The ACM has announced the recipients of six awards for their innovations in computing technology that demonstrate the benefits of computational thinking for industry, education, and society. The awards reflect achievements that have led to improved medical diagnostics and healthcare delivery, better teaching methods for high-school computer science, more secure Internet transactions, and enhanced network efficiency.
The 2009 ACM awards winners include:
- Mihir Bellare and Phillip Rogaway, recipients of the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award for their development of practice-oriented provable security, which has resulted in high-quality, cost-effective cryptography, a key component for Internet security in an era of explosive growth in online transactions. Bellare, a professor at the University of California San Diego, and Rogaway, a professor at the University of California Davis, adapted modern cryptographic theory to make it more applicable for reducing the risk of cyber attacks in the real world. The Kanellakis Award honors specific theoretical accomplishments that significantly affect the practice of computing.
- VMware Workstation 1.0, the Software System Award for bringing virtualization technology to modern computing environments, spurring a shift to virtual-machine architectures, and allowing users to efficiently run multiple operating systems on their desktops. Stanford University professor Mendel Rosenblum and his students realized that virtual-machine technology could help with many of the problems suffered by modern computing environments. This breakthrough led to their founding of VMware Inc. and the design and implementation of its first product by Rosenblum and his colleagues Edouard Bugnion, Scott Devine, Jeremy Sugerman, and Edward Wang. The technology was subsequently adopted by large-scale data-center operators to increase the efficiency and security of shared computational resources, and has caused leading processor vendors to modify their designs to support virtualization. The Software System Award is given to an institution or individuals recognized for developing software systems that have had a lasting influence, reflected in contributions to concepts and/or commercial acceptance.
- Michael Jordan, recipient of the ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award for fundamental advances in statistical machine learning, a field which develops computational methods for inference and decision-making based on data. Jordan, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has focused on graphical models, kernel machines and Bayesian nonparametric statistics. He has developed applications of these methods to a variety of problem areas in computational biology, including protein structure and function, population genetics and genomics. His work has had impact in signal processing, information retrieval, computational vision and natural language processing. He has also studied learning in the domain of human motor control. The Newell Award recognizes career contributions that have breadth within computer science, or that bridge computer science and other disciplines.
- Tim Roughgarden, recipient of the Grace Murray Hopper Award for introducing novel techniques that quantify lost efficiency with the uncoordinated behavior of network users who act in their own self-interest. His research has built a bridge between theoretical computer science and the networking research community that has the potential to capture the important role of strategic behavior in the design and analysis of future networks. Roughgarden is an assistant professor at Stanford University, whose book, "Selfish Routing and the Price of Anarchy", outlines several approaches to limiting the efficiency loss in large networks resulting from self-interested users. The Hopper Award recognizes the outstanding young computer professional of the year.
- Matthias Felleisen, recipient of the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for his visionary and long-standing contributions to K-12 outreach programs. In 1995, he founded the TeachScheme! project, which has trained over 700 educators; he was also instrumental in setting up the Bootstrap afterschool programs for students in groups that are underrepresented in the computing field. A Trustee Professor at Northeastern University, Felleisen contributed the innovative idea of a design recipe to the computing curriculum, a set of steps that helps students focus on problem solving and logical thinking instead of computer details. The Karlstrom Award recognizes educators who advanced new teaching methodologies; effected new curriculum development in Computer Science and Engineering; or contributed to ACM's educational mission.
- Gregory D. Abowd, recipient of the Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics for promoting a vision of health care and education that incorporates the use of advanced information technologies to address difficult challenges relating to the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral disorders, such as autism, as well as the assessment of behavioral change within complex social environments. A professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Abowd's work in autism has resulted in the development and optimization of behavioral evaluation protocols for use by parents, caregivers, educators, and health care clinicians within naturalistic environments, and he has supported the commercialization of work in this area. The Lawler Award, given every two years for humanitarian contributions, recognizes individuals or groups who have made a significant contribution using computing technology.
Congratulations to one and all. A job well done.