The ACM Awards Banquet is an annual event recognizing technical excellence and outstanding service to the computing field. This year's banquet honoring the 2014 award recipients and newly inducted ACM Fellows was held at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on June 20. Among the innovations in technology and service recognized this year were advancements in databases, cryptography, networked and software systems, standard software libraries, social connections on the Web, national science and engineering education standards, search and rescue robotics, data processing, and machine learning.

ACM's awards celebrate our long tradition of honoring those whose contributions have impacted our world for the better in countless ways. These prestigious and internationally recognized honors are an integral part of ACM's mission to unite computing educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field's challenges.




ACM A.M. Turing Award
The ACM A.M. Turing Award was presented to Michael Stonebraker of MIT CSAIL for fundamental contributions to the concepts and practices underlying almost all modern database systems. These critical applications of computing preserve much of the world's important data. He demonstrated how to engineer database systems that support these concepts and released them as open software, which ensured their widespread adoption. During a career spanning four decades, Stonebraker founded numerous companies successfully commercializing his pioneering database technology work.

The Turing Award celebrates the work of one of the founding fathers of modern computer science, Alan Mathison Turing. Accompanied by a prize of $1,000,000, ACM's most prestigious award is given to recognize contributions of a technical nature which are of lasting and major technical importance to the computing field. Financial support of the Award is provided by Google Inc.

ACM - Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences
The ACM - Infosys Foundation Award was presented to Dan Boneh of Stanford University for groundbreaking development of pairing-based cryptography, which is used to construct new cryptographic capabilities. His innovations have made security mechanisms easier to use and deploy, and improved computer security to keep data, devices and critical systems safe, private and accessible.

The ACM - Infosys Foundation Award recognizes personal contributions by young scientists and system developers to a contemporary innovation that, through its depth, fundamental impact and broad implications, exemplifies the greatest achievements in the discipline. The award carries a prize of $175,000. Financial support for the award is provided by an endowment from the Infosys Foundation.

ACM - AAAI Allen Newell Award
The ACM - AAAI Allen Newell Award was presented to Jon Kleinberg of Cornell University for groundbreaking computer science work in social and information networks, information retrieval, and data mining, and for bridging computing, economics and social sciences.

The award is named for Allen Newell, a trailblazer in computer science research and education, and a founder of the artificial intelligence and cognitive science fields. The Newell Award is presented to individuals selected for career contributions that have breadth within computer science, or that bridge computer science and other disciplines. It is accompanied by a $10,000 prize provided by ACM and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and by individual contributions.

Software System Award
The Software System Award was presented to Rick Rashid of Microsoft Corp. and Avie Tevanian of Elevation Partners for the Mach operating system, a DARPA-funded research project at Carnegie Mellon University conducted from 1983-1992, which was based on innovative approaches to virtual memory management and microkernel architecture. Under their leadership, Mach established a foundation for later operating systems on personal computers, tablets, and mobile phones.

The Software System Award is presented to an institution or individuals recognized for developing a software system that has had a lasting influence, reflected in contributions to concepts, in commercial acceptance, or both. A prize of $35,000 accompanies the award, with financial support provided by IBM.

Grace Murray Hopper Award
The Grace Murray Hopper Award was presented to Sylvia Ratnasamy of the University of California, Berkeley for her seminal work on distributed hash tables, a fundamental contribution to the design of large-scale distributed and decentralized computing systems. She was first author of the 2001 paper "A Scalable, Content-Addressable Network," one of the first to introduce a scalable design for distributed hash tables or DHTs, a critical element in many modern distributed and peer-to-peer computing systems.

The award is named for Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneer in software development whose work spanned programming languages, software development concepts, compiler validation, and data processing. The Hopper Award is presented to the outstanding young computer professional of the year, selected on the basis of a single recent major technical or service contribution. The candidate must have been 35 years of age or less at the time the qualifying contribution was made. A prize of $35,000 accompanies the award, with financial support provided by Microsoft Research.

Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award
The Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award is presented to James Demmel of the University of California, Berkeley for his work on numerical linear algebra libraries, including LAPACK (Linear Algebra Package), a standard software library that forms part of the standard mathematical libraries for many vendors. His contributions to algorithms and software for numerical linear algebra are used in scientific computing and large-scale data analysis.

The award is named for Paris Christos Kanellakis, who, as a distinguished computer science theoretician and esteemed faculty member of Brown University, focused much of his work in the area of theoretical computer science, particularly the principles of database systems and logic. The Kanellakis Award honors specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing. It is accompanied by a prize of $10,000 and is endowed by contributions from the Kanellakis family, and financial support by ACM's Special Interest Groups SIGACT, SIGDA, SIGMOD, SIGPLAN, the ACM SIG Project Fund, and individual contributions.

Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award
The Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award was presented to William A. Wulf of the University of Virginia for contributions as a teacher, author, and national leader. He focused attention and changed the national education agenda and in the process supported the needs of underserved and under-represented students.

