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Computer Society Presents Technical Awards

The IEEE Computer Society sponsors a robust program of awards that recognize both technical achievement and service to the Society and the profession. Technical awards are given for pioneering and significant contributions to the field of computer science and engineering. Service awards may be given to both volunteers and staff for well-defined contributions to the Society. The IEEE Computer Society Awards Committee takes care to assure that the evaluation and selection process is open, rigorous, and beneficial to the prestige of both the Society and the individual award recipients.

Computer Pioneer Award

The IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to concepts and developments in the electronic computer field that have clearly advanced the state of the art in computing. The contributions must have taken place 15 or more years earlier.

In 2009, the Society honors ENIAC programmer Jean J. Bartik; first IEEE Computer Society president Edward J. McCluskey, of Stanford University and Bell Labs; and Petri net inventor Carl A. Petri.

Jean J. Bartik



Jean Bartik was one of the original programmers (or "computers") for the ENIAC computer, first developed by the US military for the purpose of calculating ballistics trajectories. In its original form, ENIAC was programmed by setting dials and changing cable connections. Bartik later worked to convert the ENIAC into a stored-program computer. In subsequent years, she went on to work on the BINAC and UNIVAC I computers.

Bartik was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 1997 and received an honorary PhD from Northwest Missouri State University in 2002, and became a Fellow of the Computer History Museum in 2008.

Edward J. McCluskey



Edward J. McCluskey, an emeritus professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Stanford University, developed the first algorithm for designing combinational circuits, the Quine-McCluskey logic minimization procedure, during his doctoral studies at MIT. At Bell Labs and Princeton University, he developed the modern theory of transients (hazards) in logic networks and formulated the concept of operating modes of sequential circuits.

McCluskey is a Fellow of the IEEE, the ACM, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Carl A. Petri



In 1939, at the age of 13, Carl Adam Petri invented Petri nets for the purpose of describing chemical processes. Petri nets are a graphical tool for describing and analyzing concurrent processes in systems with many components, such as distributed systems.

In the early 1960s, Petri directed computer installations at the University of Bonn, and from 1968 to 1991 served as director of research at Germany's National Center for Mathematics and Computing.

In 1988, Petri became an honorary professor at the University of Hamburg. A member of the Academia Europaea, he was named Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion in 2003.

Computer Entrepreneur Award

The IEEE Computer Society Computer Entrepreneur Award is presented to individuals whose entrepreneurial leadership is responsible for the growth of some segment of the computer industry. The efforts must have taken place more than 15 years earlier, and the industry effects must be generally and openly visible.

In 2009, the Society honors Edwin E. Catmull of Pixar, and Charles M. Geschke and John E. Warnock of Adobe.

Edwin E. Catmull

Edwin E. Catmull is president and cofounder of Pixar Animation Studios. In 1993, Catmull earned an award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his role in developing the proprietary PhotoRealistic RenderMan software used by Pixar to create its in-house 3D animated movies. Additional Academy Awards followed in 1996 and 2001. In 2008, Catmull received the Academy's Gordon E. Sawyer Award for technological contributions. In computer graphics, a Catmull–Rom spline (named after Catmull and Raphie Rom) is used to get smooth interpolated motion between key frames.

Catmull's earliest contribution to the film industry was an animated sequence in the 1976 movie Futureworld, the first Hollywood film to use 3D computer graphics. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000.

Charles M. Geschke

Charles M. Geschke is cofounder with John Warnock of Adobe Systems. Prior to cofounding Adobe, Geschke formed the Imaging Sciences Laboratory at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where he directed research activities in the fields of computer science, graphics, image processing, and optics.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Geschke serves on the boards of several educational institutions as well as arts and nonprofit organizations. He is on the board of trustees for the University of San Francisco and is a member of the computer science advisory board of Carnegie-Mellon University.

Geschke was ranked as the seventh most influential graphics person of the last millennium by Graphic Exchange magazine in 2000, and received the Medal of Achievement from the American Electronics Association in 2006.

John E. Warnock

John E. Warnock, cofounder of Adobe Systems with Charles M. Geschke, was president of Adobe for the company's first two years and Chairman and CEO for the next 16 years.

A respected software industry innovator and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Warnock holds seven patents, has contributed a large number of articles to technical journals and industry magazines, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of computing technologies on business and publishing.

Warnock has received numerous awards including the Medal of Achievement from the American Electronics Association, a lifetime achievement award for technical excellence from PC Magazine, the ACM Systems Award, and the British Computer Society's Ada Lovelace Award.

