In the world of computer science, the Turing Award is pretty much the best prize you could hope to win. And the stakes have just got even higher, as Google has quadrupled the award fund from $250,000 (£160,000) to $1million (£640,000).
Google has long been a sponsor of the award — in partnership with Intel — but this year has taken sole responsibility for providing the prize fund and in doing so has seen fit to make the prize more financially rewarding for the winner.

The prize was founded in 1966 and is awarded every year by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) to honour computer scientists and engineers who create the systems and underlying theoretical foundations that support development in the world of IT. It is named after British mathematician Alan Turing and is informally known as the Nobel Prize of computer science.

According to a press release issued by the ACM, the extra prize money “reflects the escalating impact of computing on daily life” and is also “intended to raise the Turing Award’s visibility”.

“The Turing Award is now funded at the monetary level of the world’s most prestigious cultural and scientific awards and prizes,” said ACM president Alexander Wolf in a statement. “With the generous support of Google, we can celebrate the mainstream role of computing in transforming the world and the way we communicate, conduct business, and access entertainment.”

The 2014 recipient of the Turing Award is due to be announced early next year and will be the first winner to benefit from the extra cash. Last year the award was given to Leslie Lamport for advances in reliability and consistency of computing systems. Lamport, a principal researcher at Microsoft, may well now be wishing his genius in the computer science field had shown itself a year later.
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