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 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 will be 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.

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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.

ACM will present the 2015 A.M. Turing Award at its annual Awards Banquet on June 11, 2016 in San Francisco, CA, USA.  [more]

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ACM Fellows Named For Computing Innovations That Are Advancing Technology in the Digital Age

ACM has recognized 42 of its members for their significant contributions for their significant contributions to the development and application of computing in areas from data management and spoken-language processing to robotics and cryptography. The achievements of the 2015 ACM Fellows are fueling advances in computing that are driving the growth of the global digital economy.

"Whether they work in leading universities, corporations, or research laboratories, these newly minted ACM Fellows are responsible for the breakthroughs and industrial innovations that are transforming society at every level," explains ACM President Alexander L. Wolf.  "At times, the contributions of a Fellow may include enhancements to a device that immediately impacts our daily lives. At other times, new research discoveries lead to theoretical advances that, while perhaps not immediately perceptible, have substantial long-term impacts."

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Trailblazing Approach to Modeling Earth’s Geological Processes Wins 2015 ACM Gordon Bell Prize

A 10-member team led by Johann Rudi of the University of Texas at Austin are the recipients of the 2015 ACM Gordon Bell Prize for their entry entitled An Extreme-Scale Implicit Solver for Complex PDEs: Highly Heterogeneous Flow in Earth’s Mantle. The winning team includes representatives from the University of Texas at Austin, IBM Corporation, California Institute of Technology and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. The ACM Gordon Bell Prize tracks the progress of parallel computing and rewards innovation in applying high performance computing to challenges in science, engineering, and large-scale data analytics.

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ACM President recognizes John R. White for his inspired leadership

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.[more]

Norman Jouppi receives 2015 ACM - IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award for pioneering contributions in high-performance systems

ACM and IEEE Computer Society will jointly present the Eckert-Mauchly Award to Dr. Norman Jouppi for pioneering contributions to the design and analysis of high-performance processors and memory systems. With a distinguished career spanning over 35 years, including many notable contributions to the computer architecture field, his major technical contributions can be classified into three broad areas: Memory Hierarchy, Heterogeneous Architectures, and CACTI tools.

Dr. Jouppi has made innumerable contributions to memory hierarchy design, with the most significant multiple ideas presented in his 1990 ISCA paper “Improving direct-mapped cache performance by the addition of a small fully-associative cache and prefetch buffers”. This paper introduced two major concepts: the victim buffer and prefetching stream buffer, and have been widely adopted by industry with numerous machines containing victim caches and virtually all machines incorporating prefetching stream buffers, which are evolutions of Dr. Jouppi’s original ideas. [more]

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Creator Of Advanced Data Processing Architecture Wins 2014 Doctoral Dissertation Award

Matei Zaharia won the 2014 Doctoral Dissertation Award for his innovative solution to tackling the surge in data processing workloads, and accommodating the speed and sophistication of complex multi-stage applications and more interactive ad-hoc queries. His work proposed a new architecture for cluster computing systems, achieving best-in-class performance in a variety of workloads while providing a simple programming model that lets users easily and efficiently combine them.  He received the Doctoral Dissertation Award and its $20,000 prize at the ACM Awards Banquet. Financial sponsorship of the award is provided by Google Inc.

Honorable Mention for the 2014 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award went to John Criswell of the University of Rochester, and John C. Duchi of Stanford University. They will share a $10,000 prize, with financial sponsorship provided by Google Inc.

Press Release 

ACM Awards Honor Computing Innovators Who are Changing the World

Recipients Extended Core Computing Concepts and Resources across International Boundaries

ACM has recognized the vision and achievement of two leaders who have transformed the way the world views computing. Jeannette Wing of Microsoft Research advocated for a concept she called “computational thinking,” a way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science. Dame Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton increased the visibility of ACM in leading scientific venues worldwide by broadening its values, resources, and services. The honorees were recognized with ACM Awards for leadership and service at the ACM Awards Banquet in San Francisco.

Jeannette Wing recipient of the ACM Distinguished Service Award for helping the computing community articulate the promise of computation to broad audiences. She has positioned the field to communicate the core concepts of computing in elegant and easily understood ways, and has championed its introduction in numerous national and international venues. She has also drawn new and diverse audiences to the field of computer science. A Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Research, Wing has oversight of its core research laboratories around the world.

