TCS Awards List

Below is a list of major awards that are relevant to the theoretical computer science community.  Included is a brief description of each, a link to the nomination instructions, and examples of researchers from TCS and related fields that won the award in the past.

Honorary Lectures
Lifetime Awards
Major Paper or Book, Set of Papers, etc.
Major Prizes
Mid-Career Awards
Service
Student Prizes
Thesis Prizes
Young Career Awards

Honorary Lectures

  • John von Neumann Lecture
    • For outstanding and distinguished contributions to the field of applied mathematical sciences and for the effective communication of these ideas to the community.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Jennifer Chayes, Donald Knuth, Ingrid Daubechies, Richard Karp
    • link

Lifetime Awards

  • Claude Shannon Award
    • To honor consistent and profound contributions to the field of information theory.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Robert Calderbank, Abbas El Gamal
    • link
  • Richard Hamming Medal
    • To honor an individual or team, up to three in number for exceptional contributions to information sciences, systems, and technology.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Robert Calderbank, Abbas El Gamal, Michael Luby, Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman, Ralph Merkle
    • link
  • Kyoto Prize
    • To honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind in the area of advanced technology.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Laszlo Lovasz, Donaly Knuth
    • link
  • Simons Investigator
    • To support outstanding scientists in their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field and effectively mentoring junior scientists.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Scott Aaronson, Boaz Barak, James Lee, Madhu Sudan, David Zuckerman, Dan Boneh, Subhash Khot, Chris Umans (2-3/year)
    • link
  • Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellows program given by DoD (formerly National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship)
    • Seeks outstanding researchers to propose basic research that is potentially transformative in topics areas of interest to the DoD.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Scott Aaronson, Sean Hallgren, Umesh Vazirani
    • link
  • INFORMS Khachiyan Prize
    • Honors individual or a team for life-time achievements in the area of optimization; recognizes a sustained career of scholarship from nominees who are still active at the year of the nomination. The prize serves as an esteemed recognition of innovativeness and impact in the area of optimization, including theory and applications.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Jean Bernard Lasserre
    • link
  • ACM Fellow
    • ACM’s most prestigious member grade recognizes the top 1% of ACM members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Edith Cohen, Shafi Goldwasser, Martin Grohe, Venkatesan Guruswami, Mor Harchol-Balter, Silvio Micali, Tal Rabin, Michael Sipser, R. Ravi, David Peleg, Erik Demaine, Mike Saks, Noga Alon, Monika Henzinger, Cynthia Dwork, Piotr Indyk
    • link
  • SIAM Fellow
    • To honor SIAM members who are recognized by their peers as distinguished for their contributions to the discipline.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Ronald DeVore, Pablo Parrilo, Robin Thomas, Joel Spencer, Cynthia Phillips, David Williamson, Fan Chung, Charles Leiserson, Moshe Vardi, Dorit Hochbaum, Michel Goemans, Andrew Goldberg, Alan Frieze
    • link
  • IEEE Fellow
    • A distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Emmanuel Candes, Andrea Montanari, Rebecca Wright
    • link
  • AMS Fellow
    • Recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Emmanuel Candes, Peter Sarnak, Noga Alon, Michael Sipser, Victor Pan, Jennifer Chayes, Lenore Blum, Michel Goemans, Tom Leighton, Nick Pippenger, Dana Randall, Madhu Sudan, Joel Spencer, Eva Tardos, Prasad Tetali, Alan Frieze
    • link
  • IACR Fellow
    • To recognize outstanding IACR members for technical and professional contributions that: advance the science, technology, and practice of cryptology and related fields; promote the free exchange of ideas and information about cryptology and related fields; develop and maintain the professional skill and integrity of individuals in the cryptologic community; advance the standing of the cryptologic community in the wider scientific and technical world and promote fruitful relationships between the IACR and other scientific and technical organizations.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Juan Garay, Yuval Ishai, Paul Kocher, Stafford Tavares, Victor Shoup, Joe Kilian, Tal Rabin, Ran Canetti, Eyal Kushilevitz, Moti Yung
    • link
  • INFORMS Fellow
    • For distinguished individuals who have demonstrated outstanding and exceptional accomplishments and experience in operations research and the management sciences (OR/MS).
    • Some recipients in TCS: R. Ravi, Dick Karp, Nimrod Megiddo, David Shmoys, Eva Tardos
    • link
  • CS-Can/Info-Can Lifetime Achievemant Award
    • Recognize current or former faculty members in Canadian Computer Science Departments, Schools, Faculties who have made outstanding and sustained contributions to computing over their careers. The awards can be for achievement in research, teaching, service, or any combination of these.
    • Some recipients in TCS: David Kirkpatrick, Ian Munro, Steve Cook, Derek Corneil
    • link
  • EATCS Award
    • Given to acknowledge extensive and widely recognized contributions to theoretical computer science over a life long scientific career.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Noam Nisan, Eva Tardos, Dexter Kozen, Christos Papadimitriou, Gordon Plotkin, Martin Dyer, Moshe Vardi, Boris (Boaz) Trakhtenbrot, Kurt Mehlhorn
    • link

