1990 Turing Award

According to the Association for Computing Machinery, (ACM) the A.M. Turing Award is the most prestigious technical award with a prize of $250,000. The Turing Award is given to a member or members of the computing community that has contributed a major technical importance to the computer field. ("ACM's Turing Award.") The Turing Award has been named the ?highest distinction in Computer science? and the ?Nobel Prize of computing?. This award contributes to the ACM?s mission ?to advance computing as a science and a profession?. (Geringer) The Turing Award is named after Alan Mathison Turing, a British mathematician, who is ?credited for being the Father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence?. (Homer) The first award was given out in 1966 and the Association for Computing Machinery has been giving them out every year since.
In 1990, Fernando Jos? "Corby" Corbat? received the Turing Award for his work in ?organizing the concepts and leading the development of the general-purpose, large-scale, time-sharing and resource-sharing computer systems?. Corbat? was born on July 1, 1926 in Oakland, California. He received his bachelor?s degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1950, and then went on to receive his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1956. After getting his Ph.D., he joined MIT?s Computation Center and soon was appointed Associate Professor in 1962. In 1965, he got promoted to a Professor and then during 1974 to 1993 he was Associate Department Head for Computer Science and Engineering. (Conte)
Corbat??s work with time-sharing computer systems started in November 1961, at the MIT Computation Center, when ?an early version of the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) was first demonstrated?. (Csail) Timesharing, driven by the need to increase interactivity between user and computer and ease-of-use of the computer, allows a large number of users to interact with the computer simultaneously. It involves connecting various numbers of consoles to a single, central computer. Each console is allotted a time-slice of the central computer?s time, as the central computer delegates its time by switching between the user?s applications and problems and ?it appears to the user that s/he has complete access to the central computer.? (1963 Timesharing: A Solution to Computer Bottlenecks)The Compatible Time-Sharing System in the IBM 7094 digital computer timesharing operating system was used as the programming and debugging tool. (Vleck)
In 1964, Corbat??s new knowledge of multiple access systems blossomed into the creation of a new system called Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service). This new system also supported an online reconfiguration, which allowed central processing units, memory banks, and disk drives can be added or removed while the system was still operating. Multics was one of the earliest multiprocessor systems because it supported multiple CPUs. In addition, it was the first major operating system to have a secure system from the outset, which lead to more secure systems and prefigured modern security engineering techniques. Multics was the first operating system to provide a hierarchical file system, which means that files could have multiple names and links between directories were supported. In 1973, Multics became the ?basis of a commercial system? that Honeywell Information Systems, Incorporated offered. (Conte)
The computer advances that Corbat? has contributed to the world have been very impactful. CTSS was very influential because it showed that time-sharing was viable because it provided means of multi-tasking and multiprogramming, which is still significant and crucial for today?s computers. This provided new applications and programs to be created and used because computers were no longer single-use machines. A semi-recent creation that has brought back the concept of time-sharing is the Internet, where corporate server farms can host millions of customers that all share common resources. (Csail) CTSS also had one of the first inter-user message implementations. This pre-aged electronic mail and e-mail is one of the most common ways of communication in these present times. (Homer) In addition, Multics was the first powerful multi-processor computing machine, which set the groundwork for all of the multi-processing machines that are so popular today. Multics directly inspired AT&T to develop Unix, another multitasking and multi-user computer operating system. Unix?s direct descendants are still used today in operating systems like Linux and these descendants were adopted by large commercial startups like Solaris and AIX. (Conte)
In conclusion, without the work that Corbat? has contributed to the computing world, none of the new age computers would be remotely similar