On Sunday, Oct. 8, during its 2017 annual meeting, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) presented the Simon Ramo Founders Award to CS Professor John E. Hopcroft for his research contributions and leadership in engineering.
John E. Hopcroft is widely regarded as one of the most influential computer scientists in the United States. With the Simon Ramo Founders Award, Hopcroft is being recognized “for fundamental achievements in the formation of computer science as a discipline through his research, service, and pioneering textbooks.” The award acknowledges outstanding professional, educational, and personal achievements to the benefit of society and includes a commemorative medal.
Hopcroft, who is the IBM Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics in Computer Science at Cornell University, has worked on shaping the intellectual discipline of computer science, specifically on theoretical aspects of the field, and helped make computer science the respected discipline that it is today. In 1989, Hopcroft co-authored "Computer Science: Achievement and Opportunities" as part of his effort to double the number of computer science Ph.D.s produced each year in order to meet the nation's future needs. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush appointed him to the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation, and he served through May 1998. In 2005, he co-chaired the National Research Council study committee that produced the report "Network Science," which helped the Army understand the engineering behind networking troops in the field and how it would change warfare. The report has been said to have led to significant increases for funding in network science from numerous agencies. Hopcroft’s research has also helped shape curriculum at computer science departments as they increased around the world. He has received many awards for his achievements, including the A.M. Turing Award, the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, and China’s Friendship Medal, its highest recognition for a foreigner. Hopcroft is also a designated Einstein professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.