Association Internationale
pour les
Technologies Objets

The AITO Dahl-Nygaard Prize Winners for 2016

AITO is happy to announce the winners of the Dahl-Nygaard Prizes for 2016.
The Senior Prize is awarded to James Noble.
The Junior Prize is awarded to Emina Torlak.
The Dahl-Nygaard Prizes for 2016 will be given during ECOOP 2016 in Rome, Italy, in July 2016.


James Noble obtained his Ph.D. from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, in 1996 where he is Professor of Computer Science. He is a Fellow of the Institute of IT Professionals New Zealand, a Member of the Association for Computing Machinery, the British Computer Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He held a James Cook Research Fellowship from the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2015 and 2016. James is the founding Editor-In-Chief of the journal Transactions on Pattern Languages of Programming (Springer). He was the PC Chair of ECOOP 2012.

James has a world-leading reputation for his work on object-orientation. He has published over 300 papers. He is notable for his pioneering work in programming language design, especially through his contributions to novel type systems such as ownership types and pluggable types. He has contributed to object-oriented and aspect-oriented approaches to software design, design patterns and the analysis of software corpus, software visualisation and visual languages, user interaction and agile development methodologies. His writing on the philosophy of computer science is thoughtful and thought-provoking.

James is also an energetic and tireless member of the programming languages community. The Grace language, of which he is co-designer, is designed to introduce beginners to object-oriented programming in the simplest possible way. His service to the community is exemplary and exhaustive, as a thorough and supportive thesis advisor, and as a member of numerous program committees.


Emina Torlak obtained her M.Eng. (thesis: Subtyping in Alloy) and Ph.D. (thesis: A Constraint Solver for Software Engineering Advisor, 2009), both from MIT, advised by Daniel Jackson. She has held posts at IBM Research, LogicBlox and the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2014, she has been an assistant professor at the University of Washington, USA.

Emina has worked on developing tools and methodologies to help build better software more easily. She has built automated tools for analyzing and synthesizing all kinds of software artifacts, including specifications, programs, executions, test data, and memory models. She has looked at how to refactor Java programs in a principled way, and at how to check memory model specifications such as that of the Java Memory Model.

Her Kodkod constraint solver for relational logic has been used in a wide range of applications, including code checking and test-case generation. It has had several significant applications in the object-oriented domain. For example, the MemSAT project relies on Kodkod for checking the complete Java Memory Model against its published test cases, the PBnJ project uses Kodkod to extend Java with executable specifications, and the Rubicon project uses Kodkod to enable reasoning about all Ruby objects of a given type without the need for explicit mock objects. In addition, Kodkod forms the foundation of Alloy, a widely used language and tool for describing and exploring relational models. Kodkod has supported 11 PhD and MSc theses.


The Members of the 2016 Dahl-Nygaard Award Committee were:


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, in 2004 AITO 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 two pioneers.

AITO (Association Internationale pour les Technologies Objets) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of object technology. As of January 2015, it has 46 members and is registered in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Current President of AITO is Professor Eric Jul. For further information, visit www.aito.org.