The Computer History Museum (CHM), the world’s leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society, today announced its 2015 Fellow Award honorees:
Charles Bachman is an American computer scientist who led early work on database management systems. A database is a computer structure that stores information in a regular, organized way and is essential for the efficient management of large enterprises in industry and government. Bachman’s contributions began with his 1963 release of the Integrated Data Store, an application he wrote while at General Electric, which greatly simplified the task of programmers attempting to create such databases. He won the prestigious ACM Turing Award in 1973 for this work.
Bachman’s contributions to industry continued with his participation in the influential CODASYL database standardization effort as well the emergence of new applications for the IDS and the 1983 founding of Bachman Information Systems. Bachman was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Barrack Obama in 2014.
Eveyln Berezin is an American engineer who designed very early electronic computer systems, managed several computer engineering departments, and founded her own very successful company. Beginning in the early 1950s, Berezin both designed computers and led teams of engineers building them —one of the very few engineers capable of such work at the time. That she was a woman made her success even more remarkable given the difficult and unwelcoming nature of the industry to women.
After working for several decades for other companies, including designing a major portion of the advanced passenger reservation system for American Airlines, she went out on her own and founded Redactron, a maker of dedicated word processors, in 1969. Redactron was very successful, peaking at about 500 employees before it was sold to the Burroughs Corporation.
Berezin now serves on the board of several educational and entrepreneurial institutions.
Danish computer scientist Bjarne Stroustrup pioneered the C++ programming language in the early 1980s at Bell Laboratories as an improved version of the widely-used C language. C++ added “classes” to C, which allowed for more complex and stable programs through the concept of “objects”—an idea that came from Stroustrup’s PhD work and the Simula-67 programming language.
Now over three decades old, C++ is still one of the world’s most widely used programming languages. Many of the most important desktop and enterprise applications we use today are written, at least in part, using C++ including Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Office, and Internet Explorer, as well as Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
Stroustrup is currently a professor at Columbia and Texas A&M universities and a managing director at Morgan Stanley in New York.
The three Fellows will be inducted into the Museum’s Hall of Fellows on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at a formal ceremony where Silicon Valley executives, technology leaders, and Museum supporters will gather to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of each Fellow.
"This year’s Fellows have made outstanding contributions in diverse ways,” said Dag Spicer, Museum senior curator. “Bachman brought order to chaotic methods of storing information; Stroustrup created one of the world’s most important programming languages; and Berezin succeeded brilliantly in a man’s world as an engineer and businessperson. We are delighted to be honoring their efforts this year.”
The Computer History Museum Fellow Awards honor exceptional men and women whose contributions to the field of computing—in areas such as hardware, software, storage, programming languages, and networking—have changed the world.
The Fellow Awards are part of the Museum's vision to explore the computing revolution and its impact on the human experience. The tradition began in 1987 with the Museum’s first Fellow, early programming pioneer Grace Murray Hopper, and has grown to a distinguished group of 70 members. The Museum is proud to further celebrate and share the stories of its Fellows by conducting interviews with new inductees that become a permanent part of the Museum’s oral history collection.
Fellow nominations are open to the public and reflect a diverse range of viewpoints and areas of computing. Final selections are made by a panel of historians, researchers, industry leaders, Museum staff, and past Museum Fellows.
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The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history as the world’s leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs, and moving images.
The Museum brings computer history to life through large-scale exhibits, an acclaimed speaker series, a dynamic website, docent-led tours, and an award-winning education program. The Museum’s signature exhibition is “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing,” described by USA Today as “the Valley’s answer to the Smithsonian.” Other current exhibits include “Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2,” “IBM 1401 Demo Lab,” “PDP-1 Demo Lab,” and “Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles.”