17 April 2019 – Associate Professor Ilya Sergey was awarded the 2019 AITO Dahl-Nygaard Prize (Junior category) for his work in programming language theory. The award will be given out at the 2019 European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP) in London, England, held from 15 to 19 July.
The prestigious award was established in 2004 by the Association Internationale pour les Technologies Objets (AITO) and named after Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard – two pioneers in object-oriented programming. Two awards, a senior and junior category, are given each year to two researchers for their exceptional contributions to the field. The junior category prize recognises an early career researcher who has demonstrated great potential in the areas of programming and simulation.
A/P Sergey, who holds a joint appointment with NUS Computing and Yale-NUS College, received the accolade for his significant contributions in the development and application of programming language techniques. A/P Sergey received the award for his work on program logics for verification of concurrent and distributed systems, program analysis and synthesis. Some examples of his work include Disel, a framework for compositional verification of executable distributed systems in the Coq proof assistant, and Toychain, the first fully mechanised implementation of a blockchain consensus protocol. One of his work, Scilla – a new programming language for verifiable smart contracts, is currently used by a Singapore-based high-performance blockchain startup Zilliqa, which was spun off from research conducted in NUS Computing.
“It has been an exciting and humbling experience to win such an award,” said A/P Sergey. “ECOOP was the very first scientific conference I attended as a student, and it is a great honour to now be invited to it as a keynote speaker. I am looking forward to share with the community the ideas I have been working on towards building reliable and distributed systems with end-to-end correctness guarantees.”
“This award would not have been possible without the advice I received from my mentors Dr Dave Clarke, Dr Aleksandar Nanevski, and Professor Olivier Danvy, through the different stages of my career. I also owe this success to the many amazing collaborators with whom I have worked with and learnt a lot from, as well as the programming languages community for their encouragement and support,” A/P Sergey added.