For significant contributions to the history of computing, in particular pioneering the C++ programming language, Bjarne Stroustrup has been named the recipient of the 2017 Faraday Medal, the most prestigious award to an individual made by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Since 1922, this bronze medal, named after Michael Faraday, has recognized those who have made notable scientific or industrial achievements in engineering or rendered conspicuous service to the advancement of science, engineering, and technology. Previous recipients include Donald Knuth (2011), Roger Needham (1998), Sir Maurice Wilkes (1981), J A Ratcliffe (1966), Sir Edward Victor Appleton (1946), and Sir Ernest Rutherford (1930).
“I am honored and humbled to see my name among so many illustrious previous winners of the prize,” said Stroustrup. “This privilege is only possible through the superb work of the C++ community.”
Stroustrup began developing C++ in 1978 while working at Bell Labs. Strongly influenced by the object-oriented model of the SIMULA language (created by Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard), he extended the traditional C language by adding object-oriented programming and other capabilities. In 1985, C++ was commercially released and spread rapidly, becoming the dominant object-oriented programming language in the 1990s and one of the most popular languages, significantly impacting computing practices and pushing object-oriented technology into the mainstream of computing.
Currently Stroustrup is a Visiting Professor in Computer Science at Columbia University and a Managing Director in the technology division of Morgan Stanley in New York City. His publications include several books—The C++ Programming Language (Fourth Edition, 2013), A Tour of C++ (2013), Programming: Principles and Practice using C++ (2014)—as well as a long list of academic and general-interest publications that Stroustrup maintains here.
Recently elected an Honorary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, Stroustrup is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of both the IEEE and the ACM. He is also a Fellow of the Computer History Museum.
Stroustrup continues to update and add functionality to C++. Even as new languages have been created for the rapidly shifting programming landscape, C++ is more widely used than ever, particularly in large-scale and infrastructure applications such telecommunications, banking, and embedded systems.
Stroustrup will receive the award in a ceremony to be held in London November 15.
– Linda Crane