News Release 

ACM recognizes luminaries whose service benefits all who participate in computing

Five honored for contributions to education, broadening participation, policy, and humanitarian efforts

Association for Computing Machinery

Award Announcement

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, today recognized five individuals with awards for their exemplary service to the computing field. Working in diverse areas, the 2020 award recipients were selected by their peers for longstanding efforts that have strengthened the community. This year's ACM award recipients made important contributions in areas including computing curriculum; increasing the participation of women in computing; strengthening ACM's presence in Europe; leading technology policy efforts; and bridging the fields of computer science, education, and global health.

Andrew McGettrick receives the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for his scholarship and tireless volunteer work and contributions, which have fundamentally improved rigorous computer science as a field of professional practice and as an academic pursuit.

Over five decades, McGettrick, a professor at the University of Strathclyde, has consistently made outstanding contributions to computing education. At the University of Strathclyde, he drove key curriculum improvements in Computer Science and Software Engineering. Additionally, his program evaluation initiatives for other universities and colleges improved the quality and rigor of undergraduate, Master's, and doctoral programs around the world. McGettrick's work for the UK government, including driving the first benchmarking standard for computing degrees and chairing the five-year revision of the QAA benchmarking standard for Master's degrees in Computing, was similarly transformative.

McGettrick has played multiple leadership roles within the British Computing Society (BCS) and has served on the ACM Education Board for two decades. With Eric Roberts, he launched ACM's Education Council, and he served as its Chair from 2007 to 2014. Under his leadership, the council developed numerous curricular volumes including the ACM/IEEE Curriculum Task Force's Computer Science, Software Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Overview volumes. He recently served on the ACM Education Board's Data Science Curriculum Task Force and helped launch the Learning at Scale series of annual conferences.

McGettrick was involved in the Committee on European Computing Education and was a co-founder and member of the Steering Committee of the Informatics for All coalition, a multi-organizational advocacy body that collaborates with the European Commission.

McGettrick's publications include more than 130 research articles, textbooks, and scholarly papers. His white papers have shaped the nature and progress of computing in Europe. He also edited or co-edited numerous influential collections, including Concurrent Programming Software Specification Techniques (1988), Software Engineering - A European Perspective (1993), and Grand Challenges in Computing (2004). McGettrick was the founding editor of Addison-Wesley's (now Pearson's) International Computer Science series (~100 books) and co-editor of Taylor and Francis' Computer Science undergraduate textbook series (20 books to date).

The Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award is presented annually to an outstanding educator who is appointed to a recognized educational baccalaureate institution. The recipient is recognized for advancing new teaching methodologies; effecting new curriculum development or expansion in Computer Science and Engineering; or making a significant contribution to the educational mission of ACM. Those with 10 years or less teaching experience are given special consideration. A prize of $10,000 is supplied by Pearson Education.

Jennifer Tour Chayes, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, receives the ACM Distinguished Service Award for her effective leadership, mentorship, and dedication to diversity during her distinguished career of computer science research, teaching, and institution building.

Chayes' service to the computing community is broad and sustained, encompassing leadership at both Microsoft Research and the University of California, Berkeley; service to many computing organizations; expanding the diversity of the computing field through mentorship of women, underrepresented racial minorities and other disadvantaged groups; and making important research contributions.

Chayes' distinguished service includes founding and leading the Theory Group at Microsoft Research and the Microsoft Research New England and New York City Labs. She also had an important role in the development of Microsoft's Montreal lab.

The MSR labs that Chayes founded had three times the percentage of women compared to corporate labs, and an unusually high percentage of people of color and members of the LGBTQ community. She has mentored more than 100 women in her career, many of whom have gone on to become leaders in their fields. Chayes continues to emphasize diversity as a core value at Berkeley in her position as Associate Provost of the Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society, and Dean of the School of Information.

Additionally, Chayes has an exceptionally strong record of service at the national and international levels to the computing community. Her service includes participation in advisory boards and committees associated with the National Academy of Sciences, the National Research Council, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and numerous other organizations. She has served on the Turing Award committee and the Heidelberg Laureate Selection Committee. She has served as an Associate Editor for many leading journals in statistical physics, computer science, mathematics, and data science, and has served as a co-organizer of numerous conferences across these fields.

The ACM Distinguished Service Award is presented on the basis of value and degree of services to the computing community. The contribution should not be limited to service to the Association, but should include activities in other computer organizations and should emphasize contributions to the computing community at large.

Chris Hankin receives the Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award for fundamental contributions to ACM Europe and for bringing a European perspective to critically important ACM committees and activities.

Hankin, a professor at Imperial College London, has been a continuous member of ACM since 1994, and has made significant contributions to the association. He served on the Editorial Board of ACM Computing Surveys from the mid-1990s and acted as co-editor of the Computing Surveys Symposium on Strategic Directions for Research on Programming Languages, held at MIT in 1996 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ACM. He served with distinction as Editor-in-Chief of ACM Computing Surveys from 2007 to 2013. He joined the Assessment and Search Committee of the Publications Board in 2015 and became Co-chair in 2017.

