W. Wallace McDowell Award

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W. Wallace McDowell Award
Awarded forSignificant achievements in information technology
Presented byIEEE Computer Society
First awarded1966
Websitehttps://www.computer.org/volunteering/awards/mcdowell Edit this on Wikidata

The W. Wallace McDowell Award[1] is awarded by the IEEE Computer Society for outstanding theoretical, design, educational, practical, or related innovative contributions that fall within the scope of Computer Society interest. This is the highest technical award made solely by the IEEE Computer Society where selection of the awardee is based on the "highest level of technical accomplishment and achievement".[2] The IEEE Computer Society[3] (with over 85000 members from every field of computing[4]) is "dedicated to advancing the theory, practice, and application of computer and information processing technology." Another award considered to be the "most prestigious technical award in computing"[5] is the A. M. Turing Award awarded by Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). This is popularly referred to as the "computer science's equivalent of the Nobel Prize".[6][7] The W. Wallace McDowell Award is sometimes popularly referred to as the "IT Nobel".[8][9]

The award is named after W. Wallace McDowell who was director of engineering at IBM, during the development of the landmark product IBM 701. Mr. McDowell was responsible for the transition from electro-mechanical techniques to electronics, and the subsequent transition to solid state devices.[10]

The first recipient, in 1966, was Fernando J. Corbató who was a prominent American computer scientist, notable as a pioneer in the development of time-sharing operating systems, then of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The second recipient, in 1967, was John Backus who was awarded the Mcdowell Award for the development of FORTRAN and the syntactical forms incorporated in ALGOL.[1] John Backus was the developer of FORTRAN, for years one of the best known and most used programming systems in the world.[11]

