Biggest Tech Industry Awards, Honors & Prizes of 2013

Computing and networking legends and newcomers earn their recognition

No, these aren't the Grammys, Oscars or other awards that grab most headlines, but these are honors, awards and prizes for those whose engineering, scientific and business efforts have resulted in technology breakthroughs that benefit so many of us. We'll update the list throughout the year as new awards are doled out.

[ RELATED: Why there's no Nobel Prize in computing

MORE: Whirlwind tour of computing and telecom's top honors, awards and prizes ]

A.M. Turing Award

A.M. Turing Award

A pair of MIT professors and security researchers whose work paved the way for modern cryptography have been named winners of the 2012 A.M. Turing Award, also known as the "Nobel Prize in Computing." Shafi Goldwasser, the RSA professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and Silvio Micali, the MIT Ford professor of engineering, are recipients of the annual Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) $250K award.

Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

The first ever such award goes to some pretty darn big names: Web creator Tim Berners-Lee, Mosaic browser inventor Marc Andreessen, and Internet pioneers Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf and Louis Pouzin. "They have been awarded the [1 million pound] prize for the ground-breaking work, starting in the 1970s, which led to the Internet and worldwide Web." The queen herself will present the awards in summer 2013 at Buckingham Palace.

Computer History Museum Fellow Awards

Computer History Museum Fellow Awards

The Computer History Museum's Class of 2013 includes Ed Catmull, a computer scientist and Pixar co-founder, along with two PC pioneers: Harry Huskey and Robert W. Taylor. Catmull not only started up Pixar, along with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Alvy Ray Smith, but is currently president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. Huskey's claims to fame include working on the famed ENIAC computer. Taylor enters the Hall of Fellows "For his leadership in the development of computer networking, online information and communications systems, and modern personal computing." 

Wireless Hall of Fame

Wireless Hall of Fame

The Wireless History Foundation (WHF) has named four new inductees into the Wireless Hall of Fame, recognizing outstanding achievement across all disciplines of the wireless industry. This year's inductees join 36 current members of the Hall, including Craig McCaw, MCI founder William McGowan and "Father of the Cellphone" Martin Cooper. The new inductees are: George Schmitt, responsible for building the world's first GSM system while with Pacific Telesis and world's first CDMA network while at Airtouch; Kris Rinne, a longtime AT&T executive who led the company's GSM rollout; Mark Warner, an investor in many early cellular telephone businesses and later a U.S. senator; and Craig Farrill, CTO for major international wireless carriers, including Vodafone AirTouch Plc, PacTel and AirTouch Communications.

IEEE Computer Society Awards

IEEE Computer Society Awards

The Society doles out at least a dozen big awards each year. Among the big ones: the Computer Pioneer Award, which this year went to both Stanford University Professor Emeritus Edward Feigenbaum, known as "the father of expert systems," and Steve Furber, ICL professor of computer engineering in the University of Manchester's School of Computer Science. Furber was a principal designer of the BBC Microcomputer, which introduced computers into most U.K. schools, and was also a principal designer of the first ARM 32-bit microprocessor that powers most of the world's consumer electronics. 

World Telecommunication and Information Society Award

World Telecommunication and Information Society Award

Three recipients have been honored in 2013 in recognition of their leadership and dedication toward promoting information and communications technology (ICT) as a means of improving road safety. The winners are Ueli Maurer, president of the Swiss Confederation; Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH; and Jean Todt, president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA). More info here

TED Prize

$1M TED Prize

Sugata Mitra, an educational researcher in England, won the TED Prize for social entrepreneurship for his plan to build an online learning lab in India called School in the Cloud. Mitra's concept is an outgrowth of his Hole in the Wall experiments, in which Mitra and his colleagues in 1999 "dug a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC, and left it there (with a hidden camera filming the area). What they saw was kids from the slum playing around with the computer and in the process learning how to use it and how to go online, and then teaching each other," according to his TED bio.

Past winners include Bill Clinton and U2's Bono.

Internet Hall of Fame

Internet Hall of Fame

The Internet Society has added 32 individuals -- "influential engineers, activists, and entrepreneurs changed history through their vision and determination" to its Internet Hall of Fame. They will be formally inducted Aug. 3 in Berlin, Germany.

The inductees: (Pioneers Circle) David Clark, David Farber, Howard Frank, Kanchana Kanchanasut, J.C.R. Licklider (posthumous), Bob Metcalfe, Jun Murai, Kees Neggers, Nii Narku Quaynor, Glenn Ricart, Robert Taylor, Stephen Wolff, Werner Zorn; (Innovators) Marc Andreessen, John Perry Barlow, Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder, François Flückiger, Stephen Kent, Henning Schulzrinne, Richard Stallman, Aaron Swartz (posthumous), Jimmy Wales; (Global Connectors) Karen Banks, Gihan Dias, Anriette Esterhuysen, Steven Goldstein, Teus Hagen, Ida Holz, Qiheng Hu, Haruhisa Ishida (posthumous), Barry Leiner (posthumous), George Sadowsky.

Katayanagi Prize in Computer Science

Katayanagi Prize in Computer Science

Stanford University’s Pat Hanrahan and Cornell University’s Doug L. James, a pair of computer graphics innovators whose creations have made movie visuals more exciting, have been named recipients of this year's Katayanagi Prizes in Computer Science. The prizes are presented by Carnegie Mellon University and Tokyo University of Technology (TUT), and are endowed by Japanese entrepreneur and education advocate Koh Katayanagi, who founded TUT. Randal Bryant, dean of the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, said of the recipients in a statement: “Although the two prize winners were selected independently, they both have made major contributions to the field of computer graphics. Their work has yielded many benefits, ranging from more realistic animation for Hollywood movies.”

National Cyber Security Hall of Fame

National Cyber Security Hall of Fame

Five new inductees enter this 2-year-old hall. Enshrined this time around: Willis H. Ware, created the first definitive discussion of information system security, as chair of a Defense Department committee, treating the subject as both a technical matter and policy issue;  James Anderson (posthumously) – Effectively started the field of intrusion detection; Eugene Spafford, a pioneer in the field of information security education & co-inventor of Tripwire; David Bell, co-authored the “Bell-La Padula model”, the most widely used security model; and James Bidzos, ex-CEO of RSA Data Security; founded and continues to lead VeriSign. (See story)