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future technologyThey are not the Oscars or the Grammy’s. Heck, they aren’t even the Webbies 5 Of The Best Interactive Media & Web Awards For Some Cool Design Inspirations 5 Of The Best Interactive Media & Web Awards For Some Cool Design Inspirations If you look at it positively, envy can also inspire creativity. Awards of various hues and colors are the perfect platform to catch a bit of both. The best that get awarded set benchmarks which... Read More or the Appy Awards for the man on the street. But just like the relatively obscure names you might have encountered in the list of 10 Famous Geeks Who Changed The World 10 Famous Geeks Who Changed The World (Not Who You Think) 10 Famous Geeks Who Changed The World (Not Who You Think) If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants. So, said the genius called Isaac Newton. What was true of one of the most brilliant minds of history should be... Read More , the computer science awards on this list are doing their own quiet bit to promote innovation and invention. In turn, the innovations and inventions are changing our future. We don’t realize it just yet.

Of course, it can be argued that awards and honors always come after the event. But it can also be argued that such honors bestow the limelight on these remarkable human endeavors and force the wider community to take notice.

So, you may know what Angry Birds (Appy Awards: Best Game App) does for you today. Take a moment to discover what Mark Handley (IEEE Internet Award Winner 2012) could do for our tomorrow.

 

IEEE Internet Award

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The Award: The IEEE Internet Award is a technical award given by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a worldwide (160 countries and 400,000 members) non-profit that promotes advancement of technology. Nokia is a sponsor of the awards.

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The Impact: Mark Handley received the IEEE Internet Award this year for his contributions to Internet multicast, telephony, congestion control and the shaping of open Internet standards and open-source systems. That’s a mouthful, but it essentially means his work could be seminal in shaping the Internet of tomorrow. For instance, open Internet standards define everything from TCP/IP and WWW to hardware and networking between different computer systems. One of the earlier awardees was Paul Baran for his work on packet switching. Packet switching is one of the key technologies that keeps the Internet going by optimizing the transmission of data across networks.

IEEE Medal of Honor

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The Award: First started in 1917, it is one of the topmost recognitions one can get from peers in the science and technology industry (not only computer science). It is the highest IEEE award and is close to a lifetime achievement award.

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The Impact: It’s very first winner in 1917 was Edwin Howard Armstrong. You are listening to rock n’ roll today on FM today because of him. John L. Hennessy is the 2012 honoree “for pioneering the RISC processor architecture and for leadership in computer engineering and higher education.” He heads Stanford University, which is probably responsible for Silicon Valley in its own way.

Turing Award

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The Award: The Association for Computer Machinery has a host of awards; the A.M. Turing Award is the most prestigious and sought after. It has been dubbed as the “Nobel Prize” of Computing. Recipients are selected for major contributions of lasting importance to computing and invited to give the annual A.M. Turing Award Lecture.

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The Impact: its first winner was Alan Perlis for compiler design. He also was one of the 13 who developed ALGOL. Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie have been past winners. So have been Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn. Last year’s winner was Judea Pearl for his contributions to artificial intelligence, which is very much the future.

ACM too has other well-recognized awards like the Grace Murray Hopper Award given to young computer scientists for their work.

Millennium Technology Prize

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 The Award: If the Turing Award can be likened to the Nobel, The Millennium Technology Prize is another contender. It is said to be the largest technology prize in the world (probably in terms of prize money). It is awarded every two years by the Technology Academy Finland, for innovations that enrich our everyday life.

The Impact: The award’s first winner (in its present form) was Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web. One of the joint winners this year is Linus Torvalds. He might have developed the Linux operating system, but beyond that it can be argued that he has had a major world-changing influence on Open Source software development.

The Kyoto Prize For Advanced Technology

The Award: Set up by the Inamori Foundation of Japan, The Kyoto Prize is an international award to honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind. The prize is rapidly gaining in stature.

future technology

The Impact: Dr. Ivan Edward Sutherland is widely considered to be the father of computer graphics. His influence is spread across films to video games and 3D virtual reality. Today, artists (among others) can easily use GUI tools because his work through a  computer program called Sketchpad, allows a pointing device to control visible objects on a computer screen. That was in 1963. He also received the Turing Award in 1988.

Awards such as these point the way towards the future and what’s on the cutting edge. If you see the roll-call of awardees in each, you will notice that they shaped the technology of today. Whether by developing a computer language or a better data compression mechanism, each innovation has led to the present technologies. Has this been an informative article for you? Were you aware about these awards and the awardees? And more importantly, do you know of any other global (or even national) computer science award that should have made this list?

Image Credit: Clapping Hands via Shutterstock

  1. Theo Reisinger
    October 10, 2012 at 1:15 am

    That's great there are rewards like this; it creates a culture of rewarding achievements in computer science

  2. John Frum
    July 24, 2012 at 9:01 am

    None of these people are exactly up-and-comers, and their contributions are firmly entrenched in the past. Where is the next generation of geniuses who will propel us forward, and what are they doing? Judging by the graduating class of my youngest child, it seems that the best and brightest among them have been enticed to seek financial gain first and foremost--rampant corruption in that domain be damned.

    • Saikat Basu
      July 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

      That is a bit unfair, because you can't really generalize by looking at the graduating class of your youngest kid. There's great work being done across the world. For instance, IEEE has an award for young innovators. Then again, just type "young inventors or innovators" and browse through the results.

  3. John Jullies Palma
    July 20, 2012 at 1:52 am

    I don't know any of these awards until now! It's very nice to know we (computer peeps) have these. Something to dream for, something to live for.

  4. Samrudh Shetty
    July 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Wow nice post. What is the highest money they give in these prizes.

    • Saikat Basu
      July 22, 2012 at 10:13 am

      The Kyoto Prize is the highest in terms of prize money.

  5. Ben
    July 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I was not aware of these awards!

  6. Jatin Rungta
    July 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Turing is good Who are others?

  7. Rohitmittal3003
    July 18, 2012 at 11:58 am

    very good one. Please keep writing more article like these

  8. Mani Ahmed
    July 18, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Other then IEEE and Turning i have not even heard about the others. I being a computer science gradtuate turned into a business individual have been away from the Tech part.

    • Saikat Basu
      July 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      More than the awards, this article was about the people wining them. It is a pointer to where the future is headed and the remarkable work done quietly that we may not truly appreciate.

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