Summary: 197 7 ACM Turing Award Lecture
The 1977 ACM Turing Award was presented to John Backus
at the ACM Annual Conference in Seattle, October 17. In intro-
ducing the recipient, Jean E. Sammet, Chairman of the Awards
Committee, made the following comments and read a portion of
the final citation. The full announcement is in the September
1977 issue of Communications, page 681.
"Probably there is nobody in the room who has not heard of
Fortran and most of you have probably used it at least once, or at
least looked over the shoulder of someone who was writing a For.
tran program. There are probably almost as many people who
have heard the letters BNF but don't necessarily know what they
stand for. Well, the B is for Backus, and the other letters are
explained in the formal citation. These two contributions, in my
opinion, are among the half dozen most important technical
contributions to the computer field and both were made by John
Backus (which in the Fortran case also involved some col-
leagues). It is for these contributions that he is receiving this
year's Turing award.
The short form of his citation is for 'profound, influential,