Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded Dahl-Nygaard Prize
Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded Dahl-Nygaard Prize
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 23 January 2015

Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of C++, is the 2015 recipient of the Senior Dahl-Nygaard Prize, considered the most prestigious prize in object-oriented computer science.

Awarded annually to two individuals that have made significant technical contributions to the field of Object-Orientation, this prize is administered by the Association Internationale pour les Technologies Objets (AITO) and is presented at the European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming.  

Established in 2005 it honors the pioneering work on object-orientation of Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard who, designed Simula, the original object-oriented language and are remembered as "colorful characters".



Dahl and Nygaard at the time of Simula's development


There is the story of a new employee at the NCC (the Norwegian Computing Center) running into the telephone exchange to report that

"there are two men fighting in front of a blackboard on the first floor corridor!".

The operator listened for a few moments and then said,  

"Relax - it's only Ole-Johan (Dahl) and Kristen (Nygaard) discussing Simula!"


To be eligible for the senior prize an individual must have made a

"significant long-term contribution to the field of Object-Orientation"

and this year it goes to Bjarne Stoustrup for the design, implementation and evolution of the C++ programming language. You can't argue with that. 



C++, which was developed at A&T Bell Labs by Stroustrup, was strongly influenced by Simula and Stroustrup is on record as saying:

"My initial aim for C++ was a language where I could write programs that were as elegant as Simula programs, yet as efficient as C programs.”

The first C++ language reference manual was published internally at Bell Labs in 1984, and the C++ language was released commercially in 1985. Having become the dominant object-oriented programming language in the 1990s. C++ is still widely used and the ISO C++ 14 standard was approved in August 2014.  Just in case you didn't know!

The second edition of Stroustrup's Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++ was published in September 2014, brought up to date to cover C++11 and C++14.

This year's Junior Prize was awarded to postdoctoral researcher Alex Summers who has worked at Imperial College London and at ETH Zurich. According to the AITO:

Alex's research contributions span the fundamentals of Computer Science (the Curry-Howard isomorphism for classical logic), the design of programming languages (committed types for object initialization), models underpinning program reasoning (invariants for program verification, permission logics, the connection between implicit dynamic frames and separation logics), new approaches to reasoning (considerate reasoning, abstract read permissions), and tool development for reasoning. 


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Last Updated ( Friday, 23 January 2015 )

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