Computer Pioneer Award

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About the Computer Pioneer Award

About the Computer Pioneer Award


Nomination Deadline: 1 October 2018 for 2019 Awards
No endorsement is required.


The Computer Pioneer was established in 1981 by the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society to recognize and honor the vision of those people whose efforts resulted in the creation and continued vitality of the computer industry. The award is presented to outstanding individuals whose main contribution to the concepts and development of the computer field was made at least fifteen years earlier.

The recognition is engraved on a silver medal specially struck for the Society.

All members of the profession are invited to nominate a colleague who they consider most eligible to be considered for this award.

Computer Pioneer Past Recipients

Computer Pioneer Past Recipients

2018 Sergey Brin For the creation of the Google search engine and leadership in creating ambitious products and research initiatives.
2018 Larry Page For the creation of the Google search engine and leadership in creating ambitious products and research initiatives.
2018 Barbara Liskov For pioneering data abstraction, polymorphism, and support for fault tolerance and distributed computing in the programming languages CLU and Argus.
2018 Bjarne Stroustrup For bringing object-oriented programming and generic programming to the mainstream with his design and implementation of the C++ programming language.
2016 E. Grady Booch For pioneering work in Object Modeling that led to the creation of the Unified Modeling Language (UML).
2015 Michael J. Flynn For more than 50 years of leadership, which includes the creation of TCCA and SIGARCH, basic contributions to computer arithmetic, microarchitecture and multiprocessing, and quantitative analysis of microarchitectures.
2015 Peter M. Kogge
For the pioneering of three areas of computer architecture development of parallel algorithms for recurrence embodied in the Kogge-Stone adder, development of the multi-core microprocessor chip and the formalization of methods for designing the control of a computer pipeline.
2014 Linus Torvalds For pioneering development of the Linux kernel using the open-source approach.
2013 Stephen B. Furber For pioneering work as a principal designer of the ARM 32-bit RISC microprocessor.
2013 Edward Feigenbaum For pioneering work in Artificial Intelligence, including development of the basic principles and methods of knowledge-based systems and their practical applications.
2012 Cleve Moler For improving the quality of mathematical software, making it more accessible and creating MATLAB.
2011 David Kuck For pioneering parallel architectures including the Illiac IV, the Burroughs BSP, and Cedar; and, for revolutionary parallel compiler technology including Parafrase and KAP Tools.
2009 Jean Sammet For pioneering work and lifetime achievement as one of the first developers and researchers in programming languages.
2009 Lynn Conway For contributions to superscalar architecture, including multiple-issue dynamic instruction scheduling, and for the innovation and widespread teaching of simplified VLSI design methods.
2008 Betty Jean Jennings Bartik For pioneering work as one of the first programmers, including co-leading the first teams of ENIAC programmers, and pioneering work on BINAC and UNIVAC I.
2008 Edward J. McCluskey For seminal contributions to the design and synthesis of digital systems over five decades, including the first algorithm for logic synthesis (the Quine-McCluskey method).
2008 Carl A. Petri For establishing Petri net theory in 1962, which not only was cited by hundreds of thousands of scientific publications but also significantly advanced the fields of parallel and distributed computing.
2006 Mamoru Hosaka For recognition of pioneering activities within computing in Japan.
2006 Arnold M. Spielberg For recognition of contribution to real-time data acquisition and recording that significantly contributed to the definition of modern feedback and control processes.
2004 Frances (Fran) E. Allen For pioneering work establishing the theory and practice of compiler optimization.
2003 Martin Richards For pioneering system software portability through the programming language BCPL widely influential and used in academia and industry for a variety of prominent system software.
2002 Per Brinch Hansen For pioneering development in operating systems and concurrent programming, exemplified by work on the RC4000 multiprogramming system, monitors, and Concurrent Pascal.
2002 Robert W. Bemer For meeting the world's needs for variant character sets and other symbols, via ASCII, ASCII-alternate sets, and escape sequences.
2001 Vernon L. Schatz For the development of Electronics Funds Transfer which made possible computer to computer commercial transactions via the banking system.
2001 William H. Bridge For the marrying of computer and communications technology in the GE DATANET 30, putting terminals on peoples desks to communicate with and timeshare a computer, leading directly to the development of the personal computer, computer networking and the internet.
2000 Harold W. Lawson For inventing the pointer variable and introducing this concept into PL/I, thus providing for the first time, the capability to flexibly treat linked lists in a general-purpose high level language.
2000 Gennady Stolyarov For pioneering development in Minsk series computers' software, of the information systems' software and applications and for data processing and data base management systems concepts dissemination and promotion.
2000 Georgiy Lopato For pioneering development in Belarus of the Minsk series computers' hardware, of the multicomputer complexes and of the RV family of mobile computers for heavy field conditions.
