Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web, to receive the ACM A.M. Turing Award

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Published: — 4 April 2017 — The ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, today named Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, as the recipient of the 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award.

The ACM Turing Award is recognized as the highest distinction in Computer Science and is sometimes referred to as the "Nobel Prize of Computing." The Award is named for the British Computer Scientist Alan Turing who is known as the key founder of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence as well as for the development of the Turing machine, considered a model of a general purpose computer.


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Sir Tim is being given this award for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale. Considered one of the most influential computing innovations in history, the World Wide Web is the technical infrastructure of society and has already become the universal connectivity platform.


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Sir Tim noted: “It is an honor to receive the Turing Award and to be included in such extraordinary company with the other winners. I’m also humbled to be connected to Alan Turing. My parents, who worked on the Manchester/Ferranti Mark I [1], knew Turing when they were at Manchester. He changed everything: By pointing out that computers are all equivalent, he threw down the gauntlet to all who programmed them, what was possible with computers is limited only by our imaginations.

After his work to invent the web, Sir Tim founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a Web standards organization which develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) in 1994.

Sir Tim’s development and guardianship of the building blocks of the Web, the standards upon which it is built upon, continues at W3C. The mission of W3C and its Members is to lead the Web to its full potential and Web standards are crucial to the development of the Web and its use.

Jeff Jaffe, CEO of W3C, stated: “The Web has had an immense impact on the world; transforming every part of society: how we communicate, how we learn, how we acquire information, and how we engage in commerce. Tim's soaring vision of what was possible in the world is anchored on breakthrough contributions to computing - which is what is recognized by the Turing Award. It is a great honor to work with Tim and to see his continuing leadership in technology, society, and commitment to the openness of the Web.

Sir Tim will formally receive the Turing Award on 24 June 2017 at the ACM Awards banquet which marks the “50 Years of the Turing Award” in San Francisco, CA.

[1] The Manchester/Ferranti Mark I was the first widely available commercial computer.

About Tim Berners-Lee

A graduate of Oxford University, Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web while at CERN in 1989. He coined the name "World Wide Web," wrote the first World Wide Web server, "httpd," and the first client program (a browser and editor), "WorldWideWeb," in October 1990. He wrote the first version of the document formatting language with the capability for hypertext links, known as HTML (HyperText Markup Language). His initial specifications for URIs, HTTP, and HTML were refined and discussed in larger circles as Web technology spread.

Sir Tim is the Director of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation which works to advance the Open Web as a public good and a basic human right. In addition, he is Professor at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he co-leads the Decentralized Information Group (DIG) and research on re-decentralizing the Web. He is also a Professor at the University of Oxford as well as the President and founder of the Open Data Institute (ODI), London.

About the ACM A.M. Turing Award

The A.M. Turing Award was named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing, and who was a key contributor to the Allied cryptanalysis of the Enigma cipher during World War II. Since its inception in 1966, the Turing Award has honored the computer scientists and engineers who created the systems and underlying theoretical foundations that have propelled the information technology industry.

About the World Wide Web Consortium

The mission of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is to lead the Web to its full potential by creating technical standards and guidelines to ensure that the Web remains open, accessible, and interoperable for everyone around the globe. W3C develops well known specifications such as HTML5, CSS, and the Open Web Platform as well as work on security and privacy, all created in the open and provided for free and under the unique W3C Patent Policy. For its work to make online videos more accessible with captions and subtitles, W3C received a 2016 Emmy Award.

W3C's vision for "One Web" brings together thousands of dedicated technologists representing more than 400 Member organizations and dozens of industry sectors. W3C is jointly hosted by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL)in the United States, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France, Keio University in Japan and Beihang University in China. For more information see

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