reddy
1997Douglas Engelbart
2001(Ole-Johan Dahl and) Kristen Nygaard
2002(Ronald L. Rivest, Adi Shamir and) Leonard M. Adleman
2003Alan Kay
2004Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn
2005Peter Naur
2011Judea Pearl

That's 23 years I've known a winner from, out of the 48 years that it's been awarded. I should probably look up one of the others so I can claim to know who they are and can make it a round half. I've actually met Wilkes, Dijkstra, Hoare and Milner, not that they'd remember me (especially the dead ones).

I note that none of the winners are game developers. This is probably just as well, given that if they did hand a Turing Award to a game developer it would probably go to someone who already has a million dollars.

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