Latest from ACM Awards
2017 ACM Gordon Bell Prize Awarded to Chinese Team that Employs the World’s Fastest Supercomputer to Simulate 20th Century’s Most Devastating Earthquake
ACM named a 12-member Chinese team the recipients of the 2017 ACM Gordon Bell Prize for their research project, “18.9-Pflops Nonlinear Earthquake Simulation on Sunway TaihuLight: Enabling Depiction of 18-Hz and 8-Meter Scenarios.” Using the Sunway TaihuLight, which is ranked as the world’s fastest supercomputer, the team developed software that was able to efficiently process 18.9 Pflops (or 18.9 quadrillion calculations per second) of data and create 3D visualizations relating to a devastating earthquake that occurred in Tangshan, China in 1976. The team’s software included innovations that achieved greater efficiency than had been previously attained running similar programs on the Titan and TaihuLight supercomputers.
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. The award was presented today by ACM President Vicki Hanson and Subhash Saini, Chair of the 2017 Gordon Bell Prize Award Committee, during the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC17) in Denver, Colorado.
Although earthquake prediction and simulation is an inexact and emerging area of research, scientists hope that the use of supercomputers, which can process vast sets of data to address the myriad of variables at play in geologic events, may lead to better prediction and preparedness. For example, the Chinese team’s 3D simulations may inform engineering standards for buildings being developed in zones known to have seismic activity. In this vein, many have advocated for a significant increase in the amount of sensors to regularly monitor seismic activity. The Tangshan earthquake, which occurred on July 28, 1976 in Tangshan, Hebei, China, is regarded as the most devastating earthquake of the 20th century, and resulted in approximately 242,000-700,000 deaths. In developing their simulations for the Tangshan earthquake, the winning team included input data from the entire spatial area of the quake, a surface diameter of 320 km by 312 km, as well as 40 km deep below the earth’s surface. The input data also included a frequency range of the earthquake of up to 18 Hz (Hertz). In the study of earthquakes, a Hertz is a unit of measurement that measures the number of times an event happens in the period of a second. For example, it might correspond to the number of times the ground shakes back and forth during an earthquake. Previous simulations of violent earthquakes have employed a lower frequency than 18 Hz, since enormous memory and time consumption are needed for high frequency simulations.
This year’s winning team is not the first to develop algorithms for supercomputers in an effort to simulate earthquake activity. In the abstract of their presentation, the 2017 Gordon Bell recipients write: “Our innovations include: (1) a customized parallelization scheme that employs the 10 million cores efficiently at both the process and thread levels; (2) an elaborate memory scheme that integrates on-chip halo exchange through register communication, optimized blocking configuration guided by an analytic model, and coalesced DMA access with array fusion; (3) on-the-fly compression that doubles the maximum problem size and further improves the performance by 24%."
Of its new innovations, the Chinese team adds that its on-the-fly compression scheme may be effectively applied to other challenges in exascale computing. In their paper, the authors state: “The even more exciting innovation is the on-the-fly compression scheme, which, at the cost of an acceptable level of accuracy lost, scales our simulation performance and capabilities even beyond the machine’s physical constraints. While the current compression scheme is largely customized for our specific application and the Sunway architecture, we believe the idea has great potential to be applied to other applications and other architectures.”
Winning team members include Haohuan Fu, Tsinghua University and National Supercomputing Center, Wuxi, China; Conghui He, Tsinghua University and National Supercomputing Center, Wuxi, China; Bingwei Chen, Tsinghua University and National Supercomputing Center, Wuxi, China; Zekun Yin, Shandong University; Zhenguo Zhang, Southern University of Science and Technology, China; Wenqiang Zhang, University of Science and Technology of China; Tingjian Zhang, Shandong University; Wei Xue, Tsinghua University and National Supercomputing Center, Wuxi, China; Weiguo Liu, Shandong University; Wanwang Yin, National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology, China; Guangwen Yang, Tsinghua University and National Supercomputing Center, Wuxi, China; and Xioafei Chen, Southern University of Science and Technology, China.
Innovations from advanced scientific computing have a far-reaching impact in many areas of science and society—from understanding the evolution of the universe and other challenges in astronomy, to complex geological phenomena, to nuclear energy research, to economic forecasting, to developing new pharmaceuticals. The annual SC conference brings together scientists, engineers and researchers from around the world for an outstanding week of technical papers, timely research posters, and tutorials.
The Sunway TaihuLight is a Chinese supercomputer with over 10.5 M heterogeneous cores and is ranked as the fastest supercomputer in the world. Located at the National Supercomputer Center in Wuxi, Jingsu, China, it is nearly three times as fast as the Tianhe-2, the supercomputer that previously held the world record for speed.
ACM Recognizes 2017 Distinguished Members as Pioneering Innovators that Are Advancing the Digital Age
2017 Members Selected as Pioneering Innovators that Are Advancing the Digital Age
ACM named 43 Distinguished Members for an extraordinary array of achievements, reflecting the many distinct areas of research and practice in the computing and information technology fields.
"Computing technology is becoming an increasingly dominant force in our daily lives and is transforming society at every level,” explains ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. “In naming a new roster of Distinguished Members each year, ACM underscores that the innovations which improve our lives do not come about by accident, but rather are the result of the hard work, inspiration and creativity of leading professionals in the field. We honor the 2017 class of ACM Distinguished Members for the essential role their accomplishments play in how we live and work."
The 2017 ACM Distinguished Members work at leading universities, corporations and research institutions around the world, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, and the United States. These innovators have made contributions in a wide range of technical areas including accessibility, computational geometry, cryptography, computer security, computer science education, data structures, healthcare technologies, human-computer interaction, nanoscale computing, robotics, and software engineering —to name a few.
Jesύs Labarta Recognized with ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and IEEE Computer Society IEEE CS) have named Jesύs Labarta of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) as the recipient of the 2017 ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award. Labarta is recognized for his seminal contributions to programming models and performance analysis tools for high performance computing. The award will be presented at SC 17: The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, November 12-17, in Denver, Colorado.