1999 Herbert Freeman For pioneering work on the first computer built by the Sperry Corporation, the SPEEDAC, and for subsequent contributions to the areas of computer graphics and image processing.
1998 Irving John (Jack) Good For significant contributions to the field of computing as a Cryptologist and statistician during World War II at Bletchley Park, as an early worker and developer of the Colossus at Bletchley Park and on the University of Manchester Mark I, the world's first stored program computer.
1997 Homer (Barney) Oldfield For pioneering work in the development of banking applications through the implementation of ERMA, and the introduction of computer manufacturing to GE.
1997 Frances Elizabeth (Betty) Snyder-Holberton For the development of the first sort-merge generator for the Univac which inspired the first ideas about compilation.
1996 Angel Angelov For computer science technologies in Bulgaria.
1996 Richard F. Clippinger For computing laboratory staff member, Aberdeen Proving Ground, who converted the ENIAC to a stored program.
1996 Edgar Frank Codd For the invention of the first abstract model for database management.
1996 Norbert Fristacky For pioneering digital devices.
1996 Victor M. Glushkov For digital automation of computer architecture.
1996 Jozef Gruska For the development of computer science in former Czechoslovakia with fundamental contributions to the theory of computing and extraordinary organizational activities.
1996 Jiri Horejs For informatics and computer science.
1996 Lubomir Georgiev Iliev A founder and influential leader of computing in Bulgaria; leader of the team that developed the first Bulgarian computer; made fundamental and continuing contributions to abstract mathematics and software.
1996 Robert E. Kahn For the co-invention of the TCP/IP protocols and for originating the Internet program.
1996 Laszlo Kalmar For recognition as the developer of a 1956 logical machine and the design of the MIR computer in Hungary.
1996 Antoni Kilinski For pioneering work in the construction of the first commercial computers in Poland, and for the development of university curriculum in computer science.
1996 Laszlo Kozma For development of the 1930 relay machines, and going on to build early computers in post-war Hungary.
1996 Sergey A. Lebedev For the first computer in the Soviet Union.
1996 Alexey A. Lyapunov For Soviet cybernetics and programming.
1996 Romuald W. Marczynski For pioneering work in the construction of the first Polish digital computers and contributions to fundamental research in computer architecture.
1996 Grigore C. Moisil For polyvalent logic switching circuits.
1996 Ivan Plander For the introduction of computer hardware technology into Slovakia and the development of the first control computer.
1996 Arnols Reitsakas For contributions to Estonia's computer age.
1996 Antonin Svoboda For the pioneering work leading to the development of computer research in Czechoslovakis and the design and construction of the SAPO and EPOS computers.
1995 Gerald Estrin For significant developments on early computers.
1995 David Evans For seminal work on computer graphics.
1995 Butler Lampson For early concepts and developments of the PC.
1995 Marvin Minsky For conceptual development of artificial intelligence.
1995 Kenneth Olsen For concepts and development of minicomputers.
1994 Gerrit A. Blaauw In recognition of your contributions to the IBM System/360 Series of computers.
1994 Harlan D. Mills In recognition of contributions to Structured Programming.
1994 Dennis M. Ritchie In recognition of contributions to the development of Unix.
1994 Ken L. Thompson For his work with UNIX.
1993 Erich Bloch For high speed computing.
1993 Jack S. Kilby For co-inventing the integrated circuit.
1993 Willis H. Ware For the design of IAS and Johnniac computers.
1992 Stephen W. Dunwell For project stretch.
1992 Douglas C. Engelbart For human machine interaction.
1991 Bob O. Evans For compatible computers.
1991 Robert W. Floyd For early compilers.
1991 Thomas E. Kurtz For BASIC.
1990 Werner Buchholz For computer architecture.
1990 C.A.R. Hoare For programming languages definitions.
1989 John Cocke For instruction pipelining and RISC concepts.
1989 James A. Weidenhammer For high speed I/O mechanisms.
1989 Ralph L. Palmer For the IBM 604 electronic calculator.
1989 Mina S. Rees For the ONR Computer R&D development beginning in 1946.
1989 Marshall C. Yovits For the ONR Computer R&D development beginning in 1946.
1989 F. Joachim Weyl For the ONR Computer R&D development beginning in 1946.
1989 Gordon D. Goldstein For his work with the Office of Naval Research and computer R&R beginning in 1946.
1988 Freidrich L. Bauer For computer stacks.
1988 Marcian E. Hoff, Jr. For microprocessor on a chip.
1987 Robert R. Everett For Whirlwind.
1987 Reynold B. Johnson For RAMAC.
1987 Arthur L. Samuel For Adaptive non-numeric processing.
1987 Nicklaus E. Wirth For PASCAL.
1986 Cuthbert C. Hurd For contributions to early computing.
1986 Peter Naur For computer language development.
1986 James H. Pomerene For IAS and Harvest computers.
1986 Adriann van Wijngaarden For ALGOL 68.
1985 John G. Kemeny For BASIC.
1985 John McCarthy For LISP and artificial intelligence.
1985 Alan Perlis For computer language translation.
1985 Ivan Sutherland For the graphics SKETCHPAD.
1985 David J. Wheeler For assembly language programming.
1985 Heinz Zemanek For computer and computer languages MAILUEFTERL.
1984 John Vincent Atanasoff For the first electronic computer with serial memory.
1984 Jerrier A. Haddad For his part in the lead IBM 701 design team.
1984 Nicholas C. Metropolis For the first solved atomic energy problems on ENIAC.
1984 Nathaniel Rochester For the architecture of IBM 702 electronic data processing machines.
1984 Willem L. van der Poel For the serial computer ZEBRA.
1982 Harry D. Huskey For the first parallel computer SWAC.
1982 Arthur Burks For his early work in electronic computer logic design.
1981 Jeffrey Chuan Chu For his early work in electronic computer logic design.


