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The AITO Dahl-Nygaard Prize Winners For 2006

AITO is very proud to announce that the Dahl-Nygaard Prizes for 2006 will be given to Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and (posthumously) to John Vlissides. The four are together known as “The Gang Of Four” and they are being recognized for their contributions to the state of the art embodied in their landmark book Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. Sadly, since the nomination of The Gang Of Four, John Vlissides passed away on November 24th, 2005 after a long illness. His home page John Vlissides has many great stories about his life from his friends and colleagues.

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. A virtual exhibition honouring Dahl, Nygaard, and also Edsger Dijkstra is available.

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. For 2006, the prize committee has recommended deviating from the norm and giving one prize but to a group of four people.

The Gang Of Four's book, Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software, or the GOF book for short, contributed significantly to the spread of the ideas behind Design Patterns. It helped establish the area by giving a solid introduction to the concept and by providing a catalog of usable design patterns. The catalog was presented in a uniform and systematic way that set the standard for describing design patterns.

The prizes will be awarded in July at ECOOP 2006 in Nantes, France. Erich Gamma has agreed to give the opening keynote and Ralph Johnson will give a keynote on the final day of the conference. For details, see the conference program.


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