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Software Prize

The ADASS Prize for an Outstanding Contribution to Astronomical Software is awarded every year at the annual conference. Eligible candidates are the developers of astronomical software ranging from those that have stood the test of time to those that are new and cutting edge. Depending on the software and the nomination, the award is given to either a group or an individual. Nominations can be for a single program, a package or a library. Nominations come from the ADASS community and are voted on by the Program Organizing Committee.

2020: William Pence for his work on CFITSIO, a library of subroutines for reading and writing FITS files. which has been used in countless astronomical software packages over two decades. It provides a de facto reference implementation of the FITS standard in addition to supporting common extensions used by the astronomical community. CFITSIO has proven to be both robust and portable, providing a stable code base for numerous projects across many operating systems and development languages. This award is presented in recognition of the outstanding contribution of CFITSIO to the astronomical software community and for Bill's efforts in leading the project since its inception.

2021: Doug Tody, Lindsey Davis and Frank Valdes for the design and development of the core IRAF system and science packages that have enabled almost 25,000 scientific papers since 1986. IRAF (Image Reduction and Analysis Facility) is a software system developed originally by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (now NSF's NOIRLab) that has been extended by astronomers and institutions to provide a standard platform for data reduction and pipeline processing for numerous ground and space-based observatories. This award is presented in recognition of the outstanding contribution of IRAF to the astronomical software community and the key role these awardees had in developing the core system.