The 2015 ACM SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize is awarded to Avi Wigderson for his outreach in theoretical computer science.
The Institute of Advanced Study appointed Avi as the first faculty member in theoretical computer science. Under his leadership, IAS quickly became a major training ground for young researchers in the field, including many of today's research leaders.
Avi was one of the founding members of the SIGACT Committee for the Advancement of Theoretical Computer Science, which has been a strong advocate for the field to government funding agencies and beyond.
Avi was on the scientific advisory board of the Simons Foundation and with Avi's guidance the foundation supports postdocs, students and faculty in theoretical computer science. His advocacy also was important for the creation of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing.
Avi has greatly increased the appeal and impact of theoretical computer science through his lectures on theory topics to audiences in the broader computer science and mathematics communities.
This award recognizes Avi's tremendous influence and advocacy for the theoretical computer science community.