Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web, has been named winner of the 50th anniversary A.M. Turing Award, given annually by the Association for Computing Machinery.
Named for Alan Turing, the British cryptanalyst and mathematician who helped crack Germany’s coded communications during World War II, the A.M. Turing Award is often called the “Nobel Prize of Computing.” The 2016 award to Berners-Lee comes with a $1 million prize funded by Google. Berners-Lee is expected to accept the award on June 24 during the ACM’s annual awards banquet in San Francisco.
Berners-Lee currently works as a principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is also founding director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the World Wide Web Foundation, and currently leads an MIT project called Solid that aims to help people regain control over their online personal data.
‘Colossal Impact Is Obvious’
“In many ways, the colossal impact of the World Wide Web is obvious,” ACM President Vicki L. Hanson said in a statement yesterday. “Many people, however, may not fully appreciate the underlying technical contributions that make the Web possible. Sir Tim Berners-Lee not only developed the key components, such as URIs and web browsers that allow us to use the Web, but offered a coherent vision of how each of these elements would work together as part of an integrated whole.”
Berners-Lee was working for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in 1989 when he came up with the idea of the World Wide Web. He envisioned it as a “common information space” for communication built on top of the already existing global network of computers known as the Internet.
In describing the system to CERN, Berners-Lee proposed a number of the Web’s key building…