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Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Christ Church, has received the 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award.

Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Image credit: Henry Thomas

Best known for inventing the first World Wide Web browser, server, website and editor, Sir Tim's innovations are considered to be some of the most influential contributions in computing history.

The award is named after Alan M Turing, the British Mathematician who first discovered the mathematical foundation and limits of computing. The ACM Turing Award, is also known as the ‘Nobel Prize of Computing’ and carries a $1 million prize provided by Google Inc.

ACM President Vicki L. Hanson said: ‘The first-ever World Wide Web site went online in 1991. Although this doesn’t seem that long ago, it is hard to imagine the world before Sir Tim Berners Lee’s invention. Many people may not fully appreciate the underlying technical contribution that make the Web possible, but Sir Tim Berners-Lee not only developed the key components, such as  URIs and web browsers that allow us to use the web, but offered a coherent vision of how each of these elements would work together as part of an integrated whole.’

In addition to his Oxford Fellowship, Sir Tim is a full time Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA. He graduated from Oxford with a first-class degree in Physics in 1976, and returned in 2016, as a member of the Computer Science Department.

Honoured as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the 20th century, his communications tools are now used by billions of people globally, every day. Sir Tim launched the world’s first website on 6 August 1991 and just three years later, by 1994, the number of websites had grown to nearly 3,000 and today stands at more than 1 billion websites online.

Professor Mike Woolridge, Head of Computer Science at Oxford, said: ‘The Turing Award is the greatest academic honour that can be bestowed upon a computer scientist. It is entirely fitting that Tim should receive it now: I can think of no other living individual who has changed our modern world more profoundly. Sir Tim is the third University of Oxford professor to receive the Turing Award, following Dana Scott in 1976, and Sir Tony Hoare in 1980 and we are immensely proud of this illustrious heritage.’

Story courtesy of the University of Oxford News Office

For more information see http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/news/1290-full.html