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The Faculty of Informatics assigned the Honorary Degree to Leslie Lamport, researcher at Microsoft Research in California, in 2006 for “fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of distributed and concurrent systems” Last week he was awarded the Turing Award, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for the field of Informatics.
As Bill Gates mentioned during the announcement, it is thanks to Lamport’s pioneering concepts in the field of distributed systems that modern computers can carry out the most critical tasks. According to Gates, Lamport made a difference not only in the field of Informatics, but also in making the world a safer place. Countless people around the world benefit from his work, without ever having heard of his name.
A distributed system is a model in which components located on networked computers communicate and coordinate their actions by passing messages like in cloud computing. They work differently than centralised systems where all computing resources reside at the primary Datacenter.
In 2006, Leslie Lamport held at USI a PhD course on the subject, for young researchers.
This is the second major award assigned to an USI Honorary PhD: in 2003, Prof. Robert F. Engle, shortly after receiving a Honoris Causa from the Faculty of Economics, won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
For more information of the Turing Prize: http://amturing.acm.org