The IEEE Computer Society's Computer Pioneer Award for 2009 has been given to University of Michigan professor Lynn Conway who helped revolutionize Very Large System Integration design.
Conway innovated scalable MOS design rules and highly simplified methods for silicon chip design, co-authoring the Mead-Conway book and pioneering the new form of university course that taught these methods thereby launching a worldwide revolution in VLSI system design in the late-1970s.
Conway also pioneered the Internet-based rapid-chip prototyping infrastructure that led to the Mosis system by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the US National Science Foundation.
Mosis supported rapid development of thousands of chip designs and led to many Silicon Valley startups in the 1980s.
A second 2009 Computer Pioneer Award went to Jean Sammet, an early programmer and expert on programming languages.
Sammet is the author of "Programming languages: History and Fundamentals," a standard programming textbook described as an "instant computer classic" when it was published in 1969.
The Computer Pioneer Award was established in 1981 and is presented to outstanding individuals whose main contribution to the concepts and development of the computer field was made at least 15 years ago. Nearly 100 people around the world have been honored.