March 9, 2010: 2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award Winner Named
ACM Bulletin Service
Today's Topic: 2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award Winner Named
March 9, 2010
ACM has named Charles P. Thacker the recipient of the 2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award for his pioneering design and realization of the Alto, the first modern personal computer, and the prototype for networked personal computers. Alto incorporated bitmap (TV-like) displays which enable modern graphical user interfaces (GUIs), including What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editors. Thacker's design, which he built while at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), reflected a new vision of a self-sufficient, networked computer on every desk, equipped with innovations that are standard in today's models.
Dr. Thacker is also recognized for his contributions to the Ethernet local area network, the "interconnection fabric" that allows multiple digital devices such as workstations, printers, scanners, file servers, and modems to communicate with each other. Today's Ethernets, which are thousands of times faster than the original version, have become the dominant local area networking technology. He also designed the first multiprocessor workstation, and the prototype for today's most used tablet PC, with its capabilities for direct user interaction.
The ACM A.M. Turing Award is ACM's most prestigious technical award. It recognizes contributions of lasting and major technical importance, and honors individuals whose work has advanced the field of computing. First presented in 1966, and named for British mathematician Alan M. Turing, the Turing Award is widely considered to be the "Nobel Prize in Computing." It carries a $250,000 prize, with financial support provided by Intel Corporation and Google Inc.