Stephanie Forrest

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has announced the winners of five prestigious awards for their innovations in computing technology that have made significant contributions that enable computer science to solve real world challenges. UNM Professor of Computer Science Stephanie Forrest will receive the prestigious ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award for contributing new ways to address problems in computer science and biological sciences that were based on explicit linkages between these fields.

Forrest introduced ways for systems to model "self" leading to practical methods for detecting anomalous and malicious behavior. This work expanded to encompass building "artificial immune systems" for computers and networks that simulate the behavior of natural immune systems.  Her research resulted in new approaches to human vaccine design and deeper understanding of evolutionary diseases such as influenza and cancer. It also led to advances in automatic software fault correction, software (re)generation, and automated diversity for attack and flaw avoidance.

A professor at the University of New Mexico, Forrest was vice president of Research and co-chair of the Science Board at the Santa Fe Institute, and a researcher with the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The Newell Award recognizes career contributions that have breadth within computer science, or that bridge computer science and other disciplines.

These awards reflect achievements in human-computer interaction, complex data structure applications, computer science education, geographical information science, computer simulation for biological research and open-source software development tools. ACM will present these and other awards at the ACM Awards Banquet on June 16 in San Francisco, Calif.

Other 2011 Award Winners
Luis von Ahn, recipient of the Grace Murray Hopper Award for advances in harnessing the human side of human-computer interaction to solve problems that neither could solve alone. Originally termed "Human Computation," his methods employ the method known as crowdsourcing to tap into the collective intelligence of the public at large, enabling managers to expand their talent pools and gain insight into customer preferences. He created "Games with a Purpose" to harness human gameplay for tackling challenging image recognition problems. He and his colleagues coined the term CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), now the world's most ubiquitous computer security program. It relies on people to help digitize books on the Internet by distorting text in a way that remains easily readable by humans, but cannot be parsed by computers. A professor at Carnegie Mellon University, von Ahn received a MacArthur Fellowship. The Hopper Award recognizes the outstanding young computer professional of the year.

Hanan Samet, recipient of the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award for his profound influence on the theory and application of multidimensional spatial data structures.  He developed algorithms to create data structures that can index and navigate multidimensional numerical data quickly and hierarchically.   These structures are common in biomedical imaging, games, map and image processing, and computer graphics, and visualization, among others.  His recent book, "Foundations of Multidimensional and Metric Data Structures," won a Best Book award from the American Publishers Association's Professional and Scholarly Publishers Group.  A professor at the University of Maryland, where he is a member of the Center for Automation Research, he has an appointment at the University's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. He is a Fellow of ACM and of IEEE.  The Kanellakis Award honors specific theoretical accomplishments that significantly affect the practice of computing.

Hal Abelson, recipient of the Karl V. Karlstom Outstanding Educator Awardfor innovative advances in curricula designed for students pursuing different kinds of computing expertise.  He fostered revolutionary changes in the teaching and learning process that first de-emphasized programming language specifics and concentrated on the mathematical idea of abstraction as a fundamental concept in programming. More recently, as software and devices have become more integrated,  he redirected his focus on abstraction to an understanding of systems by performing scientific experiments that measure the fit of a model using probabilistic and statistical ideas. To help the novice or general student of computer science, he developed the App Inventor for building applications on Android phones and tablets.  He is a leader in the movement for open educational resources, and an advocate for the free exchange of intellectual property, thus promoting and democratizing education.  A professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he is a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the recipient of MIT's Bose Award. The Karlstrom Award recognizes educators who advanced new teaching methodologies; effected new curriculum development in Computer Science and Engineering; or contributed to ACM's educational mission.

Eclipse, recipient of the Software System Award created by IBM. Eclipse changed the way builders think about tools by defining a set of user interaction paradigms for which domain-specific variants are plugged in and customized for their tool. Conceived to address perceived shortcomings in proprietary software development tools, it allowed developers to seamlessly integrate their own extensions, specialization, and personalization. It revolutionized the notion of an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) by identifying the conceptual kernel underlying any IDE. Eclipse was designed as an open, extensible platform for application development tools with a Java IDE built on top.  

In 2004 Eclipse became a not-for-profit corporation. The Eclipse team includes from IBM: John Wiegand, Dave Thomson, Greg Adams, Philippe Mulet, Julian Jones, John Duimovich and Kevin Haaland; from Oracle: Steve Northover; and from Microsoft: Erich Gamma. The Software System Award is given to an institution or individuals recognized for developing software systems that have had a lasting influence, reflected in contributions to concepts and/or commercial acceptance.

About the Awards
Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award
honors specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing. This award is accompanied by a prize of $5,000 and is endowed by contributions from the Kanellakis family, with additional financial support provided by ACM's Special Interest Groups on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT), Design Automation (SIGDA), Management of Data (SIGMOD), and Programming Languages (SIGPLAN), the ACM SIG Projects Fund, and individual contributions.

Software System Award honors an institution or individual(s) recognized for developing a software system that has had a lasting influence, reflected in contributions to concepts, in commercial acceptance, or both. This award carries a prize of $35,000. Financial support for the award is provided by IBM.

ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award is presented to an individual selected for career contributions that have breadth within computer science, or that bridge computer science and other disciplines. This endowed award is accompanied by a prize of $10,000, and is supported by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and by individual contributions.

Grace Murray Hopper Award is given to the outstanding young computer professional of the year, selected on the basis of a single recent major technical or service contribution. This award is accompanied by a prize of $35,000. The candidate must have been 35 years of age or less at the time the qualifying contribution was made. Financial support for this award is provided by Google, Inc.

Karl V. Karlstom 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 ten years or less teaching experience are given special consideration. A prize of $5,000 is supplied by the Pearson Education.

About ACM
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), is the world'slargest 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.