Prof. Avižienis to Receive Another Important Award


On 28 June in Boston, MA, VMU Honorary Professor Algirdas Avižienis will be awarded the 2012 Jean-Claude Laprie Award in Dependable Computing.

The first Rector of the re-established VMU, member of the VMU Re-Constituent Senate, Prof. Algirdas Avižienis was selected as recipient of this award by the IFIP Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance for his paper "Design of fault-tolerant computers” read during AFIPS Fall Joint Computer Conference in 1967. The paper was recognised for broad impact on the field of dependable computing. According to the IFIP Working Group 10.4, this landmark paper was instrumental in defining fault-tolerant computing as a discipline. It laid out a preliminary description and methodology of the field – defining fault and error types, the use of various forms of protective redundancy and recovery techniques to continue operation in the presence of faults.

In 1969 Prof. Avižienis founded the IEEE CS Technical Committee on Fault­‐Tolerant Computing and hosted the first IEEE International Symposium on Fault-Tolerant. Computing (FTCS-1) in Pasadena (US) in 1971. The resulting research community has enriched the personal and professional lives of hundreds of scholars and engineers. The influence of this paper in a preliminary definition of the field was probably essential in these developments.

Prof. Algirdas Avižienis will accept the award on 28 June in Boston during the opening session of the 42nd Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks.

Earlier this month Prof. Algirdas Avižienis was awarded the 2012 Eckert-Mauchly Award, which is the most prestigious award in the computer architecture community, sometimes dubbed the Nobel Prize of the field.

The award, which is presented by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Computer Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), was received by Avižienis during the International Symposium on Computer Architecture in Portland, Oregon. Its recipient was honoured for his fundamental contributions to fault-tolerant computer architecture and computer arithmetic.

According to the ACM, Avižienis’ conceptual designs led to construction of the Self-Testing and Repairing (STAR) computer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology, which was instrumental to the JPL mission to explore space.

Prof. Algirdas Avižienis is also credited with coining the term Fault-Tolerant Computing, which captured the unique aspects of his ideas for creating a low-power, long life computer using self-repairing techniques. In their press release, the founders of the Eckert-Mauchly Award emphasise that Avižienis chaired the first IEEE Technical Committee on Fault-Tolerant Computing in 1969, and established the first international conference. Moving to UCLA from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he expanded the scope of his research to fault-tolerant system architecture and dependability modeling.

Remembering his numerous accolades and achievements, the ACM and the IEEE point out that Prof. Avižienis developed redundant number systems for fast digital arithmetic, a critical element in the field of digital arithmetic, and created efficient algorithms for error-coded operations. 

The initiators of the award also recalled the enourmous contributions of Avižienis in Vytautas Magnus University, which is situated in his hometown Kaunas. The recipient was the first Rector of the re-established VMU, member of its Re-Constituent Senate and later the Senate and the Council. On 28 April 1989, Prof. Avižienis chaired a conference of Lithuanian and diaspora scientists, who discussed the national concept of a higher education school and a Kaunas university. During the event, the Act of VMU’s re-establishment was declared. In 1990, the professor was elected Rector of VMU soon after its re-opening. Before leaving the post in 1993, Avižienis helped establish Western-style research and study programs here, the principle which is upheld at VMU to this day.   

About Prof. Algirdas Avižienis

  • In 1960, Algirdas Avižienis acquired his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, and started lecturing at UCLA in 1962, where he headed labs and the Faculty of Informatics.
  • He has received the AIAA Information Systems Award, the NASA Exceptional Service Award, the IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award and the IFIP Silver Core Award.
  • On 29 December 1990, he was elected the foreign fellow of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Avižienis has also served as the member of the first Research Council of Lithuania.
  • For achievements in the development of international research relations, he was awarded the Docteur Honoris Causa honorary degree by the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse (France).
  • In 1994, the VMU Senate granted him the title of Honorary Professor (P.H.C.).
  • In 1995, he initiated the Czeslaw Milosz Birthplace Foundation. He is currently the Director of this foundation, which is dedicated to the famous 20th century poet, Nobel Prize Winner, VMU Honorary Doctor Czeslaw Milosz. Avižienis aso organised numerous events marking Milosz’s 100th birth anniversary in 2011. 
  • For his merits in Lithuania, Prof. Algirdas Avižienis was awarded the Order of Grand Duke Gediminas (3rd degree).

About Jean-Claude Laprie Award in Dependable Computing

The award was created in 2011, in honour of Jean-Claude Laprie, who was a pioneering author of concepts and methodologies and dependability. His work was highly influential in defining and unifying the field of dependable and secure computing. The award recognizes outstanding papers that have significantly influenced the theory and/or practice of Dependable Computing.

About Eckert-Mauchly Award

The Eckert -Mauchly Award is co-sponsored by the ACM and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Computer Society. It was initiated in 1979 with the goal of recognizing contributions to computer and digital systems architecture and comes with a $5,000 prize.  The award was named for John Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly, who collaborated on the design and construction of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), the pioneering large-scale electronic computing machine, which was completed in 1947.


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