Computer Pioneer Award

Last updated
IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award
Awarded forOutstanding contributions to the concepts and development of the computer field
First awarded1981
Website IEEE Computer Society Awards

The Computer Pioneer Award 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. The nomination deadline is the 15 October of each year.

The award has two type of recipients:

Computer Pioneer Charter Recipients

Computer Pioneer Recipients

Source: IEEE Computer Society

YearRecipientSignificant contribution
2019 Laura Haas For pioneering innovations in the architecture of federated databases and in the integration of data from multiple, heterogeneous sources.
Jitendra Malik For a leading role in developing Computer Vision into a thriving discipline through pioneering research, leadership, and mentorship.
2018 Barbara Liskov for "pioneering data abstraction, polymorphism, and support for fault tolerance and distributed computing in the programming languages CLU and Argus." (source)
Bjarne Stroustrup For pioneering C++.
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 including the creation of TCCA and SIGARCH.
2015 Peter M. Kogge For developing algorithms for recurrence, 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 Edward Feigenbaum For 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 E. Sammet For pioneering work and lifetime achievement as one of the first developers and researchers in programming languages.
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 Jeanings Bartik Programmer including co-leading the first teams of ENIAC programmers, and pioneering work on BINAC and UNIVAC I
Edward J. McCluskey Design and synthesis of digital systems over five decades, including the first algorithm for logic synthesis (the Quine-McCluskey method)
Carl A. Petri Petri net theory (1962) and then parallel and distributed computing
2006 Mamoru Hosaka Computing in Japan
Arnold M. Spielberg Real-time data acquisition and recording that significantly contributed to the definition of modern feedback and control processes
2004 Frances E. Allen Theory and practice of compiler optimization
2003 Martin Richards 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 Operating systems and concurrent programming, exemplified by work on the RC 4000 multiprogramming system, monitors, and Concurrent Pascal
Robert W. Bemer ASCII, ASCII-alternate sets, and escape sequences
2001 Vernon Schatz Electronic Funds Transfer which made possible computer to computer commercial transactions via the banking system
William H. Bridge Computer and communications technology in the GE DATANET-30
2000 Harold W. Lawson Inventing the pointer variable and introducing this concept into PL/I
Gennady Stolyarov Minsk series computers' software, of the information systems' software
Georgy Lopato 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 SPEEDAC of Sperry Corporation, and computer graphics and image processing
1998 Irving John (Jack) Good 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 Banking applications ERMA, and computer manufacturing
Francis Elizabeth (Betty) Snyder-Holberton Sort-merge generator for the Univac and compilation
1996 Angel Angelov Computer science technologies in Bulgaria
Richard F. Clippinger Converted the ENIAC to a stored program at Aberdeen Proving Ground
Edgar Frank Codd Abstract model for database management
Norber Fristacky Digital devices
Victor M. Glushkov Digital automation of computer architecture
Jozef Gruska Theory of computing and organizational activities
Jiri Horejs Informatics and computer science
Lubomir Georgiev Iliev Computing in Bulgaria; 1st Bulgarian computers; abstract mathematics and software
Robert E. Kahn TCP/IP protocols and the Internet program
László Kalmár 1956 logical machine and the design of the MIR computer in Hungary
Antoni Kiliński First commercial computers and informatics (computer science) curriculum in Poland,
László Kozma 1930 relay machines, and early computers in post-war Hungary
Sergey A. Lebedev Computer in the Soviet Union
Alexey A. Lyaponov Soviet cybernetics and programming
Romuald W. Marczynski Polish digital computers and computer architecture
Grigore C. Moisil Polyvalent logic switching circuits
Ivan Plander Computer hardware technology into Slovakia and the control computer
Arnold Reitsakas Estonia's computer age
Antonín Svoboda Computer research in Czechoslovakia and SAPO and EPOS computers
1995 Gerald Estrin Early computers
David Evans Computer graphics
Butler Lampson Personal Computer
Marvin Minsky Artificial intelligence
Kenneth Olsen Minicomputers
1994 Gerrit A. Blaauw IBM System/360 Series
Harlan B. Mills Structured Programming
Dennis M. Ritchie Unix
Ken L. Thompson
1993 Erich Bloch High speed computing
Jack S. Kilby Co-inventing the integrated circuit
Willis H. Ware Design of IAS and JOHNNIAC computers
1992 Stephen W. Dunwell Project stretch
Douglas C. Engelbart Human computer interaction
1991 Bob O. Evans Compatible computers
Robert W. Floyd Compilers
Thomas E. Kurtz BASIC
1990 Werner Buchholz Computer architecture
C.A.R. Hoare Programming languages definitions
1989 John Cocke Instruction pipelining and RISC concepts
James A. Weidenhammer High speed I/O mechanisms
Ralph L. Palmer IBM 604 electronic calculator
Mina S. Rees ONR Computer R&D development beginning in 1946
Marshall C. Yovits
F. Joachim Weyl
Gordon D. Goldstein
1988 Friedrich L. Bauer Computer stacks
Marcian E. Hoff, Jr. Microprocessor on a chip
1987 Robert R. Everett Whirlwind
Reynold B. Johnson RAMAC
Arthur L. Samuel Adaptive non-numeric processing
Niklaus E. Wirth Pascal
1986 Cuthbert C. Hurd Computing
Peter Naur Computer language development
James H. Pomerene IAS and Harvest computers
Adriann van Wijngaarden ALGOL 68
1985 John G. Kemeny BASIC
John McCarthy LISP and artificial intelligence
Alan Perlis Computer language translation
Ivan Sutherland Graphics Sketchpad
David J. Wheeler Assembly language programming
Heinz Zemanek Computer and computer languages for Mailüfterl
1984 John Vincent Atanasoff Electronic computer with serial memory
Jerrier A. Haddad IBM 701
Nicholas C. Metropolis Solved atomic energy problems on ENIAC
Nathaniel Rochester Architecture of IBM 702 electronic data processing machines
Willem L. van der Poel Serial computer ZEBRA
1982 Harry D. Huskey Parallel computer SWAC
Arthur Burks Electronic computer logic design
1981 Jeffrey Chuan Chu Electronic computer logic design

Nomination process

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