Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup
Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup Draper Prize
Managing Director in the Technology Division, Morgan Stanley
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  • Draper
Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering
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Bjarne Stroustrup is the designer and original implementer of C++, one of the most widely used and influential programming languages in the history of computing. After its official release in 1985, he guided its evolution through his research, involvement in the C++ ISO standards effort, books, and many academic and popular papers.

C++, based on C and originally inspired by Simula, provides general and flexible abstraction mechanisms that can be mapped directly and efficiently onto computer hardware. It revolutionized the software industry by enabling a variety of software development techniques, including object-oriented programming, generic programming, and general resource management, to be deployed at industrial scale. C++ remains among the most widely used programming languages, with applications in general systems programming, communications, computer graphics, games, user interfaces, embedded systems, financial systems, medical systems, avionics, scientific computation, and many other areas. Its influence and the ideas it pioneered and popularized are clearly visible far beyond the C++ community.

Stroustrup began his career at AT&T Bell Labs’ Computer Science Research Center in Murray Hill, New Jersey, where he designed and implemented C++. He was head of AT&T’s Large-scale Programming Research Department from its inception until 2002. After that, he taught and did research at Texas A&M University, reaching the rank of University Distinguished Professor. Since 2014 he has been a managing director in the technology division of Morgan Stanley in New York City and a visiting professor at Columbia University. His research interests include design, programming techniques, distributed systems, performance, reliability, and maintainability.

His honors include ACM’s Grace Murray Hopper Award (1993), election to the National Academy of Engineering (2004), Sigma Xi’s William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement (2005), Aarhus University’s Rigmor og Carl Holst-Knudsens Videnskapspris (2010), and the Faraday Medal from the Institute of Engineering Technology (2017). He is a fellow of IEEE, ACM, and the Computer History Museum, and an honorary fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.

Bjarne Stroustrup was born in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1950. He received a master’s degree in mathematics and computer science from Aarhus University in 1975 and a PhD in computer science from Cambridge University in 1979.

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  • Draper
  • 2018
  • For conceptualizing and developing the C++ programming language.