Professor Dame Wendy Hall recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award. 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. A Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK, Hall was a founding director of the Web Science Research Initiative to promote the discipline of Web Science and foster research collaboration between the University of Southampton and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Press Release 

2014 Technical Award Recipients Announced

Recipients Made Advances in Networked and Software Systems, Social Networks, Science Education Standards and Rescue Robotics

ACM has announced the recipients of six prestigious awards for their innovations in computing technology. These innovators have made significant contributions that enable computer science to solve real world challenges. The awards reflect achievements in efficient networked and software systems, standard software libraries, social connections on the Web, and national science and engineering education standards. The 2014 ACM award recipients include computer scientists and educators.

Sylvia Ratnasamy is the recipient of the Grace Murray Hopper Award for her contributions to the first efficient design for distributed hash tables (DHT), a critical element in large-scale distributed and peer-to-peer computing systems.

James Demmel is the recipient of the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award 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.

Jon Kleinberg recipient of the ACM – AAAI Allen Newell Award for groundbreaking work in computer science on social and information networks, information retrieval, and data science, and for bridging computing, economics and the social sciences.

William Wulf recipient of the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for contributions as a teacher, author, and national leader who focused attention and changed the national education agenda and in the process supported the needs of underserved and under-represented students.

Robin Roberson Murphy recipient of the Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics for pioneering work in humanitarian disaster response through search and rescue robotics, to the benefit of both survivors and responders.

Rick Rashid and Avie Tevanian, recipients of the ACM Software System Award for Mach, a pioneering operating system used as the basis for later operating systems. Lead developers Rashid and Tevanian created a system that advanced the state of operating systems and led to practical, widespread adoption.

Press Release  Software System Award Press Release 

Jennifer Widom named ACM-W 2015-2016 Athena Lecturer

Jennifer Widom introduced the fundamental concepts and architectures of active database systems, a major area of research in the database field today. Active database systems allow application developers to embed logic into the database that allow actions to be executed when certain conditions are met. Active database systems have had a major impact on commercial database management systems, and most modern relational databases include active database features.

Widom made fundamental contributions to the study of semi-structured data management. Semi-structured data management systems are a key technology to support many advanced applications today, such as genomic databases, multimedia applications and digital libraries. Widom led the Lore project, which made important contributions on how to share, index and query semi-structured data sets, and developed the Lorel query language. Lorel has had a major impact on the research community, and many of its concepts have been applied to the design of query languages for XML data.

The Athena Lecturer is invited to present a lecture at an ACM event. Widom’s lecture was presented     June 2 at the 2015 ACM SIGMOD Conference in Melbourne, Australia. 

Press Release

Dan Boneh receives 2014 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences

Dan Boneh's work was central to establishing the field of pairing-based cryptography where pairings are used to construct new cryptographic capabilities and improve the performance of existing ones. Boneh, in joint work with Matt Franklin, constructed a novel pairing-based method for identity-based encryption (IBE), whereby a user's public identity, such as an email address, can function as the user's public key. Since then, Boneh's contributions, together with those of others, have shown the power and versatility of pairings, which are now used as a mainstream tool in cryptography. The transfer of pairings from theory to practice has been rapid. Organizations now using pairings include healthcare, financial, and insurance institutions. Over a billion IBE-encrypted emails are sent each year.

More generally, Boneh has made significant contributions to a broad range of applications in cryptography and computer security, including: anti-phishing tools, compact digital signatures, password protection, fingerprinting of digital content, electronic voting, spam filtering, and side-channel attack analysis. Boneh has also made seminal contributions in a variety of other areas, such as DNA computing and learning theory.

Boneh is recognized "For ground-breaking development of pairing-based cryptography and its application in identity-based encryption."

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Michael Stonebraker, Pioneer in Database Systems Architecture, Receives 2014 ACM Turing Award 

Michael Stonebraker is being recognized for fundamental contributions to the concepts and practices underlying modern database systems.  Stonebraker is the inventor of many concepts that were crucial to making databases a reality and that are used in almost all modern database systems. His work on INGRES introduced the notion of query modification, used for integrity constraints and views. His later work on Postgres introduced the object-relational model, effectively merging databases with abstract data types while keeping the database separate from the programming language.

Stonebraker's implementations of INGRES and Postgres demonstrated how to engineer database systems that support these concepts; he released these systems as open software, which allowed their widespread adoption and their code bases have been incorporated into many modern database systems. Since the pathbreaking work on INGRES and Postgres, Stonebraker has continued to be a thought leader in the database community and has had a number of other influential ideas including implementation techniques for column stores and scientific databases and for supporting on-line transaction processing and stream processing.

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