Major Paper or Book, Set of Papers, etc.

  • Godel Prize
    • For outstanding papers in the area of theoretical computer science is sponsored jointly by the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS) and the Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM SIGACT).
    • Some recipients in TCS: Cynthia Dwork, Frank McSherry, Kobbi Nissim, Adam Smith, Stephen Brookes, Peter W. O’Hearn, Daniel Spielman, Shang-Hua Teng, Ronald Fagin, Amnon Lotem, Moni Naor, Antoine Joux, Dan Boneh, Matthew K. Franklin, Elias Koutsoupias, Christos H. Papadimitriou, Tim Roughgarden, Eva Tardos, Noam Nisan, Amir Ronen
    • link
  • Delbert Ray Fulkerson Prize
    • For outstanding papers in the area of discrete mathematics. The term “discrete mathematics” is interpreted broadly and is intended to include graph theory, networks, mathematical programming, applied combinatorics, applications of discrete mathematics to computer science, and related subjects.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Francisco Santos, Sanjeev Arora, Satish Rao, Umesh Vazirani, Anders Johansson, Jeff Kahn, Van H. Vu, Laszlo Lovasz, Balazs Szegedy
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  • Prize in Game Theory and Computer Science in Honour of Ehud Kalai
    • Awarded to the person (or persons) who have published the best paper at the interface of game theory and computer science in the last decade.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Tim Roughgarden, Christos Papadimitriou, Costis Daskalakis, Paul Goldberg
    • link
  • ACM SigEcom Test of Time Award
    • Recognizes the author or authors of an influential paper or series of papers published between ten and twenty-five years ago that has significantly impacted research or applications exemplifying the interplay of economics and computation.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Gagan Aggarwal, Ashish Goel, Rajeev Motwani
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  • INFORMS Computing Society Prize
    • For the best English language paper or group of related papers dealing with the Operations Research/Computer Science interface.
    • Some recipients in TCS: David Johnson, Pablo Parrilo, Peter Shor
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  • INFORMS Applied Probability Society Best Publication Award
    • Recognizes outstanding contributions (a book, paper, or set of papers) to Applied Probability.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Andrea Montanari, Devavrat Shah, David Gamarnik
    • link
  • INFORMS Applied Probability Society Best Student Paper Prize
    • To identify and honor outstanding papers in the field of applied probability that are written primarily by a student. We define applied probability broadly, as any paper related to the modeling, analysis, and control of stochastic systems.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Guido Lagos
    • link
  • SIAM SIAG/Optimization Prize
    • Awarded to the author(s) of the most outstanding paper, as determined by the prize committee, on a topic in optimization published in English in a peer-reviewed journal.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Michel Goemans, David Williamson, Yinyu Ye
    • link
  • SIAM George Polya Prize for Mathematical Exposition
    • Awarded every two years to an outstanding expositor of the mathematical sciences. The prize may be awarded for a specific work or for the cumulative impact of multiple expository works that communicate mathematics effectively.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Nick Trefethen
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  • SIAM George Polya Prize in Mathematics
    • Awarded every four years for a significant contribution, as evidenced by a refereed publication, in an area of mathematics of interest to George Pólya not covered by the George Pólya Prize in Combinatorics or the George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Emmanuel Candes, Terence Tao, Adam Marcus, Daniel Spielman, Nikhil Srivastava
