ACM Charles P. “Chuck” Thacker Breakthrough In Computing Award

How to Nominate


The ACM Charles P. "Chuck" Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award (the "ACM Breakthrough Award") is presented biennially to an individual or group of individuals who reflect Thacker's pioneering contributions in making a surprising or disruptive leapfrog in computing ideas or technologies, and his inspiration of generations of young computer scientists. The award is presented at the June ACM Awards Banquet and is accompanied by a prize of $100,000 plus travel expenses to the banquet and to the ACM Breakthrough Award Lecture. Financial support is provided by Microsoft.

Next Deadline

December 15, 2024 - End of Day, Anywhere on Earth (AoE), UTC -12 hrs.

Selection Criteria

The award is open to contributors at all stages of their careers. The recipient(s) of the award should have made a surprising or disruptive leapfrog in computing ideas or technologies that provides a new capability or understanding that influences the course of computing technologies in a deep and significant manner per its numerous downstream influences and outcomes. The award also celebrates Thacker's long-term research, service, and influence on generations of computer scientists. Successful nominations would include substantive letters of support from prominent individuals who are broadly representative of the nominee's or nominees' field or related fields, and that provide clear evidence of their impact.


Nominations for the ACM Breakthrough Award should be submitted using the online nomination form. Guidelines for nominators and endorsers can be found here. Each nomination involves several components:

  • Name, address, phone number, and email address of nominator (person making the nomination). The most appropriate person to submit a nomination would be a recognized member of the community who is not from the same organization as the nominee and who can address the nominee's impact on the broader community.
  • Name, address, and email address of the nominee(s) (person(s) being nominated). It is ACM's policy not to tell nominees who has nominated or endorsed them.
  • Nominators will be required to indicate whether they are aware of any actions committed by the candidate that violates ACM's Code of Ethics or Core Values.
  • Suggested citation if the nominee(s) are selected. This should be a concise statement (maximum of 25 words) describing the key technical or professional accomplishment for which the nominee merits this award. Note that the final wording for awardees will be at the discretion of the Award Committee.
  • Nomination statement (500-1,000 words in length) addressing why the nominee(s) should receive this award. This may describe the nominee's or nominees' work in general, but should draw particular attention to the contributions that merit the award.
  • Copy of the nominee's or nominees' CV, listing publications, patents, honors, service contributions, etc.
  • Supporting letters from at least 3, and not more than 5, endorsers. Endorsers should be chosen to represent a range of perspectives and institutions and provide additional insights or evidence of the nominee's or nominees' impact. Each letter must include the name, address, and telephone number of the endorser, and should focus on the accomplishments which that endorser can attest to and place in context. The nominator should collect the letters and bundle them for submission. Please Note: Nominators will need to provide a valid email for each endorser. Endorsers will receive an email from [email protected] containing a secure link to the Code of Ethics attestation form, and will be required to indicate whether they are aware of any actions committed by the candidate that violates ACM's Code of Ethics or Core Values.

For questions on the above, please contact us at [email protected], or Jade Morris, ACM Awards Committee Liaison. ACM's conflict-of-interest guidelines apply to all award nominations.


Honors Policy for Nominators and Endorsers

Nominators and endorsers for all ACM Awards will now be required to indicate whether they are aware of any action committed by the candidate that violates the ACM Code of Ethics and ACM’s Core Values. See the Policy for Honors Conferred by ACM.


  • Technical excellence
  • Education and technical advancement
  • Ethical computing and technology for positive impact
  • Diversity and inclusion

1.1 Contribute to society and to human well-being, acknowledging that all people are stakeholders in computing.
1.2 Avoid harm.
1.3 Be honest and trustworthy.
1.4 Be fair and take action not to discriminate.
1.5 Respect the work required to produce new ideas, inventions, creative works, and computing artifacts.
1.6 Respect privacy.
1.7 Honor confidentiality.

For questions on the above please contact [email protected]

ACM Honors & Ethics

ACM formally recognizes individuals for significant contributions to the field, ACM, or its interests. This recognition includes ACM Awards, Advanced Member Grades, and SIG Awards, collectively termed Honors. ACM expects individuals it honors to abide by the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Learn about the Policy for Honors Conferred by ACM.