Torvalds was selected for the award for his creation and maintenance of the Linux kernel, from 1991 when he first put up code for download to the current day.
The Finn is an employee of the Linux Foundation, a non-profit that employs him and a few other top kernel hackers.
According to an IEEE media release, Torvalds has already been presented the Technology Academy of Finland's Millennium Technology Prize (2012), the NEC's C&C Prize (2010), the Takreda Award for Social/Economic Well-Being (2008), the British Computer Society's Lovelace Medal (2000), and the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award (1998).
The Computer Pioneer Award was established in 1981 by the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors to recognise and honour the vision of those whose efforts resulted in the creation and continued vitality of the computer industry.
The award is presented to outstanding individuals whose main contribution to the concepts and development of the computer field was made at least 15 years earlier. The recognition is engraved on a bronze medal.