Throughout his career, Labarta has developed tools for scientists and engineers working in parallel programming. In the programming models area, he made fundamental contributions to the concept of asynchronous task-based models and intelligent runtime systems. With Labarta’s approach, by using pragma directives that specify the region of code that constitutes tasks and the directionality of the data used by them, the programmer has a unified mechanism to allow intelligent runtime systems to detect and exploit concurrency as well as to manage locality. These ideas have been developed by Labarta’s team on the OmpSs model and Nanos runtime. His team’s work has also enhanced the interoperability between OmpSs (later Open multi-processing (MP)) and message passing interface (MPI).
In the performance tools area, Labarta’s team develops and distributes Open Source Barcelona Supercomputer Center (BSC) tools that are employed throughout the field. These BSC tools are designed to analyze an application’s behavior and identify issues that may impact performance. Paraver, the most widely used BSC tool, is a trace-based performance analyzer that processes and extracts information. Other tools like Dimemas or the Performance Analytics modules developed by Labarta’s team help squeeze relevant insight and perform predictive analyses from the raw performance data captured by the instrumentation packages.
Labarta is Director of the Computer Science Department at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and a Professor of Computer Architecture at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. From 1996 to 2004 he served as the Director of the European Center of Parallelism of Barcelona (CEPBA). He has published more than 250 articles in conferences and journals in areas including high performance architectures and systems software. He has been involved in research and cooperation with many leading companies on HPC-related topics. Currently Labarta is the leader of the Performance Optimization and Productivity EU Center of Excellence where more than 100 users (both academic and SMEs) from a very wide range of application sectors receive performance assessments and suggestions for code refactoring efforts.
ACM and the IEEE Computer Society co-sponsor the Kennedy Award, which was established in 2009 to recognize substantial contributions to programmability and productivity in computing and significant community service or mentoring contributions. It was named for the late Ken Kennedy, founder of Rice University’s computer science program and a world expert on high performance computing. The Kennedy Award carries a US $5,000 honorarium endowed by the SC Conference Steering Committee.
2017 ACM/IEEE George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowships
Shaden Smith (University of Minnesota) and Yang You (University of California, Berkeley) are the recipients of the 2017 ACM/IEEE-CS George Michael Memorial HPC Fellowships. Smith is being recognized for his work on efficient and parallel large-scale sparse tensor factorization for machine learning applications. You is being recognized for his work on designing accurate, fast, and scalable machine learning algorithms on distributed systems.
Shaden Smith’s research is in the general area of parallel and high performance computing with a special focus on developing algorithms for sparse tensor factorization. Sparse tensor factorization facilitates the analysis of unstructured and high dimensional data.
Smith has made several fundamental contributions that have already advanced the state of the art on sparse tensor factorization algorithms. For example, he developed serial and parallel algorithms in the area of Canonical Polyadic Decomposition (CPD) that are over five times faster than existing open source and commercial approaches. He also developed algorithms for Tucker decompositions that are up to 21 times faster and require 28 times less memory than existing algorithms. Smith’s algorithms can efficiently operate on systems containing a small number of multi-core/manycore processors to systems containing tens of thousands of cores.
Yang You’s research interests include scalable algorithms, parallel computing, distributed systems and machine learning. As computers increasingly use more time and energy to transfer data (i.e., communicate), the invention or identification of algorithms that reduce communication within systems is becoming increasingly essential. In well-received research papers, You has made several fundamental contributions that reduce the communications between levels of a memory hierarchy or between processors over a network.
In his most recent work, “Scaling Deep Learning on GPU and Knights Landing Clusters,” You’s goal is to scale up the speed of training neural networks so that networks which are relatively slow to train can be redesigned for high performance clusters. This approach has reduced the percentage of communication from 87% to 14% and resulted in a five-fold increase in speed.
The ACM/IEEE-CS George Michael Memorial HPC (GMM) Fellowship is endowed in memory of George Michael, one of the founding fathers of the SC Conference series. The fellowship honors exceptional PhD students throughout the world whose research focus is on high performance computing applications, networking, storage or large-scale data analytics using the most powerful computers that are currently available. The Fellowship includes a $5,000 honorarium and travel expenses to attend SC17 in Denver Colorado, November 12-17, 2017, where the GMM Fellowships will be formally presented.
2017 ACM Presidential Award
Moshe Y. Vardi, the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering and Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology at Rice University, is the recipient of the 2017 ACM Presidential Award. Vardi is recognized for building Communications of the ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery’s flagship publication, into the computing field’s preeminent print and online magazine.
Communications of the ACM was established in 1958 and today has a worldwide circulation of nearly 100,000. Though always a respected computing publication, by the time Vardi became editor in July, 2008, many came to believe that Communications’ editorial content had drifted away from the core interests of the ACM community. Leading Communications' editorial board and staff, Vardi broadened the magazine’s editorial focus to offer a truly global view of the computing community. Communications rapidly became a “must-read,” known for its industry news, insightful and biting commentary, analyses of real-world applications, historic technology overviews, and in-depth articles on computing research that are accessible to a broad-based audience.
“Communications is the main vehicle ACM uses to share with the world the excitement of working in this field,” explained Hanson. “The magazine also serves as a public square in which ACM members from different disciplines and regions read about the most recent developments in computing, offer their viewpoints and stay connected. During his tenure, Moshe has transformed Communications of the ACM into a publication that is essential, accessible and enjoyable."
In addition to strengthening the content of the publication, Vardi is cited for leveraging the latest technologies to expand the magazine’s worldwide audience. He initiated and oversaw the development of the Communications website, digital edition and mobile apps— all of which have significantly increased the magazine’s readership and influence.
2017 ACM - IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award
The late Charles P. “Chuck” Thacker was named recipient of the ACM - IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award for fundamental networking and distributed computing contributions including Ethernet, the Xerox Alto, and development of the first tablet computers. Often hailed as an “engineer’s engineer,” Thacker made fundamental contributions across the full breadth of computer development, from analog circuit and power supply design to logic design, processor and network architecture, system software, languages, and applications.
