Stephen Cook has been awarded this year’s Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, Canada’s top annual science prize, for his influential career spanning four decades of computer science research.

“It’s quite an honour, I have to say,” Cook said of the award, which comes with $1 million in research funding over five years. The Herzberg medal recognizes researchers for excellence and “influence of research work conducted in Canada in the natural sciences or engineering.”

Cook, University Professor of computer science, first joined the faculty of U of T in 1970 as an associate professor. Cook’s chief research area has been in computational complexity theory, a branch of theoretical computer science studying how much time and memory computers take to solve different classes of problems.

Cook previously won the 1982 Turing Award, widely recognized as the ‘Nobel Prize of computing,’ for his seminal contributions to computer science.

With files from the CBC