National & International Awards

Nationally & Internationally Recognized Alumni

The lasting effects of our program is clearly demonstrated by the achievements of our alumni, who constantly change the world's science, industry, and society. Professional societies, industry, and academia recognize our alumni achievement.

If you know of an alumni award or accomplishment not captured here, please contact us at alumni@cs.illinois.edu.

Note: a computer science degree programs were not established at the University until 1965 (undergraduate) and 1966 (graduate). Below, we also include University alumni from other disciplines who had significant impact on the field of computers science: Gene Golub (BS Math '53, MA Stats '54, PhD Math '59, Hon. DSc '91) - Scientific Computing, Richard Hamming (PhD Math '42) - Error Correcting Codes, Joan L. Mitchell (MS Physics '71, PhD Physics '74) - Image Processing & Data Compression, and Jean E. Sammet (M.A. Math '49) - Programming Languages.


AAAI Fellows
The AAAI Fellows Program honors a small percentage of the AAAI membership. Fellows are recognized as having unusual distinction in the profession.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research in the United States. Election to the Academy is considered one of the nation’s highest honors since its founding during the American Revolution.

A.M. Turing Award
The A.M. Turing Award, the ACM's most prestigious technical award, is given for major contributions of lasting importance to computing.

ACL Lifetime Achievement Award
Created in 2002, the ACL Lifetime Achievement Award is presented for scientific achievement, of both theoretical and applied nature, in the field of Computational Linguistics, considering the originality, depth, breadth and impact of the entire body of the nominees' work.

ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award
Presented annually to the author(s) of the best doctoral dissertation(s) in computer science and engineering.

ACM - IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award
An award of $5000 is given for contributions to computer and digital systems architecture where the field of computer architecture is considered at present to encompass the combined hardware-software design and analysis of computing and digital systems.

ACM Fellows
ACM's most prestigious member grade recognizes the top 1% of ACM members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community.

ACM SIGKDD Dissertation Award
This annual award, introduced in 2008, recognizes excellent research by doctoral candidates in the field of data mining and knowledge discovery.

ACM SIGMM Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis in Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications
This award will be presented at most once per year to a researcher whose PhD thesis has the potential of very high impact in multimedia computing, communication and applications, or gives direct evidence of such impact.

ACM SIGMOD Jim Gray Doctoral Dissertation Award
Inaugurated in 2006, this annual award recognizes excellent research by doctoral candidates in the database field.

ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award
Established in 2012, this award is presented annually to the author of an outstanding doctoral dissertation in the area of Software Engineering.

ACM SIGOPS Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award
Created in 2013 by ACM SIGOPS, the Award recognizes research in software systems and encourages the creativity that Dennis Ritchie embodied, providing a reminder of Ritchie's legacy and what a difference one person can make in the field of software systems research.

ACM-W Athena Lecturer
Athena Lectures celebrate outstanding women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science. Each year ACM honors a preeminent woman computer scientist as the Athena Lecturer.

CRA A. Nico Habermann Award
CRA gives this award for outstanding contributions aimed at increasing the numbers and/or successes of underrepresented groups in the computing research community. This award recognizes work in areas of government affairs, educational programs, professional societies, public awareness, and leadership that has a major impact on advancing these groups in the computing research community.

IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award
The Computer Pioneer was established in 1981 by the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society to recognize and honor the vision of those people whose efforts resulted in the creation and continued vitality of the computer industry. The award is presented to outstanding individuals whose main contribution to the concepts and development of the computer field was made at least fifteen years earlier.

IEEE Computer Society Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award
Established in late 1997, the award recognizes innovative contributions to high performance computing systems that best exemplify the creative spirit demonstrated by Seymour Cray.

IEEE Computer Society W. Wallace McDowell Award
A certificate and $2,000 honorarium are presented for outstanding recent theoretical, design, educational, practical, or other similar innovative contributions that fall within the scope of Computer Society interest.

IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award
For outstanding contributions in the field of information processing, in relation to computer science.

IEEE Fellows
The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year does not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the total voting Institute membership.

IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal
The IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal, established in 1986, is named in honor of Dr. Richard W. Hamming, who had a central role in the development of computer and computing science, and whose many significant contributions in the area of information science include his error-correcting codes.

Indian National Academy of Engineering
The Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), founded in 1987, comprises India’s most distinguished engineers, engineer-scientists and technologists covering the entire spectrum of engineering disciplines. The aims and objects of the Academy are to promote and advance the practice of engineering and technology, related sciences and disciplines and their applications to problems of national importance.

Microsoft Research Faculty Fellows
Each year since 2005, Microsoft Research has recognized innovative, promising new faculty members from a number of research institutions to join the ranks of Microsoft Research Faculty Fellows. The selected professors are exploring breakthrough, high-impact research that has the potential to help solve some of today’s most challenging societal problems.

National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award Winners
The Faculty Early Career Development Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

National Academy of Sciences
Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research.

National Academy of Engineering
Election to National Academy of Engineering membership is one of the highest professional honors accorded an engineer. Members have distinguished themselves in business and academic management, in technical positions, as university faculty, and as leaders in government and private engineering organizations.

NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award
The award recognizes faculty members who combine outstanding research accomplishments with excellence in graduate mentoring, as well as those who advocate for recruiting, encouraging, and promoting women and minorities in computing fields.

Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
The prize rewards an outstanding engineering-led advance that has produced tangible and widespread public benefit, celebrating outstanding advances in engineering that have changed the world.

Sloan Research Fellows
The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.  These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

Anita Borg Institute Award for Technical Leadership
The Award for Technical Leadership recognizes women technologists who demonstrate leadership through their contributions to technology and achievements in increasing the impact of women on technology.

ACM SIGACT Knuth Prize
The Prize is awarded for major research accomplishments and contributions to the foundations of computer science over an extended period of time.