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Peter Chapin recognized with ACM SIGAda Robert Dewar Award

Vermont Technical College professor recognized for Outstanding Ada Community Contributions

Association for Computing Machinery

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Credit: Courtesy SIGAda

NEW YORK, NY, December 19, 2017 - ACM's Special Interest Group on Ada (SIGAda) today announced that Peter Chapin of Vermont Technical College is the recipient of the 2017 Robert Dewar Award for Outstanding Ada Community Contributions.

Chapin is credited with making a number of significant contributions to the Ada community including writing and supervising software for the Vermont Tech Lunar CubeSat. CubeSats are miniature satellites used for space research and employed in a variety of applications, including earth observation and amateur radio. The Vermont Tech Lunar CubeSat is the only CubeSat programmed in the SPARK/Ada language. Launched in 2013 with 11 other university CubeSats, the Vermont Tech Lunar CubeSat is the only CubeSat of the group that fully worked. Many credit the Vermont Tech Lunar CubeSat's effectiveness to Chapin's oversight and the high integrity of the SPARK/Ada technology.

Continuing his work in this area, Chapin is now coordinating the development of CubedOS, a SPARK/Ada implementation of a software framework for small spacecraft. Chapin, along with his students and colleagues, intend for CubedOS to be an open source project to allow other groups to have a high integrity software base for their CubeSats, which currently have a very high failure rate. Chapin is the co-author, with John McCormick, of the book Building High Integrity Applications with SPARK.

Earlier in his career, Chapin served on X3J16, the ANSI technical committee charged with creating and maintaining the C++ standard (that work is currently being managed by ISO's WG21). More recently he has conducted research on programming language-based security in wireless sensor networks (SpartanRPC and Scalaness).

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About The Robert Dewar Award for Outstanding Ada Community Contributions

Formerly known as SIGAda's Ada Community Contributions Award, the Award is named in honor of the late Robert Dewar. A Professor of Computer Science at New York University, Dewar was one of the architects of the Ada/Ed compiler, which served as an operational definition of the Ada 83 language, and he later led the team that designed and implemented the GNAT compiler technology for Ada 95. Together with several colleagues from NYU, Dewar founded AdaCore (then Ada Core Technologies) to productize GNAT for commercial users of Ada 95 and also to make GNAT binaries available free of charge to academic institutions and others developing non-proprietary software. Other past recipients of this award include Jean Ichbiah, the head of the design team for the original Ada language; and Tucker Taft, the head of the Ada 95 revision team.

About ACM SIGAda

ACM SIGAda is a professional society focused on the Ada language and its many aspects including standardization, development environments, usage/experience, implementation, and education. SIGAda holds an annual conference or workshop on High Integrity Language Technology and publishes Ada Letters, twice a year.

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