Saturday, May 27, 2006

Attending the Turing Awards

Last weekend, I had the honor of attending the ACM Turing Award ceremony in San Francisco. The Turing Award is the basically the Noble Prize for Computer Science. I arrived at the ceremony after riding up the elevator with Don Knuth (a world renowned computer scientist who probably doesn't remember that we both had offices on the same floor when I was in school!). There were about 100-150 people. I saw a bunch of my professors from Stanford and a few Googlers. The authors of at least half of my text books in college were there! The best part of the night for me was that my advisor from Stanford, Jennifer Widom, was named an ACM fellow. Peter Naur was the big winner this year for his work on Algol and programming languages in general. Thanks Naur for inventing recursion, scoped variables, BNF, etc.

The was also an award for humanitarian contributions given to the leaders of the Nakuru Local Urban Observatory project in Kenya. I really love how technology is starting to help developing nations. I can't wait for PCs to cost less than $100 for even greater impact.

It was so humbling to be around such amazingly smart and hard working individuals.

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