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  • SIAM George Polya Prize in Combinatorics
    • Awarded every four years for a notable application of combinatorial theory. The prize is broadly intended to recognize specific recent work.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Van Vu, Neil Robertson, Paul Seymour, Noga Alon
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  • SIAM SIAG/CST Best SICON Paper Prize
    • Awarded to the author(s) of the two most outstanding papers, as determined by the prize committee, published in the SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization (SICON) in the three calendar years before the award year.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Bernard Chazelle, Pablo Parrilo
    • link
  • SIAM Ralph E. Kleinman Prize
    • Awarded to one individual for outstanding research, or other contributions, that bridge the gap between mathematics and applications. Work that uses high-level mathematics and/or invents new mathematical tools to solve applied problems from engineering, science, and technology is particularly appropriate.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Emmanuel Candes, Anna Gilbert
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  • AMS Levi L. Conant Prize
    • To recognize the best expository paper published in either the Notices of the AMS or the Bulletin of the AMS in the preceding five years.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Henry Cohn, Shlomo Hoory, Nati Linial, Avi Wigderson
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  • Michael and Sheila Held Prize from the National Academy of Sciences
    • Honors outstanding, innovative, creative, and influential research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science, such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory. This $100,000 prize is intended to recognize recent work (defined as published within the last eight years).
    • Some recipients in TCS: Prasad Raghavendra and David Steurer
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  • Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing
    • The prize is given for outstanding papers on the principles of distributed computing, whose significance and impact on the theory and/or practice of distributed computing has been evident for at least a decade.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Elizabeth Borowsky, Eli Gafni, Noga Alon, Laszlo Babai, Alon Itai, Michael Luby, Michael Ben-Or, Michael Rabin
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  • The Alonzo Church Award for Outstanding Contributions to Logic and Computation
    • The prize is awarded for an outstanding contribution represented by a paper or small group of papers within the past 25 years. This time span allows the contribution to have established evidence of lasting impact and depth.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Tomas Feder, Moshe Vardi,
    • link

Major Prizes

  • Kannelakis Prize
    • Honors specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Amos Fiat, Moni Naor, Michael Luby, James Demmel
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  • Knuth Prize
    • For outstanding contributions to the foundations of computer science is awarded for major research accomplishments and contributions to the foundations of computer science over an extended period of time.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Oded Goldreich, Noam Nisan, Laszlo Babai, Richard Lipton, Gary Miller
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  • IMU Nevanlinna Prize
    • Awarded once every 4 years at the International Congress of Mathematicians, for outstanding contributions in Mathematical Aspects of Information Sciences.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Subhash Khot, Daniel Spielman, Jon Kleinberg
    • link
  • Turing Award
    • To recognize contributions of lasting and major technical importance to the computing field.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman, Shafi Goldwasser, Silvio Micali
    • link

