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Technologies Objets

The AITO Dahl-Nygaard Prize Winners For 2005

AITO is very proud to announce that the first Dahl-Nygaard Prizes will be given in 2005 to Bertrand Meyer (ETH, Zurich) and to Gail Murphy (University of British Columbia). Professor Meyer is being recognized for his career contributions as a senior researcher and professor Murphy for her achievements as a junior researcher. The prizes will be awarded in July at ECOOP 2005 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The AITO Dahl-Nygaard Prizes are named for Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard, two pioneers in the area of programming and simulation. Their foundational work on object-oriented programming, made concrete in the Simula language, is one of the most important inventions in software engineering. Their key ideas were expressed already around 1965, but took over 20 years to be absorbed and appreciated by the broader software community. After that, object-orientation has profoundly transformed the landscape of software design and development techniques.

It was a great loss to our community that both Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard passed away in 2002. In remembrance of their scholarship and enthusiastic encouragement of young researchers, AITO has established a prize to be awarded annually to a senior researcher with outstanding career contributions and a younger researcher who has demonstrated great potential for following in the footsteps of these pioneers. Among many excellent candidates proposed to the prize committee for this first time, Bertrand Meyer and Gail Murphy were chosen. Both of them have successfully combined theory and practice in their work, like Dahl and Nygaard.

Bertrand Meyer has been one of the most influential researchers in the eighties, in the initial period of object-oriented programming. He designed the Eiffel language, which pioneered the concept of design by contract. He provided strong arguments for object-oriented software architecture in his book "Object-Oriented Software Construction", which remains a very influential work in object technology. Many of his contributions have proved to be of lasting value.

Like Nygaard, Meyer has not backed away from controversy and has consistently followed his own vision of object orientation. His principle of design by contract established an essential bridge between axiomatic specification approaches and object-oriented programming. Currently his research on trusted components continues to explore challenging problems in software engineering.

Gail Murphy has shown promising potential as a young researcher by proposing innovative ideas and by proving that these are conceptually sound and realistically implementable. She focuses her research and teaching on software engineering, and she has made contributions to understanding and reducing the problems associated with evolving large software systems.

Like Dahl and Nygaard, Murphy challenges students to look at new things, be it aspects or performance measurement, with a disciplined questioning eye. She encourages the development of sound theories backed with the practice of prototype implementations in preparing a new generation of researchers.


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