Turing Award Announced

March 21, 2018: John L. Hennessy, former President of Stanford University, and David A. Patterson, retired Professor of the University of California, Berkeley, have been named recipients of the 2017 ACM A.M. Turing Award.

According to the US Berkeley press release, Patterson and Hennessy were honored “for their creation of an approach to designing faster, lower-power and reduced instruction set computer microprocessors, known in their field as RISC processors. Today, 99 percent of the more than 16 billion microprocessors produced annually are RISC processors, and they are found in nearly all smartphones, tablets and the billions of devices that comprise the Internet of Things. Patterson and Hennessy laid out their principles in their influential book, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, now in its sixth edition and studied by generations of engineers and scientists who have adopted and further developed their ideas.”

Microsoft founder Bill Gates commented that the contributions of Patterson and Hennessy “have proven to be fundamental to the very foundation upon which an entire industry flourished.”

Often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Computing, the ACM Turing award was initiated in 1966 to recognize contributions of lasting and major technical importance to the computing field. The award, which carries a $1 million prize, is named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing.

Patterson and Hennessy will receive the award at a banquet on Saturday, June 23, 2018, in San Francisco.

For more information, go to the announcement from the Association for Computing Machinery.