In 1970, Xerox opened its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and hired several leading computer scientists and engineers, including Thacker. Early on, the staff at Xerox PARC was using a time-sharing approach in which various terminals were connected to a single computer. Because time sharing was a slow and cumbersome process, leaders at Xerox PARC conceived the idea of developing personal computers as part of a network that would be used for communication as well as computation.
Mainframe computers in the early 1970s were so large that they took up whole rooms, and their expense made them relatively scarce. Under the paradigm at the time, computer architecture needed to be either scaled up (more hardware) for better performance, or scaled down (less hardware) for lower cost. Thacker realized that a personal computer would need to be designed differently from a standard computer to address space constraints, maintain strong performance, and be inexpensive if it was to become pervasive.
At the same time, the idea of a “personal” computer that would be geared more toward human-paced activities called for the engineers to prioritize input/output (I/O) functions rather than application functions, as had traditionally been the case.
The new design feature Thacker employed as the Lead Engineer in what would become the Xerox Alto Computer was a central processing unit (CPU) microprocessor that used microcode for most of the computer’s I/O functions, rather than hardware. The microcode controlled various tasks, including executing the normal instruction set, memory refresh, and network and display functions. The Xerox Alto was therefore not simply a mini-version of existing computers, but had a novel architecture that allowed it to deploy new kinds of software.
Today the Alto is recognized as being the first modern personal computer. The initial architecture of the Alto gave rise to other important inventions developed by engineers at Xerox PARC including WYSIWIG (What You See Is What You Get) editing, laser printing, drawing and painting, email, mouse-driven graphical user interfaces, and many other features that are commonplace in personal computers today.
Another critical innovation of Thacker’s that was an outgrowth of his work on the Alto was the development of hardware for Bob Metcalfe’s invention of the Ethernet Local Area Network (LAN), which facilitated communication among computers.
Twenty years after the development of the Xerox Alto, Thacker made another foundational contribution to personal computing with the development of the Lectrice, a laboratory prototype for today’s portable PCs. He went on to develop a prototype upon which Microsoft Tablet PC software was developed, as well as a system for reading electronic books that laid the groundwork for many of today’s e-readers. One of Thacker’s most recent contributions is the design of AN3, a low-cost, efficient circuit-switched data center network.
The ACM - IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award is known as the computer architecture community’s most prestigious award. ACM and IEEE Computer Society co-sponsor the award, which was initiated in 1979. It recognizes contributions to computer and digital systems architecture and comes with a $5,000 prize. The award was named for John Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly, who collaborated on the design and construction of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), the pioneering large-scale electronic computing machine, which was completed in 1947.
2016 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award
Haitham Hassanieh is the recipient of the ACM 2016 Doctoral Dissertation Award. Hassanieh developed highly efficient algorithms for computing the Sparse Fourier Transform, and demonstrated their applicability in many domains including networks, graphics, medical imaging and biochemistry. In his dissertation, The Sparse Fourier Transform: Theory and Practice, he presented a new way to decrease the amount of computation needed to process data, thus increasing the efficiency of programs in several areas of computing.
In computer science, the Fourier transform is a fundamental tool for processing streams of data. It identifies frequency patterns in the data, a task that has a broad array of applications. For many years, the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) was considered the most efficient algorithm in this area. With the growth of Big Data, however, the FFT cannot keep up with the massive increase in datasets. In his doctoral dissertation Hassanieh presents the theoretical foundation of the Sparse Fourier Transform (SFT), an algorithm that is more efficient than FFT for data with a limited number of frequencies. He then shows how this new algorithm can be used to build practical systems to solve key problems in six different applications including wireless networks, mobile systems, computer graphics, medical imaging, biochemistry and digital circuits. Hassanieh’s Sparse Fourier Transform can process data at a rate that is 10 to 100 times faster than was possible before, thus greatly increasing the power of networks and devices.
Hassanieh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A native of Lebanon, he earned a BE in Computer and Communications Engineering from the American University of Beirut. Hassanieh’s Sparse Fourier Transform algorithm was chosen by MIT Technology Review as one of the top 10 breakthrough technologies of 2012. He has also been recognized with the Sprowls Award for Best Dissertation in Computer Science, and the SIGCOMM Best Paper Award.
In Bailis’s dissertation, Coordination Avoidance in Distributed Databases, he addresses a perennial problem in a network of multiple computers working together to achieve a common goal: Is it possible to build systems that scale efficiently (process ever-increasing amounts of data) while ensuring that application data remains provably correct and consistent? These concerns are especially timely as Internet services such as Google and Facebook have led to a vast increase in the global distribution of data. In addressing this problem, Bailis introduces a new framework, invariant confluence, that mitigates the fundamental tradeoffs between coordination and consistency. His dissertation breaks new conceptual ground in the areas of transaction processing and distributed consistency—two areas thought to be fully understood. Bailis is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. He received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley and his AB in Computer Science from Harvard College.
Raychev’s dissertation, Learning from Large Codebases, introduces new methods for creating programming tools based on probabilistic models of code that can solve tasks beyond the reach of current methods. As the size of publicly available codebases has grown dramatically in recent years, so has interest in developing programming tools that solve software tasks by learning from these codebases. Raychev’s dissertation takes a novel approach to addressing this challenge that combines advanced techniques in programming languages with machine learning practices. In the thesis, Raychev lays out four separate methods that detail how machine learning approaches can be applied to program analysis in order to produce useful programming tools. These include: code completion with statistical language models; predicting program properties from big code; learning program from noisy data; and learning statistical code completion systems. Raychev’s work is regarded as having the potential to open up several promising new avenues of research in the years to come. Raychev is currently a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of DeepCode, a company developing artificial intelligence-based programming tools. He received a PhD in Computer Science from ETH Zurich. A native of Bulgaria, he received MS and BS degrees from Sofia University.
2016 ACM Distinguished Service Award
Leonard Jay Shustek was named recipient of the ACM Distinguished Service Award for the establishment and success of the Computer History Museum, the world’s leading institution in exploring the history of computing and its impact on society. Shustek has helped bring to the world the story of how the greatest innovation of our time has come to be. In 1995, after retiring from the network diagnostic company he co-founded, Shustek began teaching computer architecture at Stanford University. He soon realized that students were as interested in computer history as they were in computer architecture. Instead of returning to Stanford, he began a quest that would ultimately lead him to acquire a group of artifacts from The Computer Museum in Boston, with an eye toward forming a new computer history museum in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Today, thanks to the leadership, vision and tenacity of Shustek, the Computer History Museum (CHM) is acknowledged as the world’s most important museum chronicling the rise of computing and its impact on society. With a staff of 75 serving 200,000 visitors each year, CHM has realized Shustek’s founding goal of an organization that would be “built to last.” CHM is housed in a complex comprised of a 119,000-square-foot building for exhibits and hands-on labs; a 25,000-square-foot climate-controlled warehouse for papers and artifacts; and a new 50,000-square-foot research center for scholars and archival work. Throughout the museum’s growth and development, Shustek has engaged in a range of activities, from leading the museum in raising $125 million to tracking down vintage code related to operating systems no longer in use.
For the general public, signature exhibitions like “Revolution” translate the history of computing into an experience that the average person can not only appreciate, but enjoy. For the computing field, CHM’s role as the world’s major repository of artifacts and historic preservation allows innovators to access the past, in order to move into the future.
The ACM Distinguished Service Award is presented on the basis of value and degree of services to the computing community. The contribution should not be limited to service to the Association, but should include activities in other computer organizations and should emphasize contributions to the computing community at large.
2016 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award
Owen Astrachan was named recipient of the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for three decades of innovative computer science pedagogy and inspirational community leadership in broadening the appeal of high school and college introductory computer science courses. Astrachan, a Professor at Duke University, is known as “Mr. AP” because of the central role he has played in the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam taken by high school students. From 1985 to 1989, he served on the committee that writes the AP CS exam, and from 1989 to 1994 he was the Chief Reader, the person in charge of grading the exam. Over his three decades of involvement, Astrachan also played a critical role as the exam’s language changed from Pascal to C++, and later to Java, the language it is given in today.
His broad knowledge of the field, and the respect he garnered within the computer science education community, made him a natural candidate to be the Principal Investigator (project lead), in a 10-year National Science Foundation-funded effort to develop an AP CS Principles course and exam. An important goal of the AP CS Principles exam is to encourage participation in computer science by traditionally underrepresented student communities. The first AP CS Principles courses were offered in the fall of 2016 and the first exam was administered on May 5, 2017 to over 50,000 students— the largest first-year AP exam administration ever.
Astrachan has also made important contributions in several other areas of computer science pedagogy at the K-12/pre-college and college level. Many regard Tapestry, his introductory textbook for C++, as one of the best in the field. His extensive publications and talks on subjects ranging from object-oriented programming to software engineering instruction have also been highly influential. His role in advancing understanding computer science at every level has been strongly influenced by the community of students, teachers, and educators from whom he has learned and with whom he has shared so much.
The Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award is presented annually to an outstanding educator who is appointed to a recognized educational baccalaureate institution. The recipient is recognized for advancing new teaching methodologies; effecting new curriculum development or expansion in Computer Science and Engineering; or making a significant contribution to the educational mission of ACM. Those with 10 years or less teaching experience are given special consideration. A prize of $10,000 is supplied by Pearson Education.
2016 ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics
Ken Banks was named recipient of the Eugene L. Lawler Award for developing FrontlineSMS, using mobile technology and text messaging to empower people to share information, organize aid, and reconnect communities during crises. A self-described “mobile anthropologist,” Banks has a gift for building technology that benefits humanity. As someone who was writing code and tinkering with computers since he was 13, Banks instinctively saw an opportunity to harness the world’s most-used communication platform—mobile messaging—to help people in the developing world. In 2005, he designed, coded and launched FrontlineSMS, a mobile messaging platform that allows people to subscribe to groups, receive alerts, and establish communication hubs. FrontlineSMS played an important role in the 2007 Nigerian presidential election, where it was used to monitor, identify and curtail violence and harassment at polling places. Because of FrontlineSMS’s built-in flexibility, it quickly became a standard platform deployed in 170 countries by countless organizations. It has been used to help family farmers in Laos, train rural medics in Ecuador, double the amount of patients receiving tuberculosis care in Malawi, and monitor disease outbreaks across Africa.
Banks continues his work as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at CARE International. To achieve CARE’s goal of raising more people above the $2 per day extreme poverty level, Banks is leading the development of a new mobile phone application for Village Savings and Loan Associations. Along with his colleagues at CARE, he is also investigating how technology might be used to advance gender equality in Rwanda. His two books The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator and Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation recount his experiences—and those of other global social innovators— and serve as guides for those who are inspired to leverage technology for positive social change.
The Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics recognizes an individual or group who has made a significant contribution through the use of computing technology. It is given once every two years, assuming that there are worthy recipients. The award is accompanied by a prize of $5,000.
2016 Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award
Valerie Barr was named recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award for reinventing ACM-W, increasing its effectiveness in supporting women in computing worldwide and encouraging participation in ACM. Barr, a Professor at Union College, has been uniquely effective in turning good ideas about how to increase the participation of women in computing into tangible programs that yield measurable results. When she first joined the Association for Computing Machinery’s Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W) in 2005, she launched a scholarship program. Barr and others believed that if more young women could attend major computer research conferences, they would be encouraged to continue in the field. Since its inception in 2006, the program has expanded the horizons of numerous young women internationally and has continued to grow. Because of Barr’s adeptness at conveying her vision to funders, the program is 100% supported by industry contributions. Last year, the ACM-W Scholarship Program distributed $40,000 over 40 awards.
ACM-W’s dedicated and hard-working volunteers share a central goal of bringing women together for mentoring, networking, and other career-enhancing activities. Since becoming the Chair of ACM-W in 2012, Barr has been a driving force in more than tripling the number of ACM-W chapters around the world, from 50 to 180 today. One strategy that led to this growth was the introduction of special networking events in which colleges and universities with ACM-W chapters would invite students from neighboring colleges and encourage them to establish ACM-W chapters on their own campuses. ACM-W Councils in Europe and India oversee activities in their respective regions. Another notable area of growth during Barr’s tenure as Chair has been a significant increase in ACM-W Celebrations, small conferences in which women from specific geographic regions come together for career fairs, industry panels and technical presentations. Celebrations events have expanded to Cuba and the Philippines, and one event is tailored specifically for community college students. Last year, 25 ACM-W Celebrations took place around the world.
ACM-W members especially look forward to Connections, a monthly newsletter Barr instituted that is sent to 36,000 people each month and is considered a “must read.”
The Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award recognizes outstanding service contributions to the Association. Candidates are selected based on the value and degree of service overall, and may be given to up to three individuals each year.
2016 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award
Jeffrey Heer was honored for developing visualization languages that have changed the way people build and interact with charts and graphs across the Web. With the meteoric increase of data collection in recent years, tools are urgently needed to understand and see patterns within data. Jeffrey Heer, a Professor at the University of Washington, has been a leader in developing computer languages to create charts, graphs and other visualizations that help people explore and understand data. Heer’s earliest project, Prefuse, was developed in 2004 and became one of the first developer-friendly software packages for producing interactive visualizations. His later work with Mike Bostock on Protovis (2009) contributed a groundbreaking high-level language for Web-native data visualization. Heer then contributed to the development of Bostock’s subsequent D3.js (2011). D3.js quickly became the primary tool for creating interactive visualizations on the Web, and is used every day by thousands of Web developers worldwide. The Vega project, Heer's most recent contribution, builds on this earlier work to develop new representations that enable both human designers and automated algorithms to rapidly produce a wide range of interactive graphics. Data analytics firms and major media companies regularly publish visualizations created with these languages to engage millions of viewers. Importantly, Heer and his collaborators have made all of their visualization tools widely available as open source software.
The ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award is given to the outstanding young computer professional of the year, selected on the basis of a single recent major technical or service contribution. This award is accompanied by a prize of $35,000. The candidate must have been 35 years of age or less at the time the qualifying contribution was made. Financial support for this award is provided by Microsoft.
2016 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award
Amos Fiat and Moni Naor were honored for the development of broadcast encryption and traitor tracing systems. Sending broadcast transmissions that only paid subscribers have access to is one of the most important parts of a pay TV system. A traditional challenge of sending encrypted keys to subscribers has been that the pool of subscribers is constantly changing, as are the specific package of channels each customer may be subscribing to at any time. Traditional approaches to Broadcast Encryption would require TV providers to send either very long transmissions or for subscribers to store an inordinate number of cryptographic keys. In 1993, the Israeli team of Amos Fiat and Moni Naor published their landmark paper Broadcast Encryption, which proposed a system of broadcast encryption that was efficient, both in terms of the length of the transmissions the provider sends, and the number of keys a subscriber would need to store. Fiat and Naor’s work is widely regarded as laying the foundation of the broadcast encryption field. Their original ideas are now used by cable television and satellite radio providers to ensure that only paying subscribers can decrypt a broadcast. A form of broadcast encryption is also the standard key management system that is used to protect against the unauthorized copying of Blu-ray discs.
Building on this work, Fiat (Tel Aviv University) and Naor (Weizmann Institute of Science) collaborated with Benny Chor to invent traitor tracing. Traitor tracing enables legal parties who leak their keys to unauthorized parties to be tracked down and identified. Traitor tracing has been an important tool in the war against piracy.
The ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award honors specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing. This award is accompanied by a prize of $10,000 and is endowed by contributions from the Kanellakis family, with additional financial support provided by ACM's Special Interest Groups on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT), Design Automation (SIGDA), Management of Data (SIGMOD), and Programming Languages (SIGPLAN), the ACM SIG Projects Fund, and individual contributions.
2016 ACM - AAAI Allen Newell Award
Jitendra Malik was honored for seminal contributions to computer vision that have led the field in image segmentation and object category recognition. It is estimated that 50% of brain power is devoted to visual processing. And as vision is the primary way in which we engage with the world, artificial intelligence (AI) systems which seek to mimic human cognition must incorporate computer vision. For example, it is important for an autonomous vehicle to distinguish between a large plastic bag on the roadway and the limb of a tree.
Malik is recognized as one of the world’s leading researchers in computer vision. He and his lab at UC Berkeley solved several important problems in computer vision, including how to remove “noise” from images in order to identify critical elements such as edges, how to segment images, and how to represent and match shapes. Many of Malik’s former graduate students are now recognized leaders in the field. Through his own research and mentorship, Malik has been a driving force in transforming computer vision from a niche interest to a successful and influential discipline. Computer vision plays an increasingly important role in social media, Internet search, entertainment and autonomous vehicle development.
The ACM - AAAI Allen Newell Award is presented to an individual selected for career contributions that have breadth within computer science, or that bridge computer science and other disciplines. The Newell award is accompanied by a prize of $10,000, provided by ACM and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and by individual contributions.
ACM will present the 2016 Software System Award, Grace Murray Hopper Award, Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, and Allen Newell Award at its annual Awards Banquet on June 24, 2017 in San Francisco, California.
2016 ACM Software System Award
Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Michael L. Kazar, Robert N. Sidebotham, David A. Nichols, Michael J. West, John H. Howard, Alfred Z. Spector and Sherri M. Nichols were honored for developing the Andrew File System (AFS). AFS was the first distributed file system designed for tens of thousands of machines, and pioneered the use of scalable, secure and ubiquitous access to shared file data. To achieve the goal of providing a common shared file system used by large networks of people, AFS introduced novel approaches to caching, security, management and administration. AFS is still in use today as both an open source system and as the file system in commercial applications. It has also inspired several cloud-based storage applications.
The 2016 Software System Award recipients designed and built the Andrew File System in the 1980s while working as a team at the Information Technology Center (ITC), a partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and IBM. Many other universities soon integrated AFS before it was introduced as a commercial application. Many of this year’s recipients also contributed to two foundational AFS papers: The ITC Distributed File System: Principles and Design, published in Proceedings of ACM SOSP 1985 and Scale and Performance in a Distributed File System, published in Proceedings of ACM SOSP 1987.
The ACM Software System Award is presented to an institution or individual(s) recognized for developing a software system that has had a lasting influence, reflected in contributions to concepts, in commercial acceptance, or both. The Software System Award carries a prize of $35,000. Financial support for the Software System Award is provided by IBM.
2017-2018 Athena Lecturer
ACM named Lydia E. Kavraki of Rice University as the 2017-2018 Athena Lecturer. Kavraki was cited for the invention of randomized motion-planning algorithms in robotics and the development of robotics-inspired methods for bioinformatics and biomedicine. Kavraki is an internationally recognized leader in developing physical algorithms, an area that addresses the computational challenges of objects moving in space while subject to physical constraints. She has made significant contributions in an impressively wide range of areas, from how a robot might move through a course of obstacles, to how a drug molecule might change its shape to interact with a target protein, to her current work with planning the motions of Robonaut 2, NASA’s robotic assistant at the International Space Station.
Initiated in 2006 by the ACM Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W), the Athena Lecturer Award celebrates women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science. The award carries a cash prize of $25,000, with financial support provided by Google. The Athena Lecturer is invited to present a lecture at an ACM event. The award is named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. With her knowledge and sense of purpose, Athena epitomizes the strength, determination, and intelligence of the "Athena Lecturers."
“Planning the motion of objects in a three-dimensional space has been a central challenge in the robotics field for a long time,” said ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. “Lydia Kavraki’s Probabilistic Roadmap Method has had a tremendous impact. It is now widely used in robotics applications in industry and is a foundational idea for numerous researchers in the field. She was then able to transfer the insights she discovered in robotics to bioinformatics and biomedicine, where she has also made important advances. Although Kavraki is being recognized with the Athena Lecturer Award for her research contributions, she has also been a generous mentor and strong role model for younger colleagues, especially women. In this way, her career exemplifies the award’s overarching goal of celebrating and supporting women in computing.”
Kavraki’s 1996 doctoral dissertation proposed the Probabilistic Roadmap Method (PRM), a technique to plan the motion of robots, which had been an enduring challenge in the field. The Probabilistic Roadmap Method was immediately hailed for its simple implementation and its ability to scale (that is, return reliable results when applied to increasingly large datasets). PRM and the subsequent advances on the original approach are now included as a fundamental tenet of motion planning in most robotics textbooks. Additionally, to aid in the dissemination of her research, Kavraki spearheaded an open source Open Motion Planning Library. The library has been used in more than 30 different robotics systems, and continues to receive new contributions from around the world.
Kavraki was also the first to recognize that the motion-planning techniques she was developing in robotics could be applied to great effect in biology and medicine. She wrote new algorithms for the analysis of the motion, shape and flexibility of molecules that had a major impact on computational biology, as well as many subareas, including drug discovery and design. Recently, she has been developing structural methods to identify cross-reactivity hot spots in T-cells. The project has the potential to introduce safer immunotherapy treatments for cancer patients.
In another exciting project that takes her research to new heights, Kavraki has been working with NASA on Robonaut 2 (R2), a humanoid robot with formidable mechanical capability and capacity to work in human-occupied environments. It is anticipated that R2s will help humans in spaceship inspection and maintenance, caretaking tasks in future long missions, and space exploration. The variety of ways in which the robot will need to move, as well as NASA’s hopes that R2 will perform dexterous manipulation—that is, complete delicate tasks with its hands—will require leading-edge motion-planning technology. R2 was expected to be deployed at the International Space Station later in 2017.
Lydia Kavraki will formally receive the 2017-2018 ACM Athena Lecturer Award at ACM's annual Awards Banquet on June 24, 2017 in San Francisco, California.
2016 ACM Prize in Computing
ACM named Alexei A. Efros of the University of California, Berkeley the recipient of the 2016 ACM Prize in Computing. Efros was cited for groundbreaking data-driven approaches to computer graphics and computer vision. A focus of his work has been to understand, model and recreate the visual world around us. Efros is a pioneer in combining the power of huge image datasets drawn from the Internet with machine learning algorithms to foster powerful image transformations and valuable research findings. He has also made fundamental contributions in texture synthesis, a technique that ushered in new horizons in computer graphics and is widely used in the film industry.
The ACM Prize in Computing recognizes early-to-mid-career contributions that have fundamental impact and broad implications. Infosys Ltd. provides financial support for the $250,000 annual award. Efros will formally receive the ACM Prize at ACM’s annual awards banquet on June 24, 2017 in San Francisco.
“It’s estimated that 1.8 billion images are uploaded to social media platforms worldwide every day,” explained ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. “This ocean of visual data provides great opportunities and some obvious challenges. In the area of artificial intelligence, for example, the ability to rapidly process huge quantities of photos or video stills can help a computer to recognize and identify patterns. Alexei Efros has consistently found pioneering ways to understand and create images using data-based tools that he has developed. His work underscores the exciting possibilities of this field and wonderfully exemplifies the criteria of ‘fundamental contributions’ and ‘broad implications’ that the ACM Prize award committee looks for.”
“Infosys is proud through its support of the ACM Prize in Computing to recognize Dr. Alexei Efros as a researcher who is passionate about understanding, reimagining and recreating the visual world around us,” said Dr. Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys. “In an increasingly digital world, Dr. Efros is showing us how artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data-driven computing are fundamentally reshaping the way the world is perceived by computers, and as a result, amplifying the way we as human beings understand our world. The new insights that his research has produced present a seemingly limitless number of potential applications in areas like computer graphics and computational photography, as well as robotics, visual data mining, and even the interaction between the visual arts and the humanities. Dr. Efros’ relentless pursuit of finding the great new problems of our digital future can inspire all of us to be more, and to see more, in everything that we do.”
Efros first gained wide recognition in the area of computer graphics with his 1999 paper, “Texture synthesis by non-parametric sampling,” co-authored with Thomas K. Leung. Texture synthesis is the process of taking a small sample of a digital image and then applying an algorithm to the sample’s structural content to enlarge the image, create background images, or perhaps fill in holes. Prior to Efros’ paper, the methods of synthesizing digital textures involved complicated mathematics and didn’t often produce visually appealing results. Efros and Leung showed that a new “non-parametric” approach could be used to easily produce visually appealing textures. Non-parametric modeling has revolutionized the field, being cited in nearly 3,000 research papers and benefiting the entertainment industry, where Efros’ insights have been employed in 3-D computer graphics, digital image editing, and post production of films.
Among the many other areas in which Efros has developed a groundbreaking approach to research that others have followed, is the development of algorithms to scan vast collections of photographs from the Internet. In their 2008 paper, “Scene Completion Using Millions of Photographs,” Efros and James Hays presented a new algorithm that patches up holes in images by finding similar images drawn from a database of millions of photographs gathered from the Web. This approach was revolutionary, and today researchers regularly use algorithms to scan millions of images drawn from social media platforms for image processing and recognition research.
Continuing in this vein of research, Efros has undertaken several deep learning projects that have shown a high success rate of translating an image of one kind to another. For example, in their recent paper “Colorful Image Colorization,” Efros, along with Richard Zhang and Phillip Isola, presented a new algorithm that automatically translates black-and-white photographs into color. Using the input of a black-and-white photo, the algorithm is trained on 1 million images from the Imagenet dataset to make a plausible estimate of the color of the different elements in a photograph. And in the paper “Image to Image Translation with Conditional Adversarial Nets,” Efros, along with Phillip Isola, Jun-Yan Zhou and Tinghui Zhou showed that the interplay of two networks—one continually drawing new images and another judging whether the images generated look natural—can produce surprising image translations. For example, accurate street maps can be created using aerial photographs, and virtual photographs of handbags can be produced from an outline drawing.
Other well-received projects employing similar techniques include: “A Century of Portraits: A Visual Historical Record of American High School Yearbooks,” wherin Efros, Shiry Ginosar and co-authors trained an algorithm on 37,000 photographs to examine the defining style elements, trends and social norms of various decades. In the Communications of the ACM article What Makes Paris Look Like Paris?, Efros and co-authors outlined a machine vision approach to developing a program that could scan thousands of photographs of close-up architectural details of a city, identify very subtle differences between the architectural details, and determine the city in which a given photo was taken.
ACM will present the 2016 ACM Prize in Computing at its annual Awards Banquet on June 24, 2017 in San Francisco, California.
2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award
ACM named Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Oxford, the recipient of the 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award. Berners-Lee was cited for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale. Considered one of the most influential computing innovations in history, the World Wide Web is the primary tool used by billions of people every day to communicate, access information, engage in commerce, and perform many other important activities.
The ACM Turing Award, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Computing,” carries a $1 million prize, with financial support provided by Google, Inc. It is named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing.
“The first-ever World Wide Web site went online in 1991,” said ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. “Although this doesn’t seem that long ago, it is hard to imagine the world before Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s invention. In many ways, the colossal impact of the World Wide Web is obvious. Many people, however, may not fully appreciate the underlying technical contributions that make the Web possible. Sir Tim Berners-Lee not only developed the key components, such as URIs and web browsers that allow us to use the Web, but offered a coherent vision of how each of these elements would work together as part of an integrated whole.”
“The Web has radically changed the way we share ideas and information and is a key factor for global economic growth and opportunity,” said Andrei Broder, Google Distinguished Scientist. “The idea of a web of knowledge originated in a brilliant 1945 essay by Vannevar Bush. Over the next decades, several pieces of the puzzle came together: hypertext, the Internet, personal computing. But the explosive growth of the Web started when Tim Berners-Lee proposed a unified user interface to all types of information supported by a new transport protocol. This was a significant inflection point, setting the stage for everyone in the world, from high schoolers to corporations, to independently build their Web presences and collectively create the wonderful World Wide Web.”
Development of the World Wide Web
Berners-Lee, who graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Physics, submitted the proposal for the World Wide Web in 1989 while working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. He noticed that scientists were having difficulty sharing information about particle accelerators. In 1989, interconnectivity among computers via Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) had been in existence for a decade, and while segments of the scientific community were using the Internet, the kinds of information they could easily share was limited. Berners-Lee envisioned a system where CERN staff could exchange documents over the Internet using readable text that contained embedded hyperlinks.
To make his proposed information-sharing system work, Berners-Lee invented several integrated tools that would underpin the World Wide Web, including:
- Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that would serve to allow any object (such as a document or image) on the Internet to be named, and thus identified
- Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that allows for the exchange, retrieval, or transfer of an object over the Internet
- Web browser, a software application that retrieves and renders resources on the World Wide Web along with clickable links to other resources, and, in the original version, allowed users to modify webpages and make new links
- Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) that allows web browsers to translate documents or other resources and render them as multimedia webpages
Berners-Lee launched the world’s first website, http://info.cern.ch, on August 6, 1991.
Central to the universal adoption of the World Wide Web was Berners-Lee’s decision to develop it as open and royalty-free software. Berners-Lee released his libwww software package in the early 1990s, granting the rights to anyone to study, change, or distribute the software in any way they chose. He then continued to guide the project and worked with developers around the world to develop web-server code. The popularity of the open source software, in turn, led to the evolution of early web browsers, including Mosaic, that are credited with propagating the Web beyond academic and government research settings and making it a global phenomenon.
By 1994, the number of websites had grown to nearly 3,000, and today, there are more than 1 billion websites online.
ACM will present the 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award at its annual Awards Banquet on June 24, 2017 in San Francisco, California.
2017 SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering
Thomas J. R. Hughes of the University of Texas at Austin was awarded the 2017 SIAM/ACM Prize in Computer Science and Engineering on March 2 at the SIAM Conference on CS&E (CSE17) in Atlanta, Georgia.
Hughes is Peter O'Donnell Jr. Chair in Computational and Applied Mathematics and Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at the University of Texas at Austin.
The prize honors Hughes for his pioneering work on finite element methods for PDEs. His work is used worldwide in engineering design and simulation, and has impacted every field of science that uses finite element methods, including medicine. He has also made pioneering contributions to the seamless integration of modeling methodologies with design representations. He has created entirely new fields of research, including Stabilized Methods, Variational Multiscale Methods, and Isogeometric Analysis, and continues to lead their development.
According to the citation: "The work of Thomas J. R. Hughes has had profound impact on computational science and engineering. His pioneering numerical methods for solving PDEs have been implemented in every contemporary commercial finite element code, and are used daily throughout the world in all areas of engineering design and simulation. Beyond engineering, his methods have impacted every field of science that uses finite element methods, including medicine. He has also made pioneering contributions to the seamless integration of modeling methodologies with design representations. He has created entirely new fields of research, including Stabilized Methods, Variational Multiscale Methods, and Isogeometric Analysis, and continues to lead their development."
For more information read the SIAM news release.
2016 ACM/CSTA Cutler-Bell Prize
The winners of the Cutler-Bell Prize in High School Computing were announced by ACM and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). 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.”
“The Cutler-Bell Prize celebrates the power of creativity and innovation among today’s high school students when their learning experiences are linked to technology and computer science education,” said CSTA Executive Director Dr. Mark R. Nelson. “We appreciate the generosity and foresight of Cutler and Bell for making this award possible. We thank the judges who spent many hours reviewing the submissions received in this year’s competition. We are excited to recognize this second cohort of young recipients.”
ACM 2016 Fellows Recognized for Advances that Are Transforming Science and Society
ACM named 53 of its members as 2016 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.
"As nearly 100,000 computing professionals are members of our association, to be selected to join the top one percent is truly an honor,” explains ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. “Fellows are chosen by their peers and hail from leading universities, corporations and research labs throughout the world. Their inspiration, insights and dedication bring immeasurable benefits that improve lives and help drive the global economy."
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 Awards by Category
Specific Types of ContributionsACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics
ACM Gordon Bell Prize
ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award
ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award
ACM Policy Award
ACM Presidential Award
ACM Software System Award
ACM Athena Lecturer Award
ACM AAAI Allen Newell Award
ACM-IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award
ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award
Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award
SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering
ACM Programming Systems and Languages Paper Award
How Awards Are Proposed
ACM has named Sir Tim Berners-Lee of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Oxford the recipient of the 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale.
ACM has named Alexei Efros of the University of California, Berkeley the recipient of the 2016 ACM Prize in Computing. Efros was cited for groundbreaking data-driven approaches to computer graphics and computer vision focusing on understanding, modeling and recreating the visual world around us.
ACM has named Lydia E. Kavraki of Rice University as the 2017-2018 Athena Lecturer. Kavraki was cited for the invention of randomized motion-planning algorithms in robotics and the development of robotics-inspired methods for bioinformatics and biomedicine.
Jeffrey Heer has been named the recipient of the 2016 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award for developing visualization languages that have changed the way people build and interact with charts and graphs across the Web. Heer has been a leader in developing computer languages to create charts, graphs and other visualizations that help people explore and understand data.
Amos Fiat and Moni Naor have been named recipients of the 2016 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award for the development of broadcast encryption and traitor tracing systems. Their original ideas are now used by cable television and satellite radio providers to ensure that only paying subscribers can decrypt a broadcast.
Jitendra Malik of UC Berkeley is the recipient of the 2016 ACM – AAAI Allen Newell Award for seminal contributions to computer vision that have led the field in image segmentation and object category recognition. One of the world’s leading researchers in computer vision, Malik and his lab team have solved several important problems in computer vision.
Leonard Jay Shustek has been named recipient of the 2016 ACM Distinguished Service Award for the establishment and success of the Computer History Museum, the world’s leading institution in exploring the history of computing and its impact on society. Shustek has helped bring to the world the story of how the greatest innovation of our time has come to be.
Owen Astrachan was named recipient of the 2016 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for three decades of innovative computer science pedagogy and inspirational community leadership in broadening the appeal of high school and college introductory computer science courses.
Ken Banks has received the 2016 ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for developing FrontlineSMS, using mobile technology and text messaging to empower people to share information, organize aid, and reconnect communities during crises. Banks saw an opportunity to harness the world’s most-used communication platform—mobile messaging—to help people in the developing world.
Valerie Barr has received the 2016 Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award for reinventing ACM-W, increasing its effectiveness in supporting women in computing worldwide and encouraging participation in ACM. Since becoming Chair of ACM-W in 2012, Barr has been a driving force in more than tripling the number of ACM-W chapters around the world.
Haitham Hassanieh of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has received ACM's 2016 Doctoral Dissertation Award for developing highly efficient algorithms for computing the Sparse Fourier Transform. Honorable Mentions went to Peter Bailis of Stanford University for coordination avoidance in distributed databases, and Veselin Raychev of ETH Zurich for creating programming tools based on probabilistic models of code that can solve tasks beyond the reach of current methods.
Moshe Vardi of Rice University has been named the recipient of the 2017 ACM Presidential Award. Vardi was recognized for building ACM's flagship publication Communications of the ACM into the computing field’s preeminent print and online magazine. This is his second Presidential Award.
List of ACM Awards
Specific Types of ContributionsACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics
ACM Gordon Bell Prize
ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award
ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award
ACM Policy Award
ACM Presidential Award
ACM Software System Award
ACM Athena Lecturer Award
ACM AAAI Allen Newell Award
ACM-IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award
ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award
Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award
SIAM/ACM Prize in Computational Science and Engineering
ACM Programming Systems and Languages Paper Award
How Awards Are Proposed