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2008 ACM A.M. Turing Award

ACM Names Barbara Liskov Recipient of the 2008 ACM A.M. Turing Award

Highest honor in computing awarded for groundbreaking research in the programming field.

Award Citation

For contributions to practical and theoretical foundations of programming language and system design, especially related to data abstraction, fault tolerance, and distributed computing.

Barbara Liskov


Barbara Liskov has led important developments in computing by creating and implementing programming languages, operating systems, and innovative systems designs that have advanced the state of the art of data abstraction, modularity, fault tolerance, persistence, and distributed computing systems.

The Venus operating system was an early example of principled operating system design. The CLU programming language was one of the earliest and most complete programming languages based on modules formed from abstract data types and incorporating unique intertwining of both early and late binding mechanisms. ARGUS extended many of the CLU ideas to distributed programming, and incorporated the first versions of nested transactions to maintain predictable consistencies. Other advances include solutions elegantly combining theory and pragmatics in the areas of decentralized information flow, replicated storage and caching of persistent objects, and modular upgrading of distributed systems.

Her contributions have been incorporated into the practice of programming, thereby influencing many of the most important systems used today: for programming, specification, systems design, and distributed architectures.

Additional information on Barbara Liskov

About the ACM A.M. Turing Award

awardThe A.M. Turing Award was named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing, and who was a key contributor to the Allied cryptanalysis of the German Enigma cipher during World War II. Since its inception in 1966, the Turing Award has honored the computer scientists and engineers who created the systems and underlying theoretical foundations that have propelled the information technology industry.

ACM's most prestigious technical award is accompanied by a prize of $250,000. It is given to an individual selected for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community. The contributions should be of lasting and major technical importance to the computer field. Financial support of the Turing Award is provided by the Intel Corporation and Google Inc.

ACM will present the Turing Award at the annual ACM Awards Banquet on June 27, 2009, in San Diego, CA.

2008 A. M Turing Award Press Release

Read ACM’s Press Release on the 2008 ACM A.M. Turing Award recipient.

ACM A.M. Turing Award Site

View Selected News Coverage:

      Boston Globe


      San Francisco Chronicle

      Washington Post

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.