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Award nominations

Joint AAAI/ACM SIGAI Doctoral Dissertation Award

AAAI and ACM SIGAI are excited to announce that we have established the Joint AAAI/ACM SIGAI Doctoral Dissertation Award to recognize and encourage superior research and writing by doctoral candidates in artificial intelligence. The award will be presented annually at the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, and the winner will be invited to present a talk at the conference.

A nominated dissertation must have been successfully defended (but not necessarily finalized) between October 1 of the previous year through September 30 of the current year. Nominations are welcome from any country, but only English language versions will be accepted. Only one nomination may be submitted per Ph.D. granting institution, including large universities. The nominator must be an ACM SIGAI member and/or AAAI member.

Nomination process:

Nominations are due by November 15. Nominations must be made by the thesis advisor; a complete nomination includes the following:

  1. The names, affiliations, and contact information of the nominator and the candidate.
  2. A nomination statement (200-300 words in length) that explains why the candidate should receive this award and addresses the significance of the dissertation. This should not simply repeat the information in the abstract.
  3. A letter of endorsement from the department head (or dean), which also certifies that this is the only nomination being made from that institution.
  4. Supporting letters (not less than two, and not more than three) from from experts in the field who can speak to the impact of the dissertation.
  5. An electronic copy of the submitted dissertation.

Nominations must be sent in an email (with all the materials attached as a single file) to the chair of the award committee, Prof. Bart Selman () by November 15, 11:59 PM anywhere in the world.

ACM SIGAI Industry Award for Excellence in Artificial Intelligence

The ACM SIGAI Industry Award for Excellence in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be given annually to individuals or teams who created AI applications in recent years in ways that demonstrate the power of AI techniques via a combination of the following features: novelty of application area, novelty and technical excellence of the approach, importance of AI techniques for the approach, and actual and predicted societal impact of the application. The award plaque is accompanied by a prize of $5,000 and will be awarded at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence through an agreement with the IJCAI Board of Trustees.

After decades of progress in the theory of AI, research and development, AI applications are now increasingly moving into the commercial sector. A great deal of pioneering application-level work is being done—from startups to large corporations—and this is influencing commerce and the broad public in a wide variety of ways. This award complements the numerous academic, best paper and related awards, in that it focuses on innovators of fielded AI applications, honoring those who are playing key roles in AI commercialization. The award honors these innovators and highlights their achievements (and thus also the benefit of AI techniques) to computing professionals and the public at large. The award committee will consider applications that are open source or proprietary and that may or may not involve hardware.

Evaluation criteria:

The criteria include the following, but there is no fixed weighting of them:

  • Novelty of application area
  • Novelty and technical excellence of the approach
  • Importance of AI techniques for the approach
  • Actual and predicted societal benefits of the fielded application

Eligibility criteria:

Any individual or team, worldwide, is eligible for the award.

Nomination procedure:

One nomination and three endorsements must be submitted. The nomination must identify the individual or team members, describe their fielded AI system, and explain how it addresses the award criteria. The nomination must be written by a member of ACM SIGAI. Two of the endorsements must be from members of ACM or ACM SIGAI. Anyone can join ACM SIGAI at any time for just US$11 (students) and US$25 (other) annual membership fee, even if they are not an ACM member.

Please submit the nomination and endorsements as a single PDF file in an email to . We will acknowledge receipt of the nomination.


  • Nominations Due: March 1, 2019
  • Award Announcement: April 25, 2019
  • Award Presentation: August 10-16, 2019 at IJCAI in Macao (China)

For more information on the award, see the Industry Award page.

ACM SIGAI Autonomous Agents Research Award 2018

Nominations are solicited for the 2018 ACM SIGAI Autonomous Agents Research Award. This award is made for excellence in research in the area of autonomous agents. It is intended to recognize researchers in autonomous agents whose **current work** is an important influence on the field. The award is an official ACM award, funded by an endowment created by ACM SIGAI from the proceeds of previous Autonomous Agents conferences. The recipient of the award will receive a monetary prize and a certificate, and will be invited to present a plenary talk at the AAMAS 2018 conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

Previous winners of the ACM SIGAI Autonomous Agents Research Award are: Carles Sierra (2019), Craig Boutilier (2018), David Parkes (2017), Peter Stone (2016), Catherine Pelachaud (2015), Michael Wellman (2014), Jeff Rosenschein (2013), Moshe Tennenholtz (2012), Joe Halpern (2011), Jonathan Gratch and Stacy Marsella (2010), Manuela Veloso (2009), Yoav Shoham (2008), Sarit Kraus (2007), Michael Wooldridge (2006), Milind Tambe (2005), Makoto Yokoo (2004), Nicholas R. Jennings (2003), Katia Sycara (2002), and Tuomas Sandholm (2001). For more information on the award, see the Autonomous Agents Research Award page.

How to nominate

Anyone can make a nomination. Nominations should be made by email to the chair of the award committee, Jeff Rosenschein (), and should consist of a short (< 1 page) statement that emphasizes not only the research contributions that the individual has made that merit the award but also how the individual’s current work is an important influence on the field.

NOTE: a candidate can only be considered for the award if they are explicitly nominated. If you believe that someone deserves the award, then NOMINATE THEM -- don't assume that somebody else will!

Important dates

  • 17 January 2018 -- Deadline for nominations
  • 7 February 2018 -- Announcement of 2017 winner
  • 10-15 July 2018 -- AAMAS-2018 conference in Stockholm

Advanced Member Grades in the ACM

Senior Member nominations are accepted throughout the year on a quarterly basis and are reviewed by the Senior Member Nominations Committee in cycles. The deadlines are June 3, September 3, December 3, and March 3.

Visit for detailed guidelines and application.

ACM-W 2014-2015 Athena Lecturer

Athena Lectures celebrate women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science. Each year ACM will honor a preeminent woman computer scientist as the Athena Lecturer. The Athena Lecturer will give a one-hour invited talk at an ACM conference determined by the speaker and the SIG which nominated her. A video of the talk will appear on the ACM website and the talk may also appear in the Communications of the ACM. The award includes travel expenses to the meeting and a $10000 honorarium.

Athena Lecturers must be nominated by a SIG. All SIGs are eligible to nominate up to two candidates. Each nomination requires three letters of reference. Note: Members of the Athena Lecturer Selection Committee cannot be nominated to be an Athena Lecture.

To nominate someone you think deserves the award, please email to with a statement describing why the nominee should be considered for the award. SIGAI will decide which nominations to forward.

More information at