W. Wallace McDowell Award recipients[edit]

Year Recipients Citation
1966 Fernando J. Corbató For his pioneering work in organizing and spearheading the early development of the first practical large-scale time-sharing computer system, and for his tireless efforts in providing direction for the entire time-sharing concept.
1967 John W. Backus For his early and continuing contribution to the field of higher-level languages, in particular for his conception and leadership resulting in the completion of the first FORTRAN projects; and for his work in syntactical forms incorporated in ALGOL.
1968 Seymour R. Cray For his continuing technical contributions to computer development through design automation and system definition, and for outstanding managerial leadership in producing a series of large scale computers.
1969 Herman Lukoff For his insight and leadership in solving primary problems of early computers and his continuing contributions that have paved the way for tomorrows computing systems.
1970 Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. For his significant contributions to computer architecture and programming and his leadership in cooperative efforts to further education in the computer field.
1971 Tom Kilburn For his achievement in designing and building some of the first-- as well as some of the most powerful -- computers in the world.
1972 Jean A. Hoerni For significantly influencing the architecture and design of data processing systems by inventing the planar process of semi-conductor circuit fabrication -- the development that made possible the economical mass production of reliable integrated circuits and semi-conductor memories.
1973 David A. Huffman For his contributions to the solution of sequential circuit problems and coding theory, and for his leadership as a teacher.
1974 Shmuel Winograd For his pioneering work in computational complexity and for stimulating further research on the scientific basis for evaluating the efficiency of computational algorithms.
1975 C. Gordon Bell For outstanding contributions in the areas of technical design, education, and publications influential in developing the computer field.
1976 Gene M. Amdahl For his contributions to the architecture and design of computer systems, and for his achievements in promoting advancements in the computer state of the art through business enterprise.
1977 Robert S. Barton For his innovative architectural computer concepts, such as stack processing, data stored with self-describing tags, and the direct execution of higher level languages, as embodied in the B-5000 and successor machines.
1978 Gordon E. Moore For outstanding contributions to research and development of semi-conductor components and his insights and leadership in the micro-processor and semi conductor memory fields.
1979 Grace Murray Hopper For her combination of technical skill, leadership, teaching capability, and single-minded drive for the invention, adoption, and standardization of high-level programming languages.
1980 Donald E. Knuth For his many contributions to software engineering and education and for the excellence of his scholarship and creativity in organizing vast subject areas of computer science so that they are accessible to all segments of the computing community.
1981 Maurice V. Wilkes For a lifetime of innovative technical contributions to the computer field in the areas of software engineering, structured programming, distributed computing, data base structures, time-sharing, storage hierarchies, paging, and microprogramming.
1982 Rex Rice For his outstanding technical and managerial contributions to computer development through the invention of the universally utilized dual-in-line semi-conductor component package, and the design and production of the first large LSI semi-conductor memory systems.
1983 Daniel Slotnick For his pioneering contributions to centrally controlled parallel computers and for his achievement in creating the parallel computer ILLIAC IV.
1984 Thomas M. McWilliams and
Lawrence C. Widdoes, Jr.
For creating the structured computer-aided logic (SCALD) design methodology, which is the basis for many of the successful computer-aided engineering systems used in the industry.
1985 William D. Strecker For being principal designer of the VAX architecture and for contributions to local area networks, high-performance interconnects, caches, and memory hierarchies.
1987 Sidney Fernbach For continuously challenging, inspiring, and supporting American designers and industry to produce many successive generations of super computers.
1988 William Poduska For his continued creative contributions to hardware and software developments and for management expertise in bringing them to products.
1989 Edward B. Eichelberger and
Thomas W. Williams
For developing the level-sensitive scan technique of testing solid-state logic circuits and for leading, defining, and promoting design for testability concepts."
1990 Lawrence G. Roberts For designing packet switching technology and bringing it into practical use by means of the ARPA network.
1994 Federico Faggin For the development of the Silicon Gate Process, and the first commercial microprocessor.
1995 Ken Kennedy For important contributions to theory and practice of compiler optimization and leadership in the development of software for parallel computation.
1996 Timothy Berners-Lee For innovative invention of the World Wide Web, which extends hypertext to distributed information, which has brought about a revolutionary transformation in the use of computers and networks.
1997 Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina For Developing a Multi-Platform Browsing Tool for the World Wide Web.
1998 Tilak Agerwala For outstanding contributions to the development of high performance computers.
1999 Yale Patt For your impact on the high performance microprocessor industry via a combination of important contributions to both engineering and education.
2000 Raymond Ozzie For his vision, determination, and programming skill in the development of Lotus Notes, a program that enables groups of people to work collaboratively over computer networks.
2001 Pradeep K. Khosla For significant contributions to the design of re-configurable real-time software systems, and for significant contributions to undergraduate and graduate education in electrical and computer engineering and robotics.
2002 Jaishankar Menon For leading contributions on the architecture and design of data storage systems and RAID technology.
2003 Sartaj K. Sahni For contributions to the theory of NP-hard and NP-complete problems.
2004 Simon Lam For outstanding fundamental contributions in network protocols and security services.
2005 Krishan K. Sabnani For seminal contributions to networking protocols and to wireless data networks.
2006 Benjamin W. Wah For fundamental contributions to the theory and applications of nonlinear and resource-constrained optimization.
2007 Anil K. Jain For pioneering contributions to theory, technique, and practice of pattern recognition, computer vision, and biometric recognition systems.
2008 Krishna Palem For pioneering contributions to the algorithmic, compilation, and architectural foundations of embedded computing.
2009 Jiawei Han For significant contributions to knowledge discovery and data mining.
2011 Ian F. Akyildiz For pioneering contributions to wireless sensor network architectures and communication protocols.
2012 Ronald Fagin For fundamental and lasting contributions to the theory of databases.
2013 Maurice Herlihy For fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of multi-processor computation.
2014 Hanan Samet For fundamental contributions to the development of multidimensional spatial data structures and indexing, translation validation, and proof-carrying code.
2015 Viktor K. Prasanna For fundamental algorithmic and application specific architectural contributions to reconfigurable computing.
2016 Dexter C. Kozen For groundbreaking contributions to topics ranging from computational complexity, to the analysis of algebraic computations, to logics of programs and verification.
2017 Srinivas Devadas For fundamental contributions that have shaped the field of secure hardware, impacting circuits, microprocessors, and systems.
2018 Moti Yung For innovative contributions to computer and network security, predicting, both, attack scenarios and design needs in this important evolving area.
2019 Rajesh K. Gupta For seminal contributions in design and implementation of Microelectronic Systems-on-Chip and Cyberphysical Systems.
2020 Sushil Jajodia For contributions to the scientific and engineering principles that enable effective adaptive cyber defense.
2021 Charu C. Aggarwal For contributions to knowledge discovery and data mining.
2022 Rafail Ostrovsky For visionary contributions to computer security theory and practice, including foreseeing new cloud vulnerabilities and then pioneering corresponding novel solutions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Past recipients for W. Wallace McDowell Award". IEEE Computer Society.
  3. ^ "IEEE COMPUTER SOCIETY". IEEE Computer Society.
  4. ^ "IEEE COMPUTER SOCIETY 2009 Member Resource Guide" (PDF). IEEE Computer Society.
  5. ^ "ACM Awards: A.M Turing Award". ACM. Archived from the original on 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
  6. ^ Chang, Kenneth (2009-11-15). "Amir Pnueli, Pioneer of Temporal Logic, Dies at 68". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  7. ^ "FIRST WOMAN TO RECEIVE ACM TURING AWARD". ACM. Archived from the original on 2012-05-26. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
  8. ^ "Reddit discussion".
  9. ^ ""IT Nobel" Awarded to IBM Researcher". IBM Research Blog. 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  10. ^ "Tribute to W. Wallace McDowell". IEEE Computer Society.
  11. ^ "John Backus". IBM.

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