Carnegie Mellon University
October 06, 2011

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon Announces Liskov and Klemmer Will Receive Katayanagi Prizes in Computer Science

Barbara LiskovContact:  Byron Spice / 412-268-9068 /

PITTSBURGH—Barbara Liskov, a pioneer in programming languages and distributed systems, and Scott Klemmer, whose human-centered approach is changing the way online systems are designed, are recipients of the fourth annual Katayanagi Prizes in Computer Science.

The prizes honor the best and the brightest in the field of computer science and are presented annually by Carnegie Mellon University in cooperation with the Tokyo University of Technology (TUT). The prizes are endowed by Japanese entrepreneur and education advocate Koh Katayanagi, who founded TUT and several technical institutions in Japan.

Liskov, Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and head of the programming methodology group in MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, will receive the Katayanagi Prize for Research Excellence. The award recognizes an established researcher with a record of outstanding, sustained achievement. It includes a $10,000 honorarium.

Scott KlemmerKlemmer, associate professor of computer science at Stanford University, where he co-directs the Human-Computer Interaction Group, will receive the Katayanagi Emerging Leadership Prize. This honors a researcher who demonstrates leadership promise in the field. It includes a $5,000 honorarium.

"Both the winners are internationally recognized researchers and they have made outstanding contributions to computer science," said Michiko Kuroda, dean of the TUT School of Computer Science. "I am convinced that their awards enhance the value and authority of the Katayanagi Prize, and these awards will give a significant stimulus to academic and professional activities in computer science and technology."

Klemmer will accept his award and present a public lecture, "The Power of Examples," at 4 p.m., Oct. 13 in the Rashid Auditorium, located on the fourth floor of the Gates and Hillman centers. The talk will examine how examples provide inspiration for designers and will explore the implications of online media, which offer an unprecedented diversity and number of examples. Klemmer's research group has developed tools for harvesting and synthesizing examples and providing them to programmers and end users in such a way as to empower both audiences to creatively design new user interfaces and software programs.

Liskov will accept her award and present a public lecture at 4 p.m., Nov. 10, also in the Rashid Auditorium.

"Barbara Liskov has made many fundamental contributions to computer science, including the development of several important programming languages, new theories of object-oriented programming and important algorithms for managing distributed systems," said Randal E. Bryant, dean of the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. In 2008, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) recognized those achievements by presenting her the A.M. Turing Award, widely considered computer science's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Her work has made software more reliable and easier to maintain. Among her contributions is the Liskov Substitution Principle (LSP), which she formalized in 1994 with Jeannette Wing, now head of Carnegie Mellon's Computer Science Department. Programmers routinely define new types of objects from existing ones, such as through class hierarchies in languages such as Java or C#.  LSP characterizes when it is safe to substitute an object of a subtype for an object of the parent type, thus preventing strange behaviors when the program is run.

In addition to the Turing Award, Liskov was the recipient of the IEEE John von Neumann Medal in 2004. She is a Fellow of the ACM and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She was the first U.S. woman to receive a Ph.D. from a computer science department, which she earned at Stanford in 1968.

Klemmer joined the Stanford faculty in 2004, after earning his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. "Scott Klemmer is considered to be one of the rising stars in human-computer interaction," Bryant said. "He is best known for his work investigating how software tools can increase the quality of people's creative work - especially the quality of interface design and programming.

"Klemmer's work brings together approaches from computer science, design and psychology to increase creativity in populations as diverse as novice webpage makers, interface designers, and expert programmers. Organizations around the world use his lab's open-source design tools and curricula," Bryant said.

In addition to the Katayanagi Prize, Klemmer is the recipient of such honors as the Sloan Fellowship, National Science Foundation CAREER Award and Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship.

For more information, visit the Katayanagi Prize website,

Follow the School of Computer Science on Twitter @SCSatCMU.


Top Photo: Barbara Liskov, Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bottom Photo: Scott Klemmer, associate professor of computer science at Stanford University.