David Ungar Receives Dahl-Nygaard Prize
mail at russell-allen.com
Wed May 13 22:10:33 UTC 2009
Congrats to Dave for receiving the Dahl-Nygaard Prize for Outstanding
Work in Object-Oriented Programming!
"Kaiserslautern, GERMANY,May, 11, 2009 David Ungar, of IBM Research,
will receive the 2009 Dahl-Nygaard Senior Prize for his groundbreaking
work in the field of object-orientation. The Dahl-Nygaard Prize will
recognize Ungar's complete body of work, most notably for his role in
inventing Self, the object-oriented programming language based on the
concept of prototypes.
Object-oriented programming helps people build more sophisticated
computer software by dividing up a program into a number of separate
bundles, each possessing the data and behavior needed to do a particular
The Dahl-Nygaard prizes are the most prestigious awards given for work
in object-oriented programming. Established in 2004 by the Association
Internationale Pour les Technologies Objets (AITO), they are named for
Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard, who developed the first
object-oriented programming language.
Self, co-invented with Randall B. Smith, Craig Chambers, Urs Hölzle, and
developed with Ole Agesen, Lars Bak, Elgin Lee, John Maloney, and Mario
Wolczko, has had a profound effect upon the field of computer
programming. It introduced advanced adaptive compilation technology, and
inspired a number of languages based on its concepts, including
developing dynamic web pages. The technologies introduced in Self have
only been partially realized, and we can expect them to continue to
create an impact in the coming years.
In addition to his roles in inventing the elegant Self language and in
enabling managed runtimes with generational garbage collection, Ungar
has improved the user experience of object-oriented and other systems
with his 1993 paper co-authored with Bay-Wei Chang, titled "Animation:
From Cartoons to the User Interface.” This innovative work applied
cartoon animation techniques to the legibility of user interfaces. In
2004 it won the lasting impact award at the ACM Symposium on User
Interface Software and Technology.
Ungar and Smith's Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages &
Applications (OOPSLA) paper in 1987 entitled, "Self: The Power of
Simplicity," was also previously recognized in 2006 as one of the three
most influential OOPSLA papers from 1986 to 1996.
Ungar will be honored at the 2009 European Conference on Object-Oriented
Programming (ECOOP) which takes place from July 6-10 in Genova, Italy.
Ungar graduated as a doctor of philosophy in computer science from the
University of California, Berkeley, in 1986. His doctoral advisor was
David Patterson and his dissertation was entitled "The Design and
Evaluation of a High-Performance Smalltalk System" it won an 1986 ACM
Doctoral Dissertation Award. He was an assistant professor at Stanford
University, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Computer Systems Lab, where
in addition to working on Self, he taught programming languages and
computer architecture, from 1985 to 1990.
Thereafter, he moved to Sun Microsystems Laboratories, where he and
Randall B. Smith co-led the Self effort. Subsequently, Ungar helped Sun
harness Self's implementation technology for their Java virtual machine,
and was honored within Sun as a Distinguished Engineer. In 2006 he was
recognized as a Distinguished Engineer by the Association for Computing
In 2007, Ungar joined the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Lab and is
currently working within the Dynamic Optimization Group. He holds 20
Previous IBM winners of the Dahl-Nygaard Prize include John Vlissides,
who posthumously won the prize in 2006. "
More information about the Self-interest