CAMBRIDGE, MA—The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) honored Bjarne Stroustrup with the Charles Stark Draper Prize, the nation’s top engineering honor, for his work designing and implementing the C++ programming language during a Feb. 20 ceremony.
Stroustrup’s development of C++ has helped bridge the gap between a problem and its computing elements through the use of visualization for engineers and members of varying disciplines, such as biologists, medical doctors, mathematicians, economists and politicians.
Stroustrup, a visiting professor in computer science at Columbia University, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004. He is a fellow of IEEE, the Association of Computing Machinery, the Computer History Museum and Churchill College, Cambridge, and is managing director in the technology division of Morgan Stanley in New York City.
The Charles Stark Draper Prize is a $500,000 biannual award that honors engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society. It is considered the Nobel Prize of engineering.
C++ 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. According to industry analysts, C++ is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world, with applications in communications, computer graphics, games, user interfaces, embedded systems, financial systems, medical systems, avionics, scientific computation and many other areas.
Draper endowed the prize and requested the National Academy of Engineering establish it in 1988. The Draper Prize was established to honor the memory of “Doc” Draper, the father of inertial navigation, and to increase public understanding of the contributions of engineering and technology.