Thursday, March 20, 2014

Congratulations to Leslie Lamport, winner of the 2013 Turing Award

"Lamport's practical and widely used algorithms and tools have applications in security, cloud computing, embedded systems and database systems as well as mission-critical computer systems that rely on secure information sharing and interoperability to prevent failure."
Many probably think of him mainly as the initial developer of LaTeX, for which I am often personally grateful, but his contributions go far beyond this. Have a look at 
and form your own conclusions.

During the Ballmer era of Microsoft, there was much heat and noise related to claims that Linux could not innovate. Yet Turing award winners associated with Microsoft were a bit thin on the ground. Not absent: Charles P. Thacker won in 2009, and one of his many accomplishments was helping to establish Microsoft Research Cambridge in Cambridge, England.

Those days are hopefully behind us; it was mostly strategic corporate marketing noise. Microsoft has been been funding his work, by the simple means of employing him, since 2001. Microsoft deserves our thanks as well.

Update: I didn't consider (but should have) that Microsoft would publicize this. That is probably Rule #1 about having a future Turing Award winner on staff, for better than than a dozen years before the award. Everyone involved gets bragging rights for their part in what has always been a demonstrably great hire, the wisdom of which is now getting much wider recognition. Microsoft is justifiably proud. The following video is worth a watch.

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