Learn more about the IEEE Computer Society Awards program at

Society Names 2009 Intel ISEF Prize Winners


Figure    David C. Liu also won a lucrative prize package from the US Army.

For his project, "Semantic Image Retrieval: Learning Gaussian Mixture Models of Semantic Concepts Using Expectation-Maximization," David C Liu, 17, of Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California, recently received a $1,000 IEEE Computer Society prize at the 2009 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Reno, Nevada.

Isef Offers Cash Awards to Top Young Scientists

Sponsored by Intel since 1967, and presented this year by Agilent, ISEF offers an opportunity for top young scientists from around the globe gather to share ideas, present cutting-edge science projects, and compete for more than $4 million in awards and scholarships. The ISEF Grand Awards alone total nearly $1 million in scholarships, tuition grants, and scientific field trips. The balance of the prize money is offered by the nearly 70 government agencies and other organizations that participate in ISEF.

Founded by the nonprofit educational organization Society for Science & the Public in 1950, Intel ISEF is the world's largest precollege science fair. First-, second-, third-, and fourth-place Intel best-of-category awards are $3,000, $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively, in each of 18 scientific categories. The top three winners at Intel ISEF each receive a $50,000 scholarship. Other organizations and government entities, including the IEEE and the IEEE Computer Society, also sponsor prizes of varying denominations at ISEF. More than 600 individual contestants and team members were recognized at ISEF 2009.

Computer Society Awards At Isef

Seven competitors at Intel ISEF 2009 received cash awards from the IEEE Computer Society. Based on scores compiled by a team of expert volunteer judges fielded by the Computer Society, winners of IEEE Computer Society awards at ISEF 2009 were:

First Award—$1,000:

"Semantic Image Retrieval: Learning Gaussian Mixture Models of Semantic Concepts Using Expectation-Maximization"

David C. Liu, 17, Lynbrook High School, San Jose, California

Second Award—$500:

"Creating Zinif: An Interpreted, Object-Oriented Programming Language"

Kent Andrew Williams-King, 15, Argyll Centre, Calgary, Canada

Third Award—$350:

"FPFD: An Implementation of IEEE 754-2008 Decimal Arithmetic"

Tavian Edwin Lyon Barnes, 17, Queen Elizabeth High School, Calgary, Canada

Team First Award—$500 for each team member:

"Stylometric 'Fingerprinting': A Computerized Approach to Author Identification"

Ashley Kate Vechinski, 14, Life Christian Academy, Harvest, Alabama

Bethany Lynne Johnson, 15, Life Christian Academy, Harvest, Alabama

Team Second Award—$400 for each team member:

"The Development of a CAD to Find Abnormalities in Digital Radiographs, Phase II"

Rebekah Kristine Unsworth, 16, Kingswood Academy, Sulphur, Louisiana

Mary Rochelle Unsworth, 18, Kingswood Academy, Sulphur, Louisiana

More Honors

Contestants at ISEF have the opportunity to win prizes of tuition, cash, professional memberships, equipment, travel, and more from a broad variety of sponsoring organizations.

Society Winners Gain More Prizes

Students recognized by the Computer Society often win other honors at ISEF. This year, Computer Society first award winner Liu also received a $500 prize from Intel, a US Army-sponsored trip to Operation Cherry Blossom in Tokyo, three $1,000 savings bonds, and $500 from the Association of the US Army.

Second award winner Williams-King won a $92,000 four-year full-tuition "Genius Scholarship" to Sierra Nevada College. Team first award winners Vechinski and Johnson also garnered a $1,500 prize from Science News. All Computer Society award winners receive a gift certificate for any Society publication and a one-year subscription to a Society magazine of their choice.

Young Scientist Award Winners

Winners of $50,000 Intel Young Scientist Award individual scholarships at ISEF 2009 were Tara Anjali Adiseshan, 14, of Ramana Academy in Charlottesville, Virginia, for "Identifying and Classifying Evolutionary Interactions between Sweat Bees and Nematodes"; Olivia Catherine Schwob, 16, of Boston Latin School, for "How Worms Learn, Part III: Mammalian Gene Expression and Associative Conditioning in Caenorhabditis elegans"; and Li Sallou Boynton, 17, of Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas, for "The Use of Bioluminescent Bacteria to Detect Environmental Contaminants."

$10,000 IEEE Presidents' Scholarship

Rahul Kumar Pandey, 17, of Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills, Michigan, won the 2009 IEEE Presidents' Scholarship for presenting "A Microwave Metamaterial Lens with Negative Index of Refraction."

