ACM Fellows
United States – 1994
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For his fundamental contributions to numerical analysis. One of the foremost experts on floating-point computations. Kahan has dedicated himself to 'making the world safe for numerical computations.

ACM A.M. Turing Award
United States – 1989
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For his fundamental contributions to numerical analysis. One of the foremost experts on floating-point computations. Kahan has dedicated himself to "making the world safe for numerical computations"!


Professor Kahan is unusual in his drive not only to solve a problem but also to see the solutions adopted. He has spend the last decade spearheading the effort to develop and adopt two standards (IEEE 754 and 854) for binary and radix-independent floating-point numbers. This project succeeded primarily because of Kahan's commitment to provide as clean an interface to software as possible and his deep knowledge of mathematical analysis, computing floating-point systems, hardware, and pertinent aspects of operating systems and software. Today, the binary standard has been adopted by nearly every computer and chip manufacturer.

Professor Kahan's achievement -- of having numerical analysis significantly influence computer architecture -- is unique. His devotion to providing systems that can be safely and robustly used for numerical computations has impacted the lives of virtually anyone who will use a computer in the future.