The Turing Prize, considered the “Nobel Prize in computing”, is for the creators of the base on which compilers are based.
Alfred Aho and Jeffrey Ullman They have been the winners of the 2020 Turing Prize, considered the “Nobel Prize for computing”. The two researchers, pioneers in the development of compiler technology and programming languages, have received this prestigious award from the ‘Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)’ and endowed with a million dollars.
The collaboration between Ullman and Aho began in 1967 during their time at Bell Labs, AT & T’s historic research center. The two teachers helped describe the compiler technology and open the door to translate programs high-level in low-level machine codes.
Pioneers of modern algorithms
Jeffrey Ullman is currently a professor emeritus at Stanford University and a director of the e-learning company Gradiance. Among the achievements named by the organization that has awarded the prestigious Turing Prize is the development of two textbooks ‘The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms’ de 1974 y ‘Principles of Compiler Design’, the latter well known for its mythical cover illustration where a knight appears fighting a dragon.
For decades, Ullman and Aho were the world’s greatest compilation experts. That process where, for example, languages like C ++ are translated into a lower-level language that machines can understand and execute.
“Aho and Ullman established fundamental ideas about algorithms, formal languages, compilers and databases, which were fundamental in the development of the current programming and software landscape”, Explain Jeff Dean, VP de Google AI.
“Jeffrey Ullman, along with his collaborator Alfred Aho, has done pioneering contributions to our understanding of algorithms fundamentals and the design and implementation of programming languages, “says Marc Tessier-Lavigne, president of Stanford University where Ullman is a professor.
Some of Aho and Ullman’s students have held top positions at tech companies. Among them we can find, for example, Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, who was one of Ullman’s doctoral students.
More information | Association of Computer Machinery