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Programming Languages Achievement Award

Given by ACM SIGPLAN to recognize an individual or individuals who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of programming languages. The contribution can be a single event or a life-time of achievement. The award includes a prize of $5,000. The award is presented at SIGPLAN's PLDI conference the following June.

2007: Niklaus Wirth

2006: Ron Cytron, Jeanne Ferrante, Barry Rosen, Mark Wegman, and Kenneth Zadeck

2005: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides

2004: John Backus

2003: John Reynolds

2002: John McCarthy

2001: Robin Milner

2000: Susan Graham

1999: Ken Kennedy

1998: Fran Allen

1997: Guy Steele

Selection Committee
The Programming Language Achievement Award is determined by a committee consisting of program committee chairs of POPL, PLDI, ICFP, and OOPSLA, and a chair who is an EC member appointed by the EC.  Program chairs for conferences held in year y should decide the award for year y+1.  Program chairs for year y should also take responsibility for publicizing the award at their conference in year y, and for liaising with their conference if it is a likely venue for the award winner to speak at in year y+1.  They should also widely encourage the submission of nominations.  If a program chair cannot participate, a replacement may be appointed by the steering committee for the corresponding conference.

Nominations can be submitted at any time to the secretary of SIGPLAN. Nominations submitted by January 5th will be considered for that year's award.  A nomination for the programming languages achievement award that is not awarded will remain for 3 years.

Each nomination should consist of the following items:
  • Name, address, phone number, and email address of the person making the nomination (the nominator).
  • Name, address, phone number, and email address of the candidate for whom the award is recommended (the nominee).
  • A short statement (200-500 words) explaining why the nominee deserves the award in question.
  • Names and email addresses of 5-10 people who the nominator believes will support the nomination.
  • The awards committee will ask some of these people for their opinions.

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