Sunday, June 22, 2008

ACM Awards Banquet

With the kids at camp, after Iron Man, my wife and I hopped a plane to San Francisco. Did some wine tasting, saw some opera, played tourist (even riding the cable cars) all leading up to the ACM Awards Banquet on Saturday night.

While the ACM sponsors many conferences, there is no annual conference that covers our whole field. In non-FCRC years, they hold their awards ceremony at a nice hotel in San Francisco attended mostly by ACM officers and award winners. I was there as a new ACM Fellow to receive a certificate and the Fellow pin and have a rare chance to wear a tuxedo to a computer science event.

The highlight of the evening was, of course, the Turing award. The consulate general of France read a letter from the Ambassador congratulating Joseph Sifakis, the first French winner of the award. No such messages from the US for the two American co-winners, Edmund Clarke and Allen Emerson. But actually Daphne Koller netted the most prize money as the sole winner of the ACM-Infosys Foundation Award.

Many theorists among the award winners including Shafi Goldwasser as the Athena Lecturer (the lecture itself to be given at FOCS or STOC), Sergey Yekhanin (not present) winning the doctoral dissertation award and several other theory fellows. I also liked seeing the young people, including the ACM Programming Competition winners from St. Petersburg (Russia) and David Christopher Williams-King of Edmonton, the high school winner of the CS division of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fairl. Another highlight: David Harel describing how he co-won the Software System Award without writing a line of code.

This morning I hopped a plane across the country just in time to catch the end of the reception for the Computational Complexity Conference at the University of Maryland. On the plane I read the first redesigned CACM under Moshe Vardi's direction passed out at the banquet. More on the the Complexity Conference and the new CACM coming soon.


  1. Congratulations Lance on becoming the ACM fellow. Your hard work is inspiring.