Contributions to the following blog were made by past CCC Council member Daniela Rus, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT.
The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) congratulates Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Oxford, on receiving the 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale.
Tim’s innovative and visionary work has transformed virtually every aspect our lives, from communications and entertainment to shopping and business. Few people have changed the world as profoundly as he has, and all of us at CSAIL are so very proud of him for being recognized with the most esteemed honor in all of computer science. – Daniela Rus
Berners-Lee, who graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Physics, submitted the proposal for the World Wide Web in 1989 while working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. He noticed that scientists were having difficulty sharing information about particle accelerators. Berners-Lee envisioned a system where CERN staff could exchange documents over the Internet using readable text that contained embedded hyperlinks.
To make his proposed information-sharing system work, Berners-Lee invented several integrated tools that would underpin the World Wide Web, including:
- Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that would serve to allow any object (such as a document or image) on the Internet to be named, and thus identified
- Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that allows for the exchange, retrieval, or transfer of an object over the Internet
- Web browser, a software application that retrieves and renders resources on the World Wide Web along with clickable links to other resources, and, in the original version, allowed users to modify webpages and make new links
- Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) that allows web browsers to translate documents or other resources and render them as multimedia webpages
Berners-Lee launched the world’s first website, http://info.cern.ch, on August 6, 1991. Central to the universal adoption of the World Wide Web was Berners-Lee’s decision to develop it as open and royalty-free software.
The A.M. Turing award, the ACM’s most prestigious technical award, is given for major contributions of lasting importance to computing and carries a $1 million prize with financial support provided by Google, Inc. Recipients are invited to give the annual A.M. Turing Award lecture.
Learn more and see the full press release here.