Mid-Career Awards

  • Shapley Lecture
    • Given at each World Congress of the Game Theory Society by a distinguished game theorist aged 40 or under at the time of the Lecture.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Tim Roughgarden
    • link
  • INFORMS Farkas prize
    • Awarded annually to a mid-career researcher for outstanding contributions to the field of optimization, over the course of their career. Such contributions could include papers (published or submitted and accepted), books, monographs, and software. The awardee will be within 25 years of their terminal degree as of January 1 of the year of the award.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Pablo Parrilo, Michel Goemans
    • link
  • ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award
    • Awarded to the outstanding young computer professional of the year, selected on the basis of a single recent major technical or service contribution. The candidate must have been 35 years of age or less at the time the qualifying contribution was made.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Craig Gentry, Omer Reingold, Tim Roughgarden, Brent Waters
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  • EATCS Presburger Award
    • To a young scientist (in exceptional cases to several young scientists) for outstanding contributions in theoretical computer science, documented by a published paper or a series of published papers. Nominated scientists must be at most 35 years at the time of the deadline of nomination.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Mark Braverman, Xi Chen, Erik Demaine, Venkatesan Guruswami, Mihai Patrascu, Alexandra Silva, David Woodruff
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  • NSF Alan T. Waterman Award
    • The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) annual Alan T. Waterman Award honors an outstanding young U.S. scientist or engineer. The awardee receives a grant of $1 million over five years for scientific research or advanced study in any field of science, plus a medal and other recognition. Public Law 94-86 of the 94th Congress established the Waterman Award in 1975 to mark the 25th anniversary of the NSF and to honor its first director, Alan T. Waterman. Criteria: a candidate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. He or she must be 40 years of age or younger, OR not more than 10 years beyond receipt of the Ph.D. degree, by December 31st of the year in which they are nominated. The candidate should have demonstrated exceptional individual achievements in scientific or engineering research of sufficient quality to be placed at the forefront of his or her peers. Criteria also include originality, innovation and a significant impact on the individual’s field.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Scott Aronson, Subhash Khot, Herbert Edelsbrunner, Emmanuel Candes, Mung Chiang
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  • ACM Prize in Computing
    • The award recognizes an early to mid-career fundamental innovative contribution in computing that, through its depth, impact and broad implications, exemplifies the greatest achievements in the discipline.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Dina Katabi, Alexei A. Efros, Stefan Savage, Dan Boneh
    • link

Service

  • ACM SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize
    • Awarded to an individual who has made substantial service contributions to the Theoretical Computer Science community.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Alistair Sinclair, Laszlo Babai, Avi Wigderson, Lance Fortnow
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  • INFORMS Computing Society Harvey J. GreenBerg Service Award
    • Given to an individual in recognition of their impact on the INFORMS Computing Society (ICS).
    • Some recipients in TCS: Richard S. Barr
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  • SIAM Prize for Distinguished Service to the Profession
    • Awarded to an applied mathematician who has made distinguished contributions to the furtherance of applied mathematics on the national or international level.
    • Some recipients in TCS: John Hopcroft
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  • EATCS Fellow
    • Awarded to a person having a track record of intellectual and organizational leadership within the EATCS community. Fellows are expected to be “model citizens” of the TCS community, helping to develop the standing of TCS beyond the frontiers of the community.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Jim Adamek, Susanne Albers, Artur Czumaj, Mike Fellows, Monika Henzinger, Thomas Henzinger, Giuseppe Italiano, Stefan Leonardi, Kurt Mehlhorn, Paul Spirakas, Aravind Srinivasan, Moshe Vardi, Moti Yung
    • link

Student Prizes

  • INFORMS George Nicholson Student Paper Competition
    • To identify and honor outstanding papers in the field of operations research and the management sciences written by a student.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Andrew Li, Bradley Sturt, Ramesh Johari
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  • INFORMS ICS Student Paper Prize
    • Is given annually to the best paper on computing and operations research by a student author.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Guido Lagos
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  • INFORMS ICS Student Paper Award
    • Is given annually to the best paper on computing and operations research by a student author.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Berk Ustun
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  • SIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Award (SIAM)
    • Awarded each year to an undergraduate student (or students for joint work) for outstanding research in mathematics.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Jacob Fox, Daniel Kane
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  • SIAM Student Paper Prize
    • Awarded every year to the student author(s) of the most outstanding SIAM paper(s) submitted to the SIAM Student Paper Competition.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Emanuele Viola
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  • SIAM Student Travel Awards
    • Given to help students gain the experience and exposure that comes from attending and presenting at SIAM conferences. The travel awards are intended to help students defray some of the costs of their attendance.
    • Awarded for SIAM conferences each year
    • link

