Racket, Tobin-Hochstadt honored with ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Software Award

Sam Tobin-Hochstadt
Sam Tobin-Hochstadt

Sam Tobin-Hochstadt, an assistant professor at the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, is part of a group of researchers who have been awarded the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Software Award for their work with the Racket programming language.

Tobin-Hochstadt is one of the developers of Racket, a general-purpose language that allows users to, on a per-component basis in their system, select a language in which a program will be written. Racket allows users to create domain-specific languages without the trouble of creating an entirely new language for each use. He was honored along with six other researchers who have been developing and refining the language for more than 20 years.

“It’s really nice to get this award because in academia, you’re rewarded usually for publishing papers, graduating students, and getting grants, but not so much for building software that people use,” Tobin-Hochstadt said. “We’ve put a lot of time and effort into it, and it’s great to be recognized for the work.”

The ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Software Award is awarded to an institution or individuals to recognize the development of a software system that has had a significant impact on programming language research, implementations, and tools.

“We want to make sure our users have a good experience, that it can be used by students here at IU and all across the world, that it can be used by other academics or people who are building their business using Racket,” Tobin-Hochstadt said. “This award lets people know the importance of this project. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into Racket, and we release a new version every few months. It’s a recognition of all of our hard work.”

Among the researchers honored with the award is Matthias Felleisen, who earned his Ph.D. from the computer science program at SICE. The ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Software Award was awarded at the International Conference on Functional Programming 2018 in St. Louis.

“We’re tremendously proud of the work Sam and his colleagues have done to develop and improve the Racket programming language,” said Amr Sabry, professor of informatics and computing and chair of computer science at SICE. “We have a long, proud history of innovation in programming languages at SICE, and the effort of Sam and our other faculty are ensuring we stay on the cutting edge of research in such a critical area.”

For more information on programming languages at SICE, visit our website.

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