Turing Award

Turing Award, in full A.M. Turing Award, annual award given by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), a professional computing society founded in 1947, to one or more individuals “selected for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community.” The Turing Award is often referred to as the computer science equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The Turing Award is named for Alan Mathison Turing, an English pioneer in computers and artificial intelligence. The first recipient of the award, in 1966, was Alan J. Perlis, an American computer scientist who wrote the compiler for the ALGOL computer programming language. The first woman to win the prize was Frances E. Allen, in 2006, for her work in compiler optimization, which contributed to the development of parallel execution in multiprocessing. The youngest recipient was Donald Knuth, who was 36 when he received the award in 1974 for his work on algorithms and computer programming. The oldest recipient was Alfred Vaino Aho, who was 79 when he received the award in 2020 for his work on algorithms and the theory of programming language implementation.

Intel Corporation began funding the Turing Award in 2002, and in 2007 Google Inc. joined in funding the award. The prize money was raised to $250,000 that year and then to $1,000,000 in 2014.