Charles Thacker Recognized With 2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award

By David Bruggeman

In recognition of his work in developing the modern personal computer, Charles P. Thacker was awarded the 2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award. The Award, which comes with a $250,000 prize, is supported in part by Intel and Google, and is considered the top prize in computing. It is named for the British mathematician Alan Turing, who was instrumental in the early development of modern computing.

Dr. Thacker designed the Alto, a personal computer that incorporated many features we take for granted today, including a preliminary graphical user interface/display and What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editors. He worked on the Alto while at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, California. The Alto also served as the prototype of networked personal computers. Dr. Thakcer also worked on the Ethernet local area network, and multiprocessor workstations.

Congratulations to Dr. Thacker on his accomplishments, and on receiving the 2009 Turing Award. You can learn more about Dr. Thacker and the Turing Award online, including the ACM press release.