Computing pioneer and Microsoft technical fellow Chuck Thacker was honored today with the Turing Award; widely considered as the highest distinction in the field of computing, and dubbed the “Nobel Prize of computing”. The Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) lauded his work in pioneering the networked personal computer, and for his involvement as the co-creator of the Alto personal computer.
“Thacker’s contributions range far and wide. He is co-inventor—with Robert Metcalfe, David Boggs, and Lampson—of the Ethernet and has achieved many other novel, successful networking explorations. His Firefly project for the Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) in the mid-1980s produced the first multiprocessor workstation and remains relevant in today’s multicore programming environment. He has had a long, productive interest in computer architecture. And his work in tablet computing led to the prototype of Microsoft’s first Tablet PC.”
Today, Thacker is involved with many computer architecture projects at Microsoft Research; he holds 29 patents in computer systems and networking. Microsoft has set up a special page on its website with a video tribute to Thacker and his significant contributions to our computing field.