MIT Prof to be awarded "Nobel" of computing

MIT Professor of Engineering Barbara Liskov will receive the 2008 A.M. Turing Award, considered the Nobel Prize of computer science. She's being recognized by the Association for Computing Machinery for her contributions to software programming, in particular object-oriented programming techniques crucial to programming languages such as Java and C++. ACM says Liskov deserves the award "for her contributions to practical and theoretical foundations of programming language and system design, especially related to data abstraction, fault tolerance, and distributed computing."

Liskov was the first U.S. woman to receive a computer science Ph.D. and has been a professor/researcher at MIT since 1972. She heads the Programming Methodology Group in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT.

The award, which carries a $250K prize, has not surprisingly been awarded to others from MIT in the past. Ron Rivest, the "R" in the RSA security algorithm, shared the prize with his fellow RSA creators in 2003, and was feted by students and colleagues, who threw rice at him and wore party hats.

Vint Cerf, Jim Gray and other well-known techies have been honored in the past.

The Turing Award will be presented at the ACM Awards Banquet on June 27 in San Diego.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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