Computer scientist Leslie Valiant named 2012 ACM Fellow

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Leslie Valiant, T. Jefferson Coolidge Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has been named a 2012 fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

He is among 52 people who were recently named fellows for their contributions to computing that are fundamentally advancing technology in health care, cybersecurity, science, communications, entertainment, business, and education.

Valiant was recognized in particular for “transformative contributions to the theory of computation.”

Celebrated in 2010 with the ACM’s prestigious A. M. Turing Award, Valiant has long been recognized as a pioneer in the field of computer science. The Turing Award noted his very significant work on “the theory of probably approximately correct (PAC) learning, the complexity of enumeration and of algebraic computation, and the theory of parallel and distributed computing.”

“Rarely does one see such a striking combination of depth and breadth as in Valiant’s work,” wrote the Turing Award Committee at the time. “His is truly a heroic figure in theoretical computer science and a role model for his courage and creativity in addressing some of the deepest unsolved problems in science.”