Ross Tate is the winner of the AITO Junior Dahl-Nygaard Prize for 2017. Prizes will be awarded during ECOOP this June in Barcelona.
Ross has made fundamental contributions to type systems with applications to OO languages. This includes the discovery that although wildcards as in Java are undecidable in theory, programmers only use specific flavors of wildcards which keeps them decidable in practice (PLDI'11); similarly, he proposed that F-bounded polymorphism can be replaced by simpler concepts, which were sufficient for the use that programmers made of generics in a large corpus (PLDI'14). Finally, he discovered that Java wildcards and Scala path-dependent types, in combination with implicit null pointers, make the languages unsound (OOPSLA'16). In addition, he has had strong industrial impact via his involvement in the production languages Ceylon (Red Hat) and Kotlin (JetBrains).
The AITO Dahl-Nygaard Prizes are named for Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard, two pioneers in the area of programming and simulation. It was a great loss to our community that both Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard passed away in 2002. In remembrance of their scholarship and enthusiastic encouragement of young researchers, in 2004 AITO established a prize to be awarded annually to a senior researcher with outstanding career contributions and a younger researcher who has demonstrated great potential for following in the footsteps of these two pioneers. AITO (Association Internationale pour les Technologies Objets) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of object technology.