The IEEE has honored James A. Gosling (CS'83), chief software architect at Liquid Robotics, with the 2015 John von Neumann Medal for his pioneering work on Java and other programming languages and environments.
Gosling's development of Java in 1995 was a major milestone in computing, the IEEE noted when presenting him with the medal at its June 20 awards ceremony in New York City. Java, one of the most popular programming languages in history, was the first widely deployed language that enabled code to be transmitted over the Internet while still meeting security requirements. Its features include the portable "write once, run anywhere" platform and libraries that use a standard class file format that can be loaded and executed by any Java Virtual Machine.
Java can be found in servers, mobile phones, and even the chips embedded in credit cards and ID badges.
Following his Ph.D. work at CMU, Gosling worked on the Andrew project, which stressed interoperability between computers — whether they were Mac, IBM or UNIX machines. He developed the first UNIX windows manager and one of the first modern, multiformat text editors that allowed placement of tables, pictures and graphics in a document. This open-source architecture influenced the evolution of Microsoft Windows and the Apple Macintosh.
Gordon Bell, a former CMU faculty member, was the first recipient of the IEEE John von Neumann Medal in 1992. Other recipients include CMU alumnus Ivan Sutherland (E'59 H'03).