Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System: Leslie Lamport Receives Turing Award

We at Microsoft were very excited last week when we found out that the Association for Computing Machinery (“ACM”) named Leslie Lamport, principal researcher at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley, as the recipient of the 2013 A.M. Turing Award.  For those of you not familiar with the award, it has been referred to by many as the Nobel Prize of computing, and is presented for contributions of lasting and major technical importance to the computing com­munity. Lamport, 73, is a legend in computing circles, known for many contributions, including his foundational work in the theory of distributed computing. His 1978 paper “Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System” is one of the most cited in the history of computer science. You can learn more about Leslie’s work and Microsoft Research (MSR) by going hereimage .

The benefits of Leslie’s work at Microsoft can be found across products including Azure and number of other products coming to market.  Leslie’s work helps reduce the impact of computing failures making our platform, devices and services more stable for our customers.

Leslie is the fifth scientist from Microsoft Research to have won the Turing Award, joining previous recipients Tony Hoare (1980), Butler Lampson (1992), Jim Gray (1998) and Chuck Thacker (2009). Members of the MSR team have also won other prestigious prizes including Field’s Medalist (“Nobel Prize of Mathematics”) Michael Freedman and Draper Prize (top award in Engineering) winners Chuck Thacker and Butler Lampson.  It is safe to call them all computing pioneers as they are dedicated and humble individuals who care deeply about advancing Microsoft and the computing field more broadly.

With minds like Leslie’s contributing to our company’s devices and services strategy it is easy to be bullish on the future of Microsoft. Please join us in congratulating Leslie for his award and his great contributions to the computing com­munity! – Jon C. Arnold