Hankin was elected to the ACM Europe Council in 2015 with the goal of reinforcing the policy arm of ACM in Europe. He is the co-author of two major policy papers from the Committee: the white paper on cybersecurity and the white paper on automated decision making. The first was referenced by the European Commission's top scientific advisory group (SAM). In July 2020, he became Chair of the ACM Europe Technology Policy Council and contributed to the enlargement and restructuring of the group, with the goal of making it the leading technology policy body in Europe.

Hankin served as Chair of the ACM Europe Council from 2017 to 2019, when he made it a priority to strengthen the visibility of ACM with younger generations in Europe. In this direction, he promoted the organization of two highly successful summer schools (organized by Yannis Ioannidis and Fabrizio Gagliardi), which addressed outstanding graduate and senior undergraduate students.

Finally, Hankin co-edited (with Panagiota Fatourou) the first CACM Special Regional Section on Europe in 2019, which offered a representative imprint of some of the most exciting activities on the continent.

The Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award recognizes outstanding service contributions to the Association. Candidates are selected based on the value and degree of service overall, and may be given to up to three individuals each year.

Richard Anderson, a Professor at the University of Washington, receives the ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics for contributions bridging the fields of Computer Science, Education, and global health.

Anderson, his students and collaborators have developed a range of innovative applications in health, education, the internet, and financial services, benefiting underserved communities around the globe. He is one of the founders of the emerging field of Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICTD), which seeks to develop and apply computing and information technologies to benefit low-income populations worldwide, particularly in developing countries.

Anderson has also led various projects using technological innovations to drive community-led video instruction and achieve success in education, agriculture, and health practice. For example, Projecting Health employs handheld projectors to show locally-produced videos to groups of women, spurring follow-up conversations on maternal and child health. Projecting Health has led to over 15,000 screenings across 180 villages, reaching an estimated 190,000 residents.

The Open Data Kit (ODK) research project is another exemplar of an open source infrastructure project revolutionizing data collection in developing regions and enabling improved learning, health care, and farming. Anderson provided leadership to the project as it transitioned from a university-led project to a free-standing organization, and continues to conduct research on expanding ODK-X, a platform for building data management applications that are having significant impact on humanitarian response, control of vector borne diseases, and country immunization systems.

Other successful partnerships have included a human milk bank project in South Africa; a mobile health communication platform for maternal and child health in Kenya; and a vaccine cold-chain project in Uganda and Pakistan.

In addition to research excellence and humanitarian projects, Anderson has played a core leadership role in bringing together several communities under the umbrella of ACM COMPASS (Computing and Sustainable Societies), and organizing and championing conferences, workshops, and tutorials, many of them in developing countries (e.g., Pakistan, Ghana, and Ecuador). Anderson has fostered a growing community of researchers, practitioners and students engaged in using computing and information technology for humanitarian causes.

The ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics recognizes an individual or group who has made a significant contribution through the use of computing technology. It is given once every two years, assuming that there are worthy recipients. The award is accompanied by a prize of $5,000.

Marc Rotenberg receives the ACM Policy Award for long-standing, high-impact leadership on privacy and technology policy.

Rotenberg is founder and President of the Center for AI and Digital Policy. Previously he was President and Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a public interest research center he co-founded in 1994. Early in his career, he launched the Public Interest Computer Association, the first organization in the US to help nonprofits use microcomputers. Rotenberg then helped draft key US privacy and computer security laws as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was director of the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) DC office.

He was also the first ACM Director of Public Policy, and a Chair of the ACM Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights. In 2020 he joined the Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation to launch the Center on Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy. In late 2020, and in collaboration with others, he edited and published Artificial Intelligence and Democratic Values: The AI Social Index 2020.

A leading advocate for privacy and data protection, Rotenberg has testified before the US Congress and European Parliament more than 60 times and has filed over 150 Freedom of Information lawsuits and amicus briefs in pursuit of greater government transparency and corporate accountability. He also edited and published such landmark reports as Privacy and Human Rights: An International Survey of Privacy Laws and Developments and Cryptography and Liberty.

Rotenberg has mentored two generations of public interest attorneys through internships at EPIC, as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law, and as the author of many textbooks and articles. He is also a leading voice for civil society at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and elsewhere. He helped draft and gather support for several global declarations, including The Civil Society Seoul Declaration (2008), The Madrid Privacy Declaration (2009) and The Universal Guidelines for AI (2018).


The ACM Policy Award was established in 2014 to recognize an individual or small group that had a significant positive impact on the formation or execution of public policy affecting computing or the computing community. This can be for education, service, or leadership in a technology position; for establishing an innovative program in policy education or advice; for building the community or community resources in technology policy; or other notable policy activity. The award is accompanied by a $10,000 prize.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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