ACM recognizes excellence through its eminent series of awards for outstanding technical and professional achievements and contributions in computer science and information technology.

Recent Award News

ACM and CSTA Announce Cutler-Bell Prize Student Winners

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) announced that three high school students were selected from among a pool of graduating high school seniors throughout the US. Eligible students applied for the award by submitting a project/artifact that engages modern technology and computer science. A panel of judges selected the recipients based on the ingenuity, complexity, relevancy and originality of their projects.

The Cutler-Bell Prize promotes the field of computer science and empowers students to pursue computing challenges beyond the traditional classroom environment. In 2015, David Cutler and Gordon Bell established the award. Cutler is a software engineer, designer, and developer of several operating systems at Digital Equipment Corporation. Bell, an electrical engineer, is researcher emeritus at Microsoft Research.

Each Cutler-Bell Prize winner receives a $10,000 cash prize. The prize amount is sent to the financial aid office of the institution the student will be attending next year and is then put toward each student’s tuition or disbursed. This year’s Cutler-Bell Prize recipients will be formally recognized at the Computer Science Teachers Association’s annual conference, July 8th-11th, in Baltimore, Maryland.

The winning projects illustrate the diverse applications being developed by the next generation of computer scientists.

Elizabeth Hu, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (VA)
A computational model based on real-world data offers potential guidance for both policy and humanitarian aid decisions. Elizabeth developed a geographically explicit agent-based model, written in Java, to study the past and future patterns of refugees for researching past migration models. Traditional migration modeling techniques, including spatial interaction and regression, fail to account for individual differences and decision-making processes.

Avi Swartz, Cherry Creek High School for Computational Biology (CO)
Determining what proteins are present and the quantity of each protein component in biological samples is a key step in analysis to understand normal, as well as diseased, processes. Mass spectrometry is the best approach to effectively analyze large numbers of proteins in complex biological samples. Many mass spectrometry experiments often involve large numbers of proteins (e.g. over 600 proteins in an experiment). When done manually, this process takes around six hours for a small experiment of 25 proteins. Swartz’s computer program, the “Automated Peptide Selector” (APS), automates the picking of indicator peptides for any protein in any species. The researcher inputs a list of proteins and selects different weights for the selection criteria to adjust for a specific spectrometer. The researcher also selects information such as the species being studied and which versions of the databases they want to use. The program reduces the required user time to select peptides from six hours for 25 proteins to several minutes.

Aaron Walter, Yorkville High School for Computer Science (IL)
Aaron’s new software program Rubric Pro helps teachers recognize students’ understanding of curriculum components. It enables both teachers and students to learn, while improving the classroom experience by being accessible. Rubric Pro organizes components of a curriculum into a hierarchical structure. Teachers can then create rubrics to test the knowledge of their class based on the tree of components they have made. Rubric Pro’s structure allows you to easily create and analyze data from your curriculum’s components.

“It is an honor for us to be a part of this effort to recognize young people who share their visions of how computer science can improve society,” said Cutler and Bell. “The high school years can be very formative in helping young people decide on their careers. Although computer science is so interwoven into society and industry, it is still at the early stages of being fully integrated into the high school curriculum. We hope the Cutler-Bell Prize and the imaginative projects of these students will serve as examples of the benefits of expanding computer science education in K-12 settings.”

“What is wonderful about the Cutler-Bell Prize is how it encourages a spirit of innovation in young people,” says ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. “ACM has long stressed that incorporating computer science education into the K-12 curriculum is about more than learning to write computer code. Computational thinking fosters a way of looking at the world that these students will take with them regardless of the career path they choose. This year’s Cutler-Bell Prize recipients are recognized for taking the fundamentals they have learned in the classroom and developing novel approaches to solving pressing real-world challenges. We thank Gordon Bell and David Cutler for sponsoring this award, the CSTA, and, of course, the dedicated computer science teachers who have inspired and guided these students.”

ACM 2016 Fellows Recognized For Advances That Are Transforming Science And Society

ACM, the world’s leading computing society, has named 53 of its members as ACM Fellows for major contributions in areas including artificial intelligence, cryptography, computer architecture, high performance computing and programming languages. The achievements of the 2016 ACM Fellows are accelerating the digital revolution, and affect almost every aspect of how we live and work today.

Underscoring ACM’s global reach, 2016 Fellows hail from organizations in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, India, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The 2016 Fellows have been cited for numerous contributions in areas including cloud computing, computer security, data science, Internet routing and security, large-scale distributed computing, mobile computing, spoken-language processing and theoretical computer science.

ACM will formally recognize its 2016 Fellows at the annual Awards Banquet, to be held in San Francisco on June 24, 2017.

Press Release 

Chinese Research Team that Employs High Performance Computing to Understand Weather Patterns Wins 2016 ACM Gordon Bell Prize

A 12-member Chinese team are the recipients of the 2016 ACM Gordon Bell Prize for their research project, “10M-Core Scalable Fully-Implicit Solver for Nonhydrostatic Atmospheric Dynamics.” The winning team presented a solver (method for calculating) atmospheric dynamics.

In the abstract of their presentation, the winning team writes, “On the road to the seamless weather-climate prediction, a major obstacle is the difficulty of dealing with various spatial and temporal scales. The atmosphere contains time-dependent multi-scale dynamics that support a variety of wave motions.”

