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Prizes: SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize

2015 winner: Avi Wigderson
The SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize is given annually to an individual who has made substantial service contributions to the Theoretical Computer Science community. (From 2002 to 2012, the award was given biennially.) It is presented at the ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, and comes with a $1,000 prize, a travel grant of up to $700 to attend the conference, and complimentary conference registration.


The prize can be awarded to an individual for a single contribution or for a series of contributions over a career. All living individuals are eligible with the exception of previous awardees, the sitting SIGACT Chair, an individual who nominated a majority of the current selection committee members, or a member of the current selection committee.

Selection Committee

The winner is selected by a three-member committee. The SIGACT chair appoints the selection committee to serve staggered terms over three award cycles. The 2015 selection committee members are Lance Fortnow, Lane A. Hemaspaandra, and Sampath Kannan (chair).


Nominations can be made by any member of the Theory of Computing community and should contain a statement of no more than 500 words explaining why the candidate deserves the award. The nomination can also include an additional separate listing of service activities, additional support letters, and other supplemental material such as a pointer to the candidate's CV. The nomination must include the name, postal address, phone number, and e-mail address of the nominator. Nominations are to be submitted electronically in PDF format by April 1, 2015, to the chair of the selection committee, Sampath Kannan, at kannan@cis.upenn.edu. Please put "SIGACT Distinguished Service Award Nomination" in the subject line.

Past Winners

  • 2014: Lance Fortnow
  • 2013: Lane Hemaspaandra
  • 2012: Sampath Kannan
  • 2010: Hal Gabow
  • 2008: Richard Karp
  • 2006: Tom Leighton
  • 2004: Rockford J. Ross
  • 2002: Alan Selman
  • 2001: Michael Langston
  • 2000: S. Rao Kosaraju
  • 1999: Fred S. Roberts
  • 1998: Ian Parberry
  • 1997: David S. Johnson
Designed and maintained by Amit Chakrabarti
Wed Jan 28 12:18:46 EST 2015