Software Pioneer Peter Naur Wins ACM's Turing Award

By David
March 1, 2006

ACM has named Peter Naur the winner of the 2005 A.M. Turing Award. The award is for Naur’s pioneering work on defining the Algol 60 programming language. Algol 60 is the model for many later programming languages, including those that are indispensable software engineering tools today. The Turing Award, considered the “Nobel Prize of Computing” was first awarded in 1966, and is named for British mathematician Alan M. Turing.

Dr. Naur was editor in 1960 of the hugely influential “Report on the Algorithmic Language Algol 60.” He is recognized for the report’s elegance, uniformity and coherence, and credited as an important contributor to the language’s power and simplicity. The report made pioneering use of what later became known as Backus-Naur Form (BNF) to define the syntax of programs. BNF is now the standard way to define a computer language. Naur is also cited for his contribution to compiler design and to the art and practice of computer programming.

ACM will present the Turing Award at the annual ACM Awards Banquet on May 20, 2006, at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, CA. For more information on Dr. Naur and the Turing Award, see ACM’s official press release here