The news is out that Sir Tim Berners-Lee has won the 2016 Turing Award, the highest honor in computer science. (Turing Award winners are usually announced a few months after the actual year of the award.) He is best known for inventing the World Wide Web, as clearly highlighted by the ACM’s citation:
For inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale.
(You can also find more information about some of his work on his personal website, where he has some helpful FAQs.)
My first reaction to reading the news was: he didn’t already have a Turing Award?!? I actually thought he had been a co-winner with Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, but nope. At least he’s won it now, so we won’t be asking Quora posts like this one anymore.
I’m rather surprised that this announcement wasn’t covered by many mainstream newspapers. I tried searching for something in the New York Times, but nothing showed up. This is rather a shame, because if we think of inventing the World Wide Web as the “bar” for the Turing Award, then that’s a pretty high bar.
My prediction for the winner was actually Geoffrey Hinton, but I can’t argue with Sir Tim Berners-Lee. (Thus, Hinton is going to be my prediction for the 2017 award.) Just like Terrence Tao for the Fields Medalist, Steven Weinberg for the Nobel Prize in Physics, Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, and so on, they’re so utterly qualified that I can’t think of a reason to oppose them.