Turing Award goes to Barbara Liskov

Barbara Liskov has won this year's Turing Award, because of her innovations in software language design.

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) awarded Liskov the prize, which is named after British mathematician Alan M. Turing and comes with a $250,000 (181,000) reward.

After graduating from Stanford University in 1968 as the first American woman to be awarded a PhD in computer science, she worked in programming, creating ways to make languages reliable and easier to manage.

"Her contributions have led to fundamental changes in building the computer software programs that form the infrastructure of our information-based society. Her legacy has made software systems more accessible, reliable, and secure 24/7," the ACM said.

The group said her biggest impact is in data abstraction, showing how the idea could make software easier to build and manage. She also designed the CLU and Argus programming languages, the latter of which "laid the groundwork for modern search engines," said ACM.

Lately, she's been researching ways to let systems continue to run despite component failures a key area for ensuring the internet remains reliable. She is now based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Professor Dame Wendy Hall, ACM's President, said: "Her elegant solutions have enriched the research community, but they have also had a practical effect as well They have led to the design and construction of real products that are more reliable than were believed practical not long ago."