2016 ACM/IEEE George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowships Announced

Johann Rudi of The Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (The University of Texas at Austin) and Axel Huebl of Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (Technical University of Dresden) are the recipients of the 2016 ACM/IEEE George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowships. Rudi is recognized for his work on a recent project, “Extreme-Scale Implicit Solver for Nonlinear, Multiscale, and Heterogeneous Stokes Flow in the Earth’s Mantle,” while Huebl is recognized for his work, “Scalable, Many-core Particle-in-cell Algorithms to Simulate Next Generation Particle Accelerators and Corresponding Large-scale Data Analytics.”

Johann Rudi’s recent research has focused on modeling, analysis and development of algorithms for studying the earth’s mantle convection by means of large-scale simulations on high-performance computers. Mantle convection is the fundamental physical process within the earth’s interior responsible for the thermal and geological evolution of the planet, including plate tectonics.

Rudi, along with colleagues from Switzerland and the United States, presented a paper on mantle convection at SC15, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, that was awarded the ACM Gordon Bell Prize. Rudi and his team developed new computational methods that are capable of processing difficult problems based on partial differential equations, such as mantle convection, with optimal algorithmic performance at extreme scales.

Axel Huebl is a computational physicist who specializes in next-generation, laser plasma-based particle accelerators. Huebl and others reinvented the particle-in-cell algorithm to simulate plasma-physics with 3D simulations of unprecedented detail on leadership-scale many-core supercomputers such as Titan (ORNL).

Through this line of research, Huebl also derives models to understand and predict promising regimes for applications such as radiation therapy of cancer with laser-driven ion beams. Interacting closely with experimental scientists, their simulations are showing that plasma-based particle accelerators may yield numerous scientific advances in industrial and medical applications. Huebl was part of a team that were Gordon-Bell prize finalists at SC13.

Press Release 

ACM Recognizes Major Technical Contributions

ACM announced the recipients of four prestigious technical awards. These innovators were selected by their peers for making significant contributions that enable the computing field to solve real-world challenges. The awards reflect achievements in cryptography, network coding systems, computer-human interaction, and software systems. The 2015 recipients were formally honored at the ACM Awards Banquet on June 11 in San Francisco.

Richard Stallman, recipient of the ACM Software System Award for the development and leadership of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection), which has enabled extensive software and hardware innovation, and has been a lynchpin of the free software movement. A compiler is a computer program that takes the source code of another program and translates it into machine code that a computer can run directly. GCC compiles code in various programming languages, including Ada, C, C++, Cobol, Java, and FORTRAN.  [more]

Brent Waters, recipient of the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award for the introduction and development of the concepts of attribute-based encryption and functional encryption. Waters’ innovations enhance security efforts at a time when greater volumes of highly confidential data are moving to the cloud. Traditionally, public-key encryption makes use of a public key that targets ciphertexts to a specific user that holds one secret key.  [more]

Michael Luby, recipient of the ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award for groundbreaking contributions to erasure correcting codes, which are essential for improving the quality of video transmission over the Internet. An important aspect of coding theory is to ensure that it is possible to recover data at a receiver transmitted from a sender, despite the fact that errors, often occurring naturally from “noise” on a channel, can impair the transmission. [more]

Eric Horvitz, recipient of the ACM - AAAI Allen Newell Award for contributions to artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction spanning the computing and decision sciences through developing principles and models of sensing, reflection, and rational action. His contributions have advanced the understanding of how computing systems can reflect about their own reasoning and about the goals and cognition of people.  [more]

ACM-W named Jennifer Rexford 2016-2017 Athena Lecturer

ACM-W has named Jennifer Rexford of Princeton University as the 2016-2017 Athena Lecturer. Rexford was cited for innovations that improved the efficiency of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) in routing Internet traffic, for laying the groundwork for software-defined networks (SDNs) and for contributions in measuring and engineering IP networks. These contributions greatly enhanced the stability and flow of Internet transmissions, and make data networks easier to design, understand and manage.

Press Release 

ACM and Infosys Foundation Honor Innovator in Network Security Research

Stefan Savage photoThe 2015 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences recognizes Stefan Savage for his innovative research in network security, privacy and reliability. Savage is Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering department's Systems and Networking Group at UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering.  Press Release

Cryptography Pioneers Receive 2015 ACM A.M. Turing Award

Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman are the 2015 ACM A.M. Turing Award LaureatesWhitfield Diffie, former Chief Security Officer of Sun Microsystems and Martin E. Hellman, Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, are the recipients of the 2015 ACM A.M. Turing Award, for critical contributions to modern cryptography. The ability for two parties to communicate privately over a secure channel is fundamental for billions of people around the world. On a daily basis, individuals establish secure online connections with banks, e-commerce sites, email servers and the cloud. Diffie and Hellman’s groundbreaking 1976 paper, “New Directions in Cryptography,” introduced the ideas of public-key cryptography and digital signatures, which are the foundation for most regularly-used security protocols on the Internet today. The Diffie-Hellman Protocol protects daily Internet communications and trillions of dollars in financial transactions.

The 2015 A.M. Turing Award was presented at ACM's annual Awards Banquet on June 11, 2016 in San Francisco, CA, USA.  [more]

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