About ACM Charles P. "Chuck" Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award

The award celebrates Chuck Thacker's pioneering contributions in computing and his long-term inspirational mentorship of generations of computer scientists.

Charles P. (Chuck) Thacker (1943-2017) received the 2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award for “the pioneering design and realization of the first modern personal computer – the Alto at Xerox PARC – and seminal inventions and contributions to local area networks (including the Ethernet), multiprocessor workstations, snooping cache coherence protocols, and tablet personal computers."

The ACM Breakthrough Award recognizes individuals with the same out-of-the-box thinking and “can-do” approach to solving the unsolved that Thacker exhibited. The recipient should be someone who has made a surprising or disruptive leapfrog in computing ideas or technologies.

The award is accompanied by a prize of $100,000 and is presented at the annual ACM Awards Banquet. The award recipient would be expected to give the ACM Breakthrough Lecture at a major ACM conference of his or her choice during the year following the announcement. The travel expenses of the recipient, and a companion, to attend the Lecture are supported by the award. Financial support of the ACM Breakthrough Award is provided by Microsoft.


ACM Chuck Thacker Breakthrough Award Goes to Innovator Who Transformed Web Applications

ACM Breakthrough in Computing Award Goes to Michael Franz

ACM has named Michael Franz of the University of California, Irvine the recipient of the ACM Charles P. "Chuck" Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award. Franz is recognized for the development of just-in-time compilation techniques that enable fast and feature-rich web services on the internet. Every day, millions of people around the world use online applications such as Gmail and Facebook. These web applications would not have been possible without the groundbreaking compilation technique Franz developed in the mid 1990s.

2020 ACM Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award recipient Michael Franz

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