Some people enter the computer science field with aspirations of changing the world, and some of those who do are rewarded with one or more of the prestigious computer science awards listed below. Of course, you can do plenty of good things for your field without being publicly recognized for it, but it is always nice when incredible accolades such as these are provided.
This is arguably the most prestigious of these awards; in fact, many refer to it as the Nobel Prize of computing. It also comes with a prize of $1 million. These accolades have been awarded since 1966, and they are provided to someone who contributed to the field with something of “lasting and major technical importance.” It is named for Alan Turing, the person who is described as the founder of computer science. The first Turing Award was presented to Alan Perlis, the head of the computer science department at Carnegie Institute of Technology, for the work he did helping develop the ALGOL programming language. The Turing Award is presented every June in San Francisco.
Millennium Technology Prize
This award also provides recipients with a significant cash prize, €1 million, which is about $1.1 million, making it the largest prize on this list. The Millennium Technology Prize is presented by Technology Academy Finland, which is located in one of the world’s more high-tech countries. This prize is given to those who enhance people’s lives with “groundbreaking technological innovations.” Its initial recipient, Tim Berners-Lee, invented the World Wide Web. The Millennium Technology Prize has been awarded every two years since 2004.
Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology
This honor as well as the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy and the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences have also been referred to as the Nobel Prize in those respective fields. The Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology is given to individuals who have contributed to either biotechnology and medical technology, electronics, information science or materials science and engineering in a significant way. The winners are announced in June while they are presented with the honors in November in Kyoto, Japan. The winner receives 50 million yen, about $450,000.
IEEE Medal of Honor
The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Medal of Honor has been awarded to those providing “an exceptional contribution or an extraordinary career” in this field since Edwin Howard Armstrong received this prestigious set of honors, which is judged by many as the field’s lifetime achievement award, in 1917. He developed FM radio on the Columbia University campus in New York. Prospective recipients need to be nominated by July 1, and the recipient is usually notified in November and presented with the medal of honor in June.
IEEE Internet Award
This is an annual award that is also presented by the IEEE. It has been awarded to those who have advanced “Internet technology for network architecture, mobility and/or end-use applications” since 2000. The first recipients, Larry Roberts, Leonard Kleinrock, Donald W. Davies and Paul Baran, were honored for their work with packet-switching networks. The deadline for nominations for this award is Jan. 15 while recipients are generally told of the news in June and honored shortly thereafter.
Clearly, no list of prestigious awards in any category will be an all-encompassing one, and this one is no different as several other sets of awards not listed above are worthy of immense pride to their recipients. In fact, plenty of incredible computer science work is being done every day by people who may never receive one of the aforementioned awards.