The Karlstrom Award is presented annually to an outstanding educator who is appointed to a recognized educational baccalaureate institution; recognized for advancing new teaching methodologies; effecting new curriculum development or expansion in computer science and engineering; or making a significant contribution to ACM's educational mission. Those teachers with ten years or less experience are given special consideration. The Karlstrom Award is accompanied by a prize of $10,000, with financial support provided by Pearson Education.

Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics
The Eugene L. Lawler Award was presented to Robin Roberson Murphy of Texas A&M University for pioneering work in humanitarian disaster response through search and rescue robotics to the benefit of both survivors and responders. A key founder of the important emerging field of disaster robotics, she has applied robotics and artificial intelligence to 17 deployments of small ground, aerial, and marine robots to disasters in the US, Germany, Japan and Italy.

Eugene L. Lawler, one of the founders of combinatorial optimization, also made significant contributions to algorithmic graph theory, complexity theory, and computational biology. In addition, he encouraged efforts at the University of California at Berkeley to establish the Reentry Program for Women and Minorities, and was the first faculty advisor and effective advocate of this program. The Lawler Award recognizes an individual or a group who have made a significant humanitarian contribution through the use of computing technology. This biennial endowed award is accompanied by a prize of $5,000.

Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Jeannette Wing of Microsoft Research for her advocacy of "computational thinking" and her leadership of the Computing and Information Science & Engineering Directorate of the US National Science Foundation. By coining the concept she called "computational thinking," she provided a way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science.

The Distinguished Service Award is given on the basis of value and degree of service to the computing community. The contributions are not limited to service to the Association, and should include activities in other computer organizations and should emphasize contributions to the computing community at large.

ACM-W Athena Lecturer Award
The Athena Lecturer Award is presented to Jennifer Widom of Stanford University for pioneering foundations, architecture, and applications of database systems. She introduced the fundamental concepts and architectures of active database systems, which allow application developers to embed logic into the database. These database systems have had a major impact on commercial database management systems, and most modern relational databases include active database features.

The recognition celebrates women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science. The ACM-W Council, which organizes the Athena Lecturer project to honor a preeminent woman computer scientist, chose to identify the honoree with the Greek goddess of wisdom, who, with her sense of purpose and willingness to enter the fray, epitomizes the strength, determination, and intelligence of the Athena Lecturers. The Athena Lecturer is invited to give a one-hour invited talk at an ACM conference by the nominating SIG. The award includes a $25,000 honorarium provided by Google.

Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award
The Outstanding Contribution Award was presented to Professor Dame Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton for guiding ACM to become a truly international organization, helping improve diversity within ACM, and working to increase ACM's visibility in scientific venues worldwide. As the first ACM President from outside North America, Hall initiated the establishment of ACM Councils in Europe, India and China, extending the organization's scope to a borderless audience. She also focused on the education of upcoming computer science generations, promoting gender diversity and nurturing talent in computing from all corners of the world.

This award is given to individuals selected on the value and degree of service to ACM.

ACM Presidential Award
The ACM Presidential Award was presented to John R. White for his committed and inspired leadership as ACM's Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer from November 1998 to July 2015, transforming the Association into a truly international society able to bring the highest quality resources to current and future computing professionals worldwide, and enabling it to deliver at unprecedented levels on its mission of advancing computing as a science and a profession.

Doctoral Dissertation Award
The Doctoral Dissertation Award was presented to Matei Zaharia of MIT CSAIL for his dissertation An Architecture for Fast and General Data Processing on Large Clusters, nominated by the University of California, Berkeley.

Honorable Mentions were presented to John Criswell of the University of Rochester for his dissertation Secure Virtual Architecture: Security for Commodity Software Systems, nominated by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and to John Duchi of Stanford University for his dissertation, Multiple Optimality Guarantees in Statistical Learning, nominated by the University of California, Berkeley.

The Doctoral Dissertation Award is presented annually to the author(s) of the best doctoral dissertation(s) in computer science and engineering. The award is accompanied by a prize of $20,000 and the honorable mention is accompanied by a prize totaling $10,000. Financial sponsorship of the award is provided by Google, Inc.

ACM Student Research Competition
The ACM Student Research Competition (SRC) represents a unique forum for ACM undergraduate and graduate student members to present their original research. Student winners from the SIGACCESS, SIGARCH, SIGCHI, SIGCOMM, SIGCSE, SIGDA, SIGHPC, SIGMOBILE, SIGPLAN, SIGGRAPH, SIGSAC, and SIGSOFT Student Research Competitions held at these conferences advanced to compete in the Grand Finals where their research contributions were evaluated, via the web, by the ACM SRC committee. Financial sponsorship of $120,000 is provided by Microsoft Research per competition year. The finalists honored represent the best student research of the past year.