Sponsored by the IEEE Foundation, the IEEE Presidents' Scholarship is awarded for outstanding achievement in the field of engineering. It includes a $10,000 scholarship payable over four years for undergraduate study in engineering or a related field. The winner also receives a plaque, a framed certificate, and free membership in the IEEE for the duration of the scholarship.

Microplanets Named for Winners

MIT's Lincoln Laboratory works with Intel ISEF to promote science education through the Ceres Connection program, which seeks to name minor planets after students who excel at Society for Science competitions, including ISEF. The names of first- and second-place category award winners are submitted to the International Astronomical Union for naming rights to a near-earth asteroid. All minor planets named via the Ceres Connection have been discovered by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program.

ISEF Competition

ISEF-affiliated science fairs throughout the world bring together competitors from the 9th through 12th grades. Students must develop a hypothesis, a procedure for testing the hypothesis, and a detailed research plan. Once the project is approved, contestants begin experimenting, observing, and collecting data in a project journal, and subsequently interpreting the data and observations before drawing conclusions in a final report for presentation.

The Intel ISEF moves to San Jose, California, in 2010. For complete details on past, current, and future ISEF competitions, as well as resources for locating affiliated regional science fairs, visit

IEEE Computer Society Launches 2009 Elections

Each year, members of the IEEE Computer Society vote for the officers who will plan and direct the Society's operations in the coming year. Computer Society officers lead efforts in such areas as publications, educational activities, conferences, and electronic products and services, and decide matters of administrative practice and policy for the Society as a whole. The volunteers selected this year will serve under 2010 president James D. Isaak, who was voted president-elect in last year's election.

Candidates for office reach the ballot in one of two ways: by Nominations Committee recommendation or by petition. The committee accepts nominations from members until April. At a June meeting, the current Board of Governors approved the slate of candidates brought forward by the Nominations Committee.

President-Elect and Vice President Candidates

The 2009 IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors has approved Sorel Reisman and Jon Rokne as candidates for 2010 president-elect/2011 president. The president oversees the Society's programs and operations and is a nonvoting member of most Society program boards and committees.

The board also approved Roger Fujii and Don Shafer as candidates for first vice president. Candidates for second vice president are Sattupatha Sankaran and Jeffrey Voas.

After the elections, 2010 president James D. Isaak will appoint the two elected vice presidents to oversee two Society program boards. At his discretion, Isaak will select appointees to head the Society's other governing boards and committees.

Board of Governors Candidates

The 21 members of the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors serve rotating three-year terms in groups of seven. The 11 candidates for 2010 to 2012 terms on the Board of Governors are Pierre Bourque, Elizabeth Burd, Jose Castillo-Velazquez, Thomas Conte, Frank Ferrante, Jean-Luc Gaudiot, Gargi Keeni, Luis Kun, James Moore, Pablo Sanchez, and John Walz.

The seven candidates who receive the most votes will assume seats on the Board starting in January 2010. The IEEE Computer Society elections begin on 10 August, when paper ballots will be mailed to all Society members, and end on 5 October. All members will have the opportunity to vote via paper mail, fax, or online.

Visit for complete 2010 election details.

Petition Candidate Materials Due

In addition to the above-mentioned candidates, the IEEE Computer Society welcomes the nominations of other contenders for office. To have a name added to the ballot, a member can submit a petition to the Society secretary via mail, fax, or e-mail indicating the desired office, the starting date of the term, and the name of the candidate.

The petition must also include the signatures of voting members of the Society. Society bylaws stipulate that 600 signatures of eligible voters plus 1 percent of the difference between the number of eligible voters and 30,000 are required. Signatures may be submitted electronically through the official IEEE Computer Society annual election website or by signing and mailing a paper petition. The names of each member signing the paper petition must be clearly printed or typed, and membership numbers or addresses must be included. The number of signatures required on a petition depends on the number of eligible voters listed in the official IEEE membership records as of 31 December 2008.

The nominee must be willing to serve if elected. Evidence of such willingness to serve must be submitted with the petition. Send all petition nominee materials by 31 July to IEEE Computer Society Secretary David Alan Grier at or at the Society's headquarters office in Washington, D.C: 2001 L Street N.W., Suite 700, Washington, DC, 20036.

Petition candidates must also submit biographical data, position statements, and 300-dpi digital images or studio-quality head-and-shoulders portraits by 31 July to the Society's West Coast office: 10662 Los Vaqueros Circle, Los Alamitos, California, 90720.

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