Computer Pioneer Subcommittee Chair

2018 Computer Pioneer Subcommittee Chair

Ming Lin, University of Maryland, College Park


New deadline for 2020 nominations is 1 OCT 2019


Computer Pioneer Charter Recipients

Charter Recipients for the Computer Pioneer Award

On the occasion of the initiation of the Computer Pioneer Award, the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society has named, as charter recipients of this award, the following individuals who meet the Computer Pioneer Award criteria, and who also have received previous computer awards sponsored by the Society.


Howard H. Aiken CR "Large-Scale Automatic Computation"
Samuel N. Alexander CR "SEAC"
Gene M. Amdahl CR "Large-Scale Computer Architecture"
John W. Backus CR "FORTRAN"
Robert S. Barton CR "Language-Directed Architecture"
C. Gordon Bell CR "Computer Design"
Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. CR "Compatible Computer Family System/360"
Wesley A. Clark CR "First Personal Computer"
Fernando J. Corbato CR "Timesharing"
Seymour R. Cray CR "Scientific Computer Systems"
Edsgar W. Dijkstra CR "Multiprogramming Control"
J. Presper Eckert CR "First All-Electronic Computer - ENIAC"
Jay W. Forrester CR "First Large-Scale Coincident Current Memory"
Herman H. Goldstine CR "Contributions to Early Computer Design"
Richard W. Hamming CR "Error-Correcting Code"
Jean A. Hoerni CR "Planar Semiconductor Manufacturing Process"
Grace M. Hopper CR "Automatic Programming"
Alston S. Householder CR "Numerical Methods"
David A. Huffman CR Sequential Circuit Design"
Kenneth E. Iverson CR "APL"
Tom Kilburn CR "Paging Computer Design"
Donald E. Knuth CR "Science of Computer Algorithms"
Herman Lukoff CR "Early Electronic Computer Circuits"
John W. Mauchly CR "First All-Electronic Computer - ENIAC"
Gordon E. Moore CR "Integrated Circuit Production Technology"
Allen Newell CR "Contributions to Artificial Intelligence"
Robert N. Noyce CR "Integrated Circuit Production Technology"
Lawrence G. Roberts CR "Packet Switching"
George R. Stibitz CR "First Remote Computation"
Shmuel Winograd CR "Efficiency of Computational Algorithms"
Maurice V. Wilkes CR "Microprogramming"
Konrad Zuse CR "First Process Control Computer"