[SIGCIS-Members] Useful video clips of Turing Award winners

thomas.haigh at gmail.com thomas.haigh at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 11:16:42 PST 2021

Please do go ahead and distribute widely! The group to credit for the availability of both the full length interviews and the interview clips is the ACM History Committee. I did the work to identify and edit the clips, under contract to ACM, but was not responsible for the longer interviews they are taken from. Within the committee, Roy Levin has had primary responsibility for overseeing the Turing-related work.


I know that the History Committee is doing its own work to announce the clips via SIGCSE and other venues, so this message was targeted particularly at the SIGCIS community. But as I said, I have absolutely no objection to it or the videos being circulated to anyone who might be interested. The more people watch them, the better the return on ACM’s investment in the project.


Best wishes,



From: Armando Fox <fox at berkeley.edu> 
Sent: Tuesday, February 2, 2021 12:51 PM
To: thomas.haigh at gmail.com
Cc: members at sigcis.org; David Patterson <patterson at cs.berkeley.edu>
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Useful video clips of Turing Award winners


dear thomas,


thank you!! having 3-6 minute topical clips of Turing winner interviews is a great resource for CS instruction!


in my experience, it is absolutely the case that a short video gets more views.  i'm pretty hardcore about computing history but i'd be hard pressed to watch all the full-length interviews - but i bet i'll watch a lot of the clips!


as it turns out, dave patterson and i just released the 2nd Edition of our software engineering textbook <http://www.saasbook.info> , which features quotes and short profiles of Turing winners at the beginning of each chapter, related to that chapter's topic.  i hope it's OK if i take the liberty to link out to some of these videos (or the subscription channel) while prominently crediting ACM and/or SIGCIS, and to proactively notify the many instructors who use the book.



warm regards and thank you again for your work,

armando (longtime follower, first-time fan mail writer)



Armando Fox (he, him, él)
Professor, Computer Science Division • Faculty Advisor, Digital Learning Strategy

UC Berkeley Campus Equity Advisor
390 Soda Hall MC#1776, Berkeley, CA, 94720-1776 • +1.510.642.6820 / http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~fox • PGP/GPG key ID: 0x9AD0E747


Washing your hands after being around others is a personal choice. 

Wearing a mask around others is a choice to be responsible and considerate.





On Feb 2, 2021, at 09:32, <thomas.haigh at gmail.com <mailto:thomas.haigh at gmail.com> > <thomas.haigh at gmail.com <mailto:thomas.haigh at gmail.com> > wrote:




For some years I’ve had a little side job for the ACM as editor of the Turing Award website:  <https://amturing.acm.org/> https://amturing.acm.org/. This centers on  short biographical profiles of the awardees.  <https://amturing.acm.org/alphabetical.cfm> https://amturing.acm.org/alphabetical.cfm Most of the heavy lifting to get those written, edited, and posted was carried out by the founding editor, Mike Williams.


ACM has been running a major initiative to get video history interviews performed with as many of the living Turing awardees as possible. In some cases they have borrowed existing interviews performed by other organizations, but most of the featured interviews are newly conducted and range from one to four hours. The majority are conducted by fellow computer scientists or journalists with only a handful by historians, so there’s considerable variation in tone, interview strategy and topics covered from one interview to another. We have attached the full video interviews to the profiles, via “Video Interview’ icon near the top of the profile. All together, there are currently 35 video interviews, all available on YouTube:  <https://www.acm.org/turing-award-50/turing-laureate-interviews> https://www.acm.org/turing-award-50/turing-laureate-interviews. 


It turned out that not many people were clicking over from the profiles to watch the videos, and that YouTube is more excited by unboxing and cat videos than long interviews with eminent computer scientists. So the ACM History Committee sponsored me to edit down short (mostly 3 to 6 minute) clips from the long interviews and embed them in the biographical profiles. These clips might also be useful for those of you teaching computer science courses or history or STS courses that touch on the contributions of the awardees. You can browse the full list at  <https://www.youtube.com/c/turingawardeeclips/videos> https://www.youtube.com/c/TuringAwardeeClips/videos


On the computer science side the relevance should be fairly obvious, as I tried to prepare at least one clip for each awardee focused on their most famous contributions. So you could show Hoare explaining quicksort or CSPs, Lamport on the bakery algorithm, Knuth on TeX or The Art of Computer Programming, Cook on why P=NP matters, Liskov on the Liskov Substitution Principle and so on.


Here are some examples of videos that might be useful for certain history or STS courses:


Feigenbaum on editing Computers and Thought:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfr2GnWNYzg> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfr2GnWNYzg

Kahan and Cerf on why the ARPANET was built:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXTuu7i4hEY> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXTuu7i4hEY

Knuth on early compiler writing (and why he decided not to do it for a living):  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvlEQwB0m0I> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvlEQwB0m0I

Brooks on writing The Mythical Man Month:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhDvZ17f2nU> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhDvZ17f2nU

Hellman on the definition of public key encryption:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA1Aao1hc8g&t=12s> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA1Aao1hc8g&t=12s

Rivest on the origins of RSA:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1I1LC1DpeA> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1I1LC1DpeA

Allen on joining IBM and teaching FORTRAN:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcyOIkhDk1s&t=11s> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcyOIkhDk1s&t=11s

Backus on the creation of FORTRAN:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBpj84F9-io> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBpj84F9-io  

Stonebraker on building INGRES:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0da-1IJH2OQ> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0da-1IJH2OQ

Blum on creating CAPTCHA:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7FmOaLJfLw> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7FmOaLJfLw

Goldwasser on Berkeley’s computer science department:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8jP7aShw80&t=134s> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8jP7aShw80&t=134s

Bachman on IDS, the first database management system:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rncvHOLg1bU&t=28s> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rncvHOLg1bU&t=28s

Kahan on the HP programmable calculators:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mBw7tnRx1c&t=294s> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mBw7tnRx1c&t=294s

Reddy on Graduate School with John McCarthy:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0pBxEL-N-o&t=22s> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0pBxEL-N-o&t=22s


Also, if you need cheering up, watch Micali on how he barely survived graduate school:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMVt8S91P0g&t=80s> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMVt8S91P0g&t=80s. Or if you want to despair at how the academic job market today is not like that in the early days of CS, hear Hopcroft explain how he was hired at Princeton without having published anything:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCs1SqHUdzk&t=19s> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCs1SqHUdzk&t=19s


Best wishes,




This email is relayed from members at  <http://sigcis.org/> sigcis.org, the email discussion list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those of the member posting and are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS. The list archives are at  <http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/> http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/ and you can change your subscription options at  <http://lists.sigcis.org/listinfo.cgi/members-sigcis.org> http://lists.sigcis.org/listinfo.cgi/members-sigcis.org


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/attachments/20210202/e4fc546a/attachment.htm>

More information about the Members mailing list