The Turing Award, the "Nobel Prize for computing", has been awarded to Professor Barbara Liskov, who, whether you realize it or not, has had a serious impact on your day-to-day life.
Professor Liskov is currently the head the Programming Methodology Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but has been shaping the direction of programming for forty years.
Being the first US woman to gain a PhD in computing gained Liskov great respect, but she is also the creator of two programming languages, CLU (in the 70s) and Argus (in the 80s). Thor (an object oriented database system) was also one of hers. Apart from that, she has also conducted research into the innovations that underlie C#, C++ and Java.
The Turing Award itself will be awarded by the Association for Computing Machinery in June.