Thesis Prizes

  • Mathematical Optimization Society Tucker Prize
    • Awarded at each International Symposium on Mathematical Programming for an outstanding doctoral thesis.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Daniel Dadush, Oliver Friedmann, Mohit Singh, Uday Shanbhag, Tim Roughgarden, Andrew Goldberg, Fabian Chudak
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  • INFORMS Dantzig Prize
    • Given for the best dissertation in any area of operations research and the management sciences that is innovative and relevant to practice.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Negin Golrezaei, Ian Osband, Devavrat Shah, Alberto Caprara
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  • ACM SigEcom Doctoral Dissertation Award
    • Recognizes an outstanding dissertation in the field of economics and computation.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Peng Shi, Bo Waggoner, James Wright, Matt Weinberg, Balu Sivan
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  • ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award
    • Presented annually to the author(s) of the best doctoral dissertation(s) in computer science and engineering.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Haitham Hassanieh, Aaron Sidford, Sanjam Garg, John Duchi
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  • EATCS Distinguished Dissertation Award
    • Given to promote and recognize outstanding dissertations in the field of theoretical computer science.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Bas Ketsman, Ilya Razenshteyn, Aviad Rubinstein, Vincent Cohen-Addad, Mika Goos, Steen Vester, Radu Curticapean, Heng Guo, Georg Zetzche, Karl Bringmann, Michal Skrzpczak, Mary Wootters
    •  link

Young Career Awards

  • Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
    • To recognize and honor outstanding scientists and engineers at the outset of their independent research careers.
    • Some TCS recipients: Scott Aaronson, Sean Hallgren, Adam Smith
    • link
  • SIAM Richard C. DiPrima Prize
    • Awarded to an early career researcher who has done outstanding research in applied mathematics (defined as those topics covered by SIAM journals) and who has completed his/her doctoral dissertation and completed all other requirements for his/her doctorate during the period running from three years prior to the award date to one year prior to the award date.
    • Some recipients in TCS: David Williamson
    • link
  • INFORMS Young Researchers Prize
    • Awarded annually at the fall INFORMS Annual Meeting to one or more young researcher(s) for an outstanding paper in optimization that is published in, or submitted to and accepted by, a refereed professional journal within the four calendar years preceding the year of the award.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Kamal Jain, Tim Roughgarden
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  • INFORMS Applied Probability Society Erlang Prize
    • A single prize will be awarded once every two years during even calendar years by the Applied Probability Society (APS) of INFORMS to an early career researcher who has made a significant contribution to applied probability.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Devavrat Shah
    • link
  • SIAM Early Career Travel Awards
    • Support for early career participants affiliated with U.S. institutions for travel to SIAM conferences through a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).
    • Awarded for SIAM conferences each year
    • link
  • SIAM Denes Konig Prize
    • Awarded biennially to an early career researcher or early career researchers for outstanding research, as determined by the prize committee, in an area of discrete mathematics, based on a publication by the candidate(s) in a peer-reviewed journal published in the three calendar years prior to the year of the award.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Adam Wade Marcus, Zeev Dvir, Jacob Fox
    • link
  • CS-Can/Info-Can Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Award
    • Recognize excellence in research, and are made to top young faculty members in Canadian Computer Science Departments, Schools, Faculties who are within the first ten years of their career beyond the completion of their PhD.
    • Some recipients in TCS: Lap Chi Lau, Nick Harvey, Kevin Leyton-Brown
    • link

Maintained by David Woodruff (dwoodruf@cs.cmu.edu)

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