The ACM Awards the 2011 Turing Prize for Computing to Judea Pearl


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The Turing Award was first given in 1966: Image by julostock

Alan Jay Perlis Received the First Turing Award in 1966, for Advanced Programming and Compilers

Alan J. Perlis was born in 1922, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1955, Perlis began designing a high-level language for Purdue University’s Datatron 205 computer; such a language would be easier to learn than the low-level machine language of this specific computer. Within a few years, several universities were using this “IT” language on IBM 650 computers.

Perlis later contributed to the ALGOL-60 language. By highlighting the algorithms, this language helped to cement the view that computing was a discipline unto itself, rather than a clumsy way to make the computer hardware operate.

As the first recipient of the A.M. Turing Award, Perlis set a high standard for guiding collaborative efforts across a variety of institutions and for his work in education. Alan Jay Perlis died in 1990, while still a professor at Yale University.

The ACM’s A.M. Turing Award

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) promotes: the advancement of the disciplines involved in Information Technology and computer science; professional development; research and public policy. Named for the late British mathematician Alan Turing, the A.M. Turing Award honors those who make “major contributions of lasting importance to computing.”


PhysOrg. Artificial intelligence pioneer wins A.M. Turing Award. (2012). Accessed March 20, 2012.

Association for Computing Machinery. A.M. Turing Award. (2012). Accessed March 20, 2012.

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