Carnegie Mellon University

Heather Miller in a red sweater leaning on a railing in a modern looking office hallway

May 05, 2023

Miller Receives Dahl-Nygaard Prize for Scala

By Josh Quicksall

Heather Miller, an assistant professor in the Software and Societal Systems Department (S3D), has been awarded the esteemed 2023 Dahl-Nygaard Prize for her notable contributions to the Scala language and its developer community. The prize, which recognizes outstanding achievements, highlights Heather's significant impact on research, community organizing, and teaching related to Scala, according to the award citation.

The Dahl-Nygaard prizes, established in 2004 by the Association Internationale Pour les Technologies Objets (AITO), stand as the most prestigious accolades in the field of object-oriented programming. Named after the visionary pioneers Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard, who introduced the world to the first object-oriented programming language, these awards hold great significance.

Miller's research efforts have yielded remarkable advancements in distributed programming with objects, spores, concurrency, asynchrony, CRDTs, and functional programming in big data scenarios. Her groundbreaking work has greatly influenced the Scala language and its associated ecosystem, pushing the boundaries of possibilities and transforming developer practices.

In addition to her research, Miller has played a pivotal role in fostering a vibrant Scala community. As the co-founder and Executive Director of the Scala Center, she has overseen language and library development while establishing community standards. Her leadership has created an environment conducive to collaboration and innovation, fostering the growth of Scala developers and their impactful contributions.

Miller’s influence extends to education, where she has designed and led a series of massive online classes on Scala, Spark, and Big Data. With over 100,000 students benefiting from her curriculum, Heather's expertise has empowered countless learners, equipping them with the necessary skills to excel academically as well as professionally and beyond.

For more information on the Dahl-Nygaard Prize and its recipients, please visit