Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded AITO Dahl-Nygaard Prize, and Named a Fellow of the Computer History Museum



Bjarne Stroustrup
Bjarne Stroustrup, a visiting professor at Columbia Engineering, is the senior award winner of the 2015 AITO (Internationale pour les Technologies Objets) Dahl-Nygaard Prize for the design, implementation, and evolution of the C++ programming language. For this same achievement, Stroustrup has also been made a Fellow of the Computer History Museum.
This prize, established in 2005 and one of the most prestigious in the area of software engineering, is named for Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard for their work in creating Simula, the first object-orientated language.
“I feel particularly honored by this award because I knew Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard,” says Stroustrup. “While still a student in the University of Aarhus, I learned object-oriented programming from Kristen Nygaard through long discussions.”
Stroustrup was influenced by the object-oriented model of Simula when he first began work on C++ in 1979. Then at Bell Labs, he needed a language that would provide hardware access and high performance for systems programming tasks while also handling complexity. Since no such language then existed, he designed one by essentially building on top of C to add support for object-oriented programming, data abstraction, 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 ever invented.
Fittingly Stroustrup is the recipient of many awards, honorary degrees, and other recognitions. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was previously made a Fellow of both the IEEE and the ACM. Just recently, he was named also a Fellow of the Computer History Museum to recognize the impact and importance of C++ in computer history.
He is a prolific writer and contributor. 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.
Stroustrup continues to update and add functionality to C++. Even as new languages have been created for the rapidly shifting programming landscape, C++ remains widely used, particularly in large-scale and infrastructure applications such telecommunications, banking, and embedded systems.