If you watch the Oscars, you probably understand the thrill of that “and the winner is...” feeling. The best of the best are competing for the highest rank in the industry. For the recognition. For glory.

Advertising has Cannes Lions; journalism has Pulitzer; science has Nobel Prize. Like every respectable field of knowledge, information technology also has its own awards.

What are the most famous rewards in IT? What are the differences between them?

Let’s find out.


Alan Turing Award (ACM Turing Award) is the most prestigious professional award of the Association for Computing Machinery. In the field of computer science and technology, it is considered an analogue of the Nobel Prize.

Since 1966, only 54 people have become laureates of the annual award: 35 represent the USA, 5 – Great Britain, 2 each – Norway and Israel, one each – Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Latvia, Greece, Canada, China, Venezuela, India.

The sum of the financial reward was initially $100,000 and was provided by Intel Corporation. Since 2007, the award has grown to $250,000 and is backed by Intel and Google.

During the award show, the laureate makes a presentation to convey to colleagues and a wider audience his or her view of the world of computer systems and technologies. Almost all performances are of the highest professional value.

Alan Mathison Turing (1912 – 1954) was an English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer who had a significant impact on the development of computer science.


The Kyoto Prize, sometimes referred to as the Japanese equivalent of the Nobel Prize, is awarded by the Inamori Foundation, that was established in 1985 by Kazuo Inamori, the founder of Kyocera. The cash portion of the Kyoto Prize is 50 million yen. The winner also receives a commemorative gold medal.

Each year, three awards are presented in the categories of Advanced technology, Arts and philosophy and Fundamental sciences. Moreover, each category includes several different sciences. For example, the Fundamental sciences include biology, mathematics (+ pure, non-applied mathematics), astronomy and astrophysics, earth sciences, and neurobiology.


The Lovelace Medal was issued by the British Computer Society in 1998 and is awarded “to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the understanding and advancement of computing”. This is the UK's highest award in computing.

The medal is intended to be presented to individuals regardless of their country of residence. It is generally expected that there will be one medalist each year, but the “multiple medalists” or “no medalists” situations are accepted as well.

The award is named after Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron and an English mathematician, scientist and writer. In 1842, she worked with computer pioneer Charles Babbage on the first general-purpose mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine. She is often referred to as the world's first female computer programmer.


The Charles Babbage Premium is an annual award "for outstanding work in the development or use of electronic computers".

The award was established in 1959. It was initiated by the British Institute of Radio Engineers, which became the Institute of Electronics and Radio Engineers. In 1988 it merged with the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE), which later became the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) in 2006.

The winners are announced in such categories as Nuclear Engineering, Electronic Engineering, British Communications and Electronics and Software Engineering.

The award was named after mathematician Charles Babbage (1791–1871), the inventor of the Analytical Engine, an early mechanical computer design.


The IEEE John von Neumann Medal was established by the IEEE Board of Directors in 1990 and may be awarded annually "for excellence in computer science and engineering".

IEEE is the world’s biggest technical professional association. IEEE’s mission is “advancing technology for the benefit of humanity”. The organization was created to influence a global community through its cited publications, high technology standards, respected conferences, professional and educational activities.

The medal is named after John von Neumann (1903–1957), who made major contributions to many areas, including functional analysis, ergodic theory and representation theory. He was a pioneer in the application of operator theory to quantum mechanics in the development of functional analysis, and a key figure in the development of game theory. He is also known for creating concepts of cellular automata, universal and digital computers.


This, of course, is just the tip of the tech awards’ iceberg. EATCS Award, Edison Award, ERCIM Cor Baayen Award, Erdős–Renyi Award: information technology is surprisingly generous, when it comes to awarding computer scientists in Europe, USA and internationally.

Considering the impact their breakthroughs have had on our civilization it seems like a fair deal.