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Harvard professor Leslie Valiant wins 2010 A.M. Turing Award

The Boston Globe
March 10, 2011
Harvard University professor Leslie G. Valiant, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, has been awarded the 2010 A.M. Turing Award, the most prestigious prize in the field of computer science. Valiant’s research into processes to make computers reason as humans do laid the groundwork for applications ranging from e-mail spam filters to IBM’s Watson computer system, which last month bested human competitors on the game show “Jeopardy!’’

Known in computing circles as the “Nobel Prize in Computing,’’ the award is bestowed by a scientific society, the Association for Computing Machinery, and includes a $250,000 cash prize funded by Intel Corp. and Google Inc.

The prize is named for Alan Turing, a British mathematician and code breaker during World War II who is known as a father of modern computer science.

“This connection with the achievements of the previous winners, and of Turing himself, is more than anyone in my field can reasonably expect,’’ Valiant wrote in an e-mail.

He will receive the award on June 4, at the association’s annual awards banquet in San Jose, Calif.
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