Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium, is to be awarded the BCS Lovelace Medal in recognition of his contribution to the development of IT.
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Berners-Lee built his first computer while studying physics at Queen’s College Oxford. He went on to work as an independent consultant, which led to his greatest computing achievement: the proposed global hypertext project. Now better known as the World Wide Web, this has changed the way billions of people live and work since its global launch in 1991.
BCS chief executive David Clarke said, “The World Wide Web is perhaps the single most important advance in IT’s rapid development over the past decades. Its impact is far reaching. From the home user to the multinational company it has changed the way that we interact with one another and has streamlined business the world over. For this reason I am proud to honour Tim Berners-Lee’s outstanding contribution to IT with the Lovelace Medal for 2006.”
The BCS Lovelace Medal was established in 1998 in honour of Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace and daughter of Lord Byron. She was the assistant and patron of Charles Babbage and wrote programs for his Analytical Engine, now recognised as the first computer programs.
Microsoft researcher Andrew Fitzgibbon is to be awarded the Microsoft-sponsored Roger Needham Award. Fitzgibbon acquired his PhD in 1997 from the University of Edinburgh for his thesis on artificial intelligence.
He went on to be appointed a Royal Society university research fellow in 1999 while working at Oxford, before becoming a researcher for Microsoft Research Cambridge in 2005.
His contribution to computer vision and machine learning, as well as papers exploring the analysis and synthesis of images and image sequences, places Fitzgibbon at the forefront of his field. Fitzgibbon is one of the few people in the world to have twice received the Marr Prize – the most prestigious award in his discipline.
Clarke said, “Andrew Fitzgibbon’s work on camera tracking and 3D reconstruction has made it possible to integrate computer graphics into live footage – a process that is used in almost every major effects film and TV series.”
Andrew Herbert, managing director at Microsoft Research Cambridge, said, “Having recently recruited Fitzgibbon, we are very pleased to learn that he has been recognised by the BCS.”