A Viz on Turing Awards 1966-2013(图灵奖获得者的可视化调查分析报告)

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Recently I came upon a summary about Turing award winners published in 2008 by a friend of mine, Huailin Chen, who maintains a blog about computation (in Chinese) http://www.valleytalk.org

This inspired me to build this dashboard to put all the award winners in a single page along with a bit of stats. Above is the result. This has nothing to do with the latest movie: The Imitation Game. Yet to watch it.

By Birth Country 

USA leads in the birth place rank with 38 natives among 61 laureates. None of the laureates are born in the Southern Hemisphere, although 2 are born at places as south as Venezuela and Sri Lanka.

By Gender 

3 women made the list which is largely dominated by men with a count of 58 or 95%.

By Age

2 won the awards at the tender age of 36 and 38: Donald Knuth (1974) and Robert Tarjan (1986).

The award winners’ age is trending higher. In 1980, the projected age is 50 and in 1998, it’s 60. In 2016, the forecast shows that future laureates will be around 70. The award age increases 10 every 18 years. This signifies that the computing field is getting more mature each year. The major breakthroughs in theory and practices seem to have been made many years ago. But, personally, I believe that the latest development in large scale web computing technology by the younger generation is within the scope of the award. People like Linus Torvalds could make a great candidate for the award. His contributions to the development of Linux, to the open sourced software development weigh immensely in the history of computing.

By Zodiac Sign

Half jokingly, my friend Nick and I talked about using Zodiac sign as a dimension in the analysis of personalities. In some cases, we do find significant biases in the distribution such as in Turing Award winners. 1 in 6 are Capricorns while only 1 in 30 are Scorpios. Does this mean that Capricorns are 5 times more likely to win Turing Award than Scorpios. I am not in a position to interpret it and will leave it to astrology experts.

To be continued

Will discuss some of the intricacies in the design of this dashboard in another blog.

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