Distinguished Contributor Recognition Program

Recognizing members for their technical contributions to their profession and the society.


distinguished contributor programNew in 2021, the IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Contributor Recognition Program is open to all IEEE Computer Society members, including Affiliates, and is designed to recognize members’ contributions to the IEEE Computer Society as well as other accomplishments and achievements in the computing profession. This is a recognition program and is not an IEEE member grade.

The application period for the 2021 Class of Distinguished Contributors was between 16 August and 15 October 2021. 2022 applications will open on 16 August 2022.


Key Dates for 2022 Submission:

  • Applications Open: 16 August 2022
  • Application Deadline: 15 October 2022
  • Applicants Notified: Mid-December

For any additional questions, please email distinguished-contributor-feedback@computer.org



Minimum of 10 cumulative years of IEEE Computer Society membership, with at least 5 being consecutive at the time of submission. Student membership years excluded.

Evaluation of contributions made in the following areas:*

  • Awards and Keynotes
  • Publications
  • Standards, Patents, Working Groups, Government Advisory
  • Presentations
  • Tutorials and Training
  • Change Management, Corporate Contributions, Other Engineering
  • Applications must be submitted by 15 October; 11:59 PM ET

Members who meet the minimum length of membership requirement, and have achieved the IEEE member grade of Fellow or received a major CS technical award, will automatically be made a Distinguished Contributor (no separate application necessary).

*Proper documentation is required, such as URLs to pages documenting awards or publications.


Scoring Criteria

To apply, applicants must score at least 100 points with a minimum 50 points coming from contributions within the IEEE Computer Society (conferences, publications, standards, etc.).

Note: These points are not a guarantee of recognition, as applications are still evaluated by a volunteer committee. The number of members recognized in a calendar year is limited.

Awards and Keynotes

All awards must be explicit awards granted by conferences and documented by the conference presenting the award. Citation counts must be verifiable by a site such as Google Scholar.

  • Test of Time Award (20 points each/Maximum 3 awards)
    For papers presented at conferences more than 10 years ago, with more than 100 attendees, that continue to have a substantial impact on the field of computing, including both research and practice.
  • Best Paper Award (5 points each/Maximum 5 awards)
    For papers submitted at conferences with more than 50 attendees.
  • Highly Cited Papers (25 points each/Maximum 2 papers)
    For papers published in the field of computing that have been cited more than 400 times.
  • Well-Cited Papers (15 points each/Maximum 4 papers)
    For papers published in the field of computing that have been cited between 200-399 times.
  • Major Keynotes (25 points each/Maximum 2 Keynotes)
    Keynote presented at conferences with more than 1,000 attendees.
  • Keynote Talks (15 points each/Maximum 4 talks)
    Keynote presented at conferences with more than 100 attendees.
  • Significant Recognition (15 points)
    Significant recognition received for engineering management (may be demonstrated through a company award/letter detailing contributions to technical management.
  • New Product (20 points/Maximum 3 products)
    For recognition for the development of a new product that successfully went to market.

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  •   Article Publication (4 points each/Maximum 12 articles)
    For articles published in research journals or magazines in the fields represented by the IEEE Computer Society.
  •   Book Chapter in a field covered by the IEEE Computer Society (10 points each/Maximum 3 chapters)
  •   Author or co-author of a book in a field covered by the IEEE Computer Society (20 points each/Maximum 3 books)
  •   Author or co-author of a conference publication in a field covered by the IEEE Computer Society (3 points each/Maximum 15 papers)

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Standards, patents, working groups, and government advisory

  • Standards Working Group Chair (20 points)
    For contributions made as the chair of a standard in a field covered by the IEEE Computer Society.
  • Standards Author (10 points each/Maximum 3 standards)
    For contributions made as an author to a Standard in a field covered by the IEEE Computer Society.
  • Advisory Group (20 points each/ Maximum two appointments)
    Contributions made by being appointed to an advisory group. Appointments can either be internal to the IEEE Computer Society or external.
  •  Patents Granted (5 points each/Maximum 10 patents)
    For recognition of patents granted in fields covered by the IEEE Computer Society.
  • Dataset Creation (10 points each/Maximum 5 datasets)
    For creating a widely used dataset that others can use in their research or studies.

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  • Distinguished Visitor (15 points total/Minimum required 3 talks)
    For appointment as an IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Visitor with a minimum 3 online and/or in-person visits/presentations.
  • Computer Society Chapter Talks (2 points each/Maximum 20 talks)
    For sharing your depth of knowledge with a Computer Society Chapter.
  • Conference Presentation (w/out paper) or panelist at conference/workshop/symposium
    (2 points each/Maximum 15 presentations)
    For contributing your knowledge to the future of your profession by presenting or serving as a panelist.

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  • Online Courses or Tutorials (10 points each/Maximum 5 courses or tutorials)
    For the development of education to assist in skill development that has been widely adopted.
  • Industry Technical Training (15 points total)
    For significantly contributing to the delivery of an industry technical training in a field covered by the IEEE Computer Society.

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Change management, corporate contributions, other engineering

  • Change Management (15 points)
    For contributions to change management. Must show demonstration of significant contribution to updating / keeping one or more companies or government entities technologically current.
  • Corporate Contributions (Up to 50 points)
    For recognition by industry for technical achievement in a field covered by the IEEE Computer Society.
  • Engineering Contributions (15 points)
    For engineering contributions you have made that might not fit into the other areas already listed above, in a field covered by the IEEE Computer Society.

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Thank you to the IEEE Computer Society Volunteers who are contributing to the review process.


  • Fred Douglis, Chair
  • George Proeller, Vice Chair
  • Saurabh Bagchi
  • Ernesto Cuadros-Vargas
  • David Ebert
  • Jean-Luc Gaudiot
  • Bob Gezelter
  • Sumi Helal
  • Gail Kaiser
  • Sy-Yen Kuo
  • Perry Lea
  • Miriam Leeser
  • Ling Liu
  • David Lomet
  • Sorel Reisman
  • Chunming Rong
  • Mei-Ling Shyu
  • Diomidis D. Spinellis
  • Maarten van Steen
  • Hironori Washizaki
  • Stefano Zanero

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Charter Members

See the full list of Charter Members here.

2021 Inaugural Class

Inside the Computer Society