SIGPLAN Programming Languages Software Award

We are pleased to be able to relay the following announcement from ACM SIGPLAN:

The SIGPLAN Programming Languages Software Award is awarded to an institution or individual(s) to recognize the development a software system that has had a significant impact on programming language research, implementations, and tools. The impact may be reflected in the wide-spread adoption of the system or its underlying concepts by the wider programming language community either in research projects, in the open-source community, or commercially. The award includes a prize of $2,500. For 2011, the winners of the award are Simon Peyton Jones and Simon Marlow of Microsoft Research, Cambridge, for GHC.

The award winners are donating the entirety of the prize money to Citation:Simon Peyton Jones and Simon Marlow receive the SIGPLAN Software Award as the authors of the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC), which is the preeminent lazy functional programming system for industry, teaching, and research. GHC has not only provided a language implementation, but also established the whole paradigm of lazy functional programming and formed the foundation  of a large and enthusiastic user community.

GHC’s flexibility has supported experimental research on programming language design in areas as diverse as monads, generalized algebraic data types, rank-N polymorphism, and software transactional memory. Indeed, a large share of the research on lazy functional programming in the last 5–10 years has been carried out with GHC. Simultaneously, GHC’s reliability and efficiency has encouraged commercial adoption, in the financial sector in institutions like Credit Suisse and Standard Chartered Bank, and for high assurance software in companies like Amgen, Eaton, and Galois.

A measure of GHC’s influence is the way that many of the ideas of purely functional, “typeful programming” have been carried into newer languages and language features. including C#, F#, Java Generics, LINQ, Perl 6, Python, and Visual Basic 9.0.Peyton Jones and Marlow have been visionary in the way that they have transitioned research into practice.  They have been role models and leaders in creating the large and diverse Haskell community, and have made GHC an industrial-strength platform for commercial development as well as for research.

Note: See also the nomination announcement from January, 2010 and the thread on the Haskell-Cafe mailing list.