Microsoft’s Leslie Lamport wins the Turing Award, the ‘Nobel Prize in Computing’

Leslie Lamport, a principal researcher with Microsoft Research, has been awarded the 2013 Association for Computing Machinery A.M. Turing Award, for “imposing clear, well-defined coherence on the seemingly chaotic behavior of distributed computing systems, in which several autonomous computers communicate with each other by passing messages,” according to the ACM press release.

Widely regarded as the “Nobel Prize in Computing,” the A.M. Turing Award comes with a $250,000 prize.

The ACM also recognized Lamport for devising “important algorithms” and developing “formal modeling and verification protocols that improve the quality of real distributed systems. These contributions have resulted in improved correctness, performance and reliability of computer systems.”

Lamport, 73, is a legend in computing circles, known for many contributions, including his foundational work in the theory of distributed computing. His 1978 paper “Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System” is one of the most cited in the history of computer science. He becomes the fifth scientist from Microsoft Research to have won the Turing Award, joining previous recipients Tony Hoare (1980), Butler Lampson (1992), Jim Gray (1998) and Chuck Thacker (2009).

To find out more about Lamport’s fascinating career, head over to Microsoft Research to read a comprehensive profile.

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff