About ACM Presidential Award
This award is given at the discretion of the ACM President, to individuals whose contributions in computing fall within the goals of the ACM.
Recent Presidential Award News
2022 ACM Presidential Award
Dame Wendy Hall, Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, receives the ACM Presidential Award. Hall is recognized for her technical contributions that have significantly influenced the development of the Semantic Web and the field of Web Science; her leadership and impact in shaping the science and engineering policy agenda internationally; her advocacy and leadership in promoting informatics education throughout Europe through the Informatics for All coalition and other international groups; and her committed and inspired work to strengthen ACM’s geographically diverse footprint and establishing and fostering regional councils to promote ACM activities in China, India, and Europe.
Hall is one of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia. The influence of her work has been significant in many areas including digital libraries, the development of the Semantic Web, and the emerging research discipline of Web Science. With Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Sir Nigel Shadbolt, and Daniel J Weitzner, she co-founded the Web Science Research Initiative and is the Managing Director of the Web Science Trust, which has a global mission to support the development of research, education and thought leadership in Web Science. Since 2014, she has served as a Commissioner for the Global Commission on Internet Governance.
Hall has also helped shape science and engineering policy and education. In 2018, she helped found the Informatics for All coalition, and serves as the chair of its steering committee. Informatics for All aims to establish informatics as a fundamental and independent subject in school for students at all levels throughout Europe.
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.
2019 ACM Presidential Award
ACM President Cherri Pancake honored Vinton G. Cerf with the 2019 ACM Presidential Award. The award was presented to Cerf at ACM's annual Awards Banquet on June 15 in San Francisco.
His citation reads:
In addition to his well-publicized technical contributions, for which he won the Turing Award, Vint Cerf crafted a unique vision of what ACM could be and achieve as an organization. He has served as a member of ACM Council three times, and was elected ACM President in 2012. After completing his term as Past President, he became the Awards Co-Chair. That much is in the public record. But his singular contribution to ACM remains largely unknown: Vint was the principal driver in establishing the ACM Fellows Program in 1993. The Fellows program, of course, recognizes the top 1% of ACM members from around the world for their outstanding accomplishments and service to the computing community. The luster of becoming a Fellow has not diminished with time. Indeed, with the newer Distinguished Member grade, and with the eminence of each year's Fellows class (13 of whom have gone on to win the Turing Award), the program has only grown in stature. As for impact, Fellows constitute some of ACM's best ambassadors and serve as models for younger members. While the Fellows program is now an established part of the ACM "landscape," this was not always the case—and likely wouldn't be had Vint not championed the concept. This 2019 ACM Presidential Award recognizes his extraordinary record of service to ACM.
Vint Cerf is Vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google Inc., where he is known for his predictions on how technology will affect future society. He served as ACM President from 2012 to 2015. Cerf and Robert Kahn collaborated on the design and implementation of the Internet's basic communications protocols including TCP/IP, for which they received the 2004 ACM Turing Award. The next year they were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. Cerf has continued to provide leadership in the networking research community and in the emerging industries of the internet and telecommunications. He was recently named by President Barack Obama to the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation. He received a B.S. in Mathematics from Stanford University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UCLA. He is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and National Academy of Engineering.
2018 ACM Presidential Award
Donald Gotterbarn was recognized with the 2018 ACM Presidential Award for 25 years of outstanding service as chief architect of ACM’s Code of Professional Ethics, a living document adopted by the computing community worldwide as the blueprint for professional conduct in the field. Gotterbarn has helped to define what it means, ethically, to be a computing professional. He was a forerunner in recognizing the critical importance of professional ethics and has worked tirelessly—as both an educator and a practitioner—to advance this message to a global audience by developing a computer ethics curriculum, leading workshops, and serving as Chair of ACM’s Committee on Professional Ethics. Throughout the creation of the original code, and now the Code 2018 revision that will be released this summer, Gotterbarn has insisted on engaging the computing community, seeking guidance and feedback in the code’s design and direction, and always appreciating that the cause—and the code—is only as strong as its supporters.
2018 ACM Presidential Award
Andrew McGettrick was honored with the 2018 ACM Presidential Award for his unwavering commitment to computer science education—particularly in terms of its quality, breadth, and access—for generations of students worldwide. McGettrick served as chair of ACM’s Education Board and Education Council for over 15 years, leaving an indelible imprint as a passionate advocate for equipping computer science students with the knowledge, skills, and tools to succeed in the field. During his tenure, he steered the development of key curricula in computer science and software engineering. In recent years, he has played an instrumental role in championing European educational efforts and professional societies, through his work with ACM’s Europe Council and Informatics Europe. McGettrick was one of the leading forces behind the Informatics for All initiative, an acclaimed report that explores strategies for Informatics education in Europe at all levels.
2018 ACM Presidential Award
Fabrizio Gagliardi received the 2018 ACM Presidential Award in recognition of his selfless dedication to ACM, ensuring the organization’s activities, services, and influence extend throughout the European continent. He is honored for his tireless efforts as the spirit behind ACM’s public policy arm in Europe—EUACM—having served as its Chair since 2013. Gagliardi is a practical visionary, who realized that if ACM is to inform technology policy in Europe it must have a formidable and local presence. The work of EUACM under Gagliardi’s leadership has made a lasting impression in short order, forging dialogues about computing with members of the European Commission as well as spearheading public policy statements on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), and CS education. He was a guiding force behind two recent panels featuring ACM and EU Commission representatives.
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.
ACM Presidential Award Recognizes Two Leaders for Contributions in CS Education and European Outreach
Chris Stephenson, Head of Computer Science Education Programs at Google Inc., was recognized with the 2016 ACM Presidential Award for being "a true visionary and teaching advocate who spirited ACM’s lifelong commitment to computer science education, recognizing the need to introduce CS to young students taught by educators with the tools and training to inspire future generations to the wonders of computing."
The long citation reads: "ACM, teachers, and students worldwide are indebted to Chris Stephenson for her landmark work in creating an international organization dedicated to supporting teachers and pursuing excellence in CS education for K-12 students. As the architect and first executive director of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), Chris led the charge that changed the way CS education is appreciated at the K-12 level. Under her astute, decade-long leadership, CSTA grew to over 20,000 strong, culminating in projects and initiatives that deeply impacted K-12 education and educators around the world. Along the way, she motivated corporate sponsors and educational partners to join the cause. Teachers today have access to unprecedented opportunities for professional development thanks to the efforts of CSTA. Indeed, the guidelines in the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards are now recognized as the de facto US national CS curriculum standard. Chris also made major contributions to awareness of and broad progress on K-12 CS education through her co-authorship of the Running on Empty report and her participation as a founding member of the Computing in the Core organization. ACM salutes Chris Stephenson for her steadfast devotion to CS education."
Gerhard Schimpf, who serves as Chair of ACM Europe’s Council of European Chapter Leaders, was recognized for "his leadership in support of ACM’s mission for global expansion by helping to establish ACM Europe, advocating ACM’s involvement in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, and enlightening students and professionals throughout Europe to the value of ACM membership."
The long citation reads: "ACM honors Gerhard Schimpf for his exhaustive devotion to ACM for over four decades, and his unremitting work to increase ACM’s visibility across Europe. Gerhard was a leading supporter of ACM Europe, serving on the first ACM Europe Council in 2009. He was also instrumental in coordinating ACM’s spot as one of the founding organizations of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. The HLF, an annual gathering of top students and foremost scientists in the field, including ACM’s Turing Award recipients, has received worldwide recognition for excellence since its debut in 2012. ACM is indebted to Gerhard for his dedication and global vision."
ACM President recognizes John R. White for his inspired leadership
The 2015 ACM Presidential Award recognized John R. White for his committed and inspired leadership as ACM's Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer from November 1998 to July 2015, transforming the Association into a truly international society able to bring the highest quality resources to current and future computing professionals worldwide, and enabling it to deliver at unprecedented levels on its mission of advancing computing as a science and a profession.
ACM President Gabriele Kotsis has recognized Dame Wendy Hall for her technical contributions that have significantly influenced the development of the Semantic Web and the field of Web Science, her leadership and impact in shaping technology policy and informatics education internationally, and her committed and inspired work to strengthen ACM’s geographically diverse footprint by fostering regional councils to promote ACM activities in China, India, and Europe.
ACM Awards by Category
Specific Types of ContributionsACM Charles P. "Chuck" Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award
ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics
ACM Frances E. Allen Award for Outstanding Mentoring
ACM Gordon Bell Prize
ACM Gordon Bell Prize for Climate Modeling
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
Regional AwardsACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award
ACM India Early Career Researcher Award
ACM India Outstanding Contributions in Computing by a Woman Award
ACM India Outstanding Contribution to Computing Education Award
IPSJ/ACM Award for Early Career Contributions to Global Research
CCF-ACM Award for Artificial Intelligence
How Awards Are Proposed