Google has raised the prize fund for the Turing Award to $1m, putting it roughly on a par with the Nobel Prize in monetary terms.
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Turing Award is the most prestigious award in the computing world, designed to recognise computer scientists and engineers who have made major and lasting contributions to the field.
The award is named after mathematician Alan Turing, a code-breaker for the Allies during the Second World War and widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science.
Google’s financial injection quadruples the original prize fund, indicating the impact of technology and the boom the industry is currently enjoying.
The fund was a modest $250,000 before Google’s backing, and lacked the major sponsors and profile of awards in other industries.
Alexander Wolf, president of the ACM, said that the Turing Award now rivals those other awards.
“With the generous support of Google, we can celebrate the mainstream role of computing in transforming the world and the way we communicate, conduct business, and access entertainment,” he added.
“We can also commemorate the pioneering, fundamental contributions of our ACM Turing Award recipients in advancing computing as a science and a profession.”
The Turing Award was established in 1966, and has honoured engineers and computer scientists who created systems and theoretical foundations that have propelled the technology industry.
Turing’s work effectively led the way to ground-breaking developments such as programmable computers, mobile devices, graphics and artificial intelligence, to name but a few.
The next winner of the Turing Award will not be announced until spring 2015. He or she will join technology luminaries including Chuck Thacker (2009) for the design and realisation of the first modern personal computer, and Robert Kahn (2004) for pioneering work on the design and implementation of the internet’s basic communications protocols.
A film about the life and work of Alan Turing, called The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch opened today, and V3 has taken a closer look at 10 surprising facts about the Bletchley Park genius.