The 2012 SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize is awarded to Sampath Kannan.
Sampath's recent service has greatly increased funding for the TCS community, even at a time when computer science funding has been difficult. From 2008 to 2010 Sampath served as the NSF Division Director for Computing and Communication Foundations. He helped establish the Algorithmic Foundations program which funds a substantial portion of TCS research. He created the ICES program, the Interface between Computer Science and Economics & Social Science, thus supporting an emerging outreach direction for our community. Sampath serves on SIGACT's Committee for Advancement of Theoretical Computer Science, where he offers insights on NSF, and assists in crucial activities such as recruitment of new program directors. Sampath is currently the Associate Director for Computer Science at the Simons Foundation. The Foundation has recently begun providing substantial support to TCS through postdoctoral fellowships and graduate fellowships, and a planned Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing.
In addtion Sampath has served on program committees such as STOC and SODA, and on editorial boards such as ACM Transactions on Algorithms and Algorithmica. He was a member of the Steering Committee for the DIMACS Special Year on Computational Biology.
This award recognizes Sampath's selfless and invaluable contributions to the SIGACT community.