The winners of the ACM SRC Grand Finals are: Undergraduate Category:
  • 1st Place: Thomas Effland, SUNY, University of Buffalo (SIGCSE 2015)
  • 2nd Place: Mitchell Gordon, University of Rochester (ASSETS 2014)
  • 3rd Place: Shannon Lubetich, Pomona College (GHC 2014)
Graduate Category:
  • 1st Place: Lu Xiao, Drexel University (FSE 2014)
  • 2nd Place: Shupeng Sun, Carnegie Mellon University (ICCAD 2014)
  • 3rd Place: Omid Abari, MIT (MobiCom 2014)

2014 ACM Fellows
The ACM Fellows Program was established in 1993 to recognize and honor outstanding ACM members for their achievements in computer science and information technology and for their significant contributions to the mission of the ACM. The ACM Fellows serve as distinguished colleagues to whom ACM and its members look for guidance and leadership as the world of information technology evolves.

View the complete listing of ACM Fellows.

The 2014 Fellows are:
  • Samson Abramsky, University of Oxford
  • Vikram Adve, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Foto Afrati, National Technical University of Athens
  • Charles Bachman, Retired
  • Allan Borodin, University of Toronto
  • Alan Bundy, University of Edinburgh
  • Lorrie Cranor, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Timothy A. Davis, Texas A&M University
  • Srinivas Devadas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Inderjit Dhillon, University of Texas at Austin
  • Nikil D. Dutt, University of California, Irvine
  • Faith Ellen, University of Toronto
  • Michael D. Ernst, University of Washington
  • Adam Finkelstein, Princeton University
  • Juliana Freire, New York University
  • Johannes Gehrke, Cornell University
  • Eric Grimson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Mark Guzdial, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Gernot Heiser, University of New South Wales/National Information and Communications Technology Australia (NICTA)
  • Eric Horvitz, Microsoft Research
  • Thorsten Joachims, Cornell University
  • Michael Kearns, University of Pennsylvania
  • Valerie King, University of Victoria
  • Sarit Kraus, Bar Ilan University
  • Leslie Lamport, Microsoft Research
  • Sharad Malik, Princeton University
  • Yishay Mansour, Tel-Aviv University
  • Subhasish Mitra, Stanford University
  • Michael Mitzenmacher, Harvard University
  • Robert Morris, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Vijaykrishnan Narayanan, Pennsylvania State University
  • Shamkant B. Navathe, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Jignesh M. Patel, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Parthasarathy Ranganathan, Google Inc.
  • Omer Reingold, Weizmann Institute of Technology/Stanford University
  • Tom Rodden, University of Nottingham
  • Ronitt Rubinfeld, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Tel Aviv University
  • Daniela Rus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, University of California, Berkeley
  • Henning Schulzrinne, Columbia University
  • Stuart Shieber, Harvard University
  • Ramakrishnan Srikant, Google Inc.
  • Aravind Srinivasan, University of Maryland, College Park
  • S. Sudarshan, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
  • Paul Syverson, Naval Research Lab
  • Gene Tsudik, University of California, Irvine
  • Steve Whittaker, University of California, Santa Cruz

ACM Award Nominations

Award Nominations Information
Each year, ACM recognizes technical and professional achievements within the computing and information technology community through its celebrated Awards Program. ACM's 2015 Awards Program will include the newly created ACM Policy Award to recognize an individual or small group that had a significant positive impact on the formation or execution of public policy affecting computing or the computing community.

ACM welcomes nominations for candidates whose work exemplifies the best and most influential contributions to our community, and society at large. ACM's award committees evaluate the contributions of candidates for various awards that span a spectrum of professional and technological accomplishments. Award nominations are due November 30, with the following exceptions: ACM Doctoral Dissertation—October 31; ACM-IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award—March 30, 2016; ACM-IEEE CS George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowships—May 1, 2016; ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award—July 1, 2016; ACM Gordon Bell Prizes—April 15, 2016; ACM-SIAM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering—TBA (biennial—the next award will be presented in 2017).

Please take a moment to consider those individuals in your community who may be suitable for nomination. For nomination guidelines and the complete listing of Award Subcommittee Chairs and Members please refer to the Awards nomination page.

ACM Member Recognition Program

Member Recognition Nominations Information
The Senior Member advanced grade of membership recognizes ACM members with at least 10 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous ACM Professional membership who have demonstrated performance and accomplishment that set them apart from their peers. Nominations are accepted on a quarterly basis.
The deadline for nominations is September 3. Please read Advice to Those Seeking ACM Senior Members by former Senior Member Committee Chair Susan Rodger on how to submit a strong nomination package.

The Distinguished Member designation recognizes ACM members with at least 15 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous ACM Professional membership who have demonstrated significant accomplishments or made a significant impact on the computing field.
The deadline for nominations is August 3. Please read Advice to Members Seeking ACM Distinction, by past Committee Co-chairs Marc Snir and Telle Whitney.

Fellow is ACM's most prestigious member grade recognizing the top 1% of ACM members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community.
The deadline for nominations is September 10. Please read the late James Horning's article, Making the case for an ACM Fellow. (Jim served for over 10 years as Co-Chair of the Awards Committee.)

Read more ACM in the News.

[Past Issues]

Copyright © 2015, ACM, Inc.
All rights reserved