Findler's Racket Wins 2018 SIGPLAN Programming Languages Software Award

In continuous development since 1995, Racket is one of the world’s leading environments for language-oriented programming, elevating a “language” to its own status as a software building block.

Prof. Robby Findler

Prof. Robby Findler and collaborators have won the annual SIGPLAN Programming Languages Software Award for contributions to the development of the programming language Racket. This award recognizes the development of a software system that has had a significant impact on programming language research and on education, and will be shared with Eli Barzilay (Google), Matthias Felleisen (Northeastern), Matthew Flatt (University of Utah), Shriram Krishnamurthi (Brown), Jay McCarthy (Massachusetts at Lowell), and Sam Tobin-Hochstadt (Indiana).

Racket comprises a programming language, an IDE, and a large ecosystem of libraries and packages. Its contributions have been singularly significant both in research and education. Over the past 20 years, Racket has enabled a wide spectrum of programming language research: it revived mixins, initiated work on recursive, first-class modules, provided a test bed for functional reactive programming, generalized software contracts to higher-order settings, and co-launched the area of "gradual typing".

Most importantly, Racket is the leading programming language for making programming languages, due to is breakthrough results on language extensibility, an active area of research for the emerging language community. With DrRacket, the Racket community has innovated the design of pedagogic IDEs, introducing the transparent read-eval-print loop, algebraic stepping, and the idea of hierarchies of teaching languages. The IDE has played a key role in spreading the word about novel text books on programming ("How to Design Programs") and programming languages ("Programming Languages: Implementations and Applications" and “Semantics Engineering"), bringing concepts dear to SIGPLAN to millions of students in the world.