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Abdelzaher, Chan, Karahalios, and Sundaram Honored by ACM

12/18/2019 1:37:30 PM Colin Robertson, Illinois Computer Science

Three Illinois Computer Science faculty have been recognized by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, for their outstanding contributions to the field. 

Professors Tarek Abdelzaher and Timothy M. Chan were among 58 ACM members recently inducted to the 2019 class of ACM Fellows, while Professor Karrie Karahalios and Associate Professor Hari Sundaram were among 62 ACM Distinguished Members for 2019.

ACM Fellow is ACM’s most prestigious grade of membership, recognizing the top 1% of the Association’s global membership for their “outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community.”  The ACM Distinguished Member program recognizes significant accomplishments of up to 10% of ACM’s membership.

Professor and Willett Faculty Scholar Tarek Abdelzaher
Professor and Willett Faculty Scholar Tarek Abdelzaher

Abdelzaher, who is a Willett Faculty Scholar, was recognized for “interdisciplinary contributions that bridge cyber-physical systems, social sensing, real-time computing, and control.” A leading researcher with nearly 350 publications, Abdelzaher has made significant contributions to the systems that bridge embedded, social, and real-time computing. He developed the field of social sensing, which refers to the analysis and measurement of media where social signals interact with complex physical and information environments, and he developed theory and tools for understanding systems that feature collaboration between human networks and embedded devices, such as sensors.

Founder Professor Timothy Chan
Founder Professor Timothy Chan

Chan, a Founder Professor of Engineering, is a leader in computational geometry and, more broadly, in the design and analysis of algorithms and data structures. As one of the field’s most influential and productive researchers, he has contributed a number of seminal results of key importance. For example, he has developed faster algorithms for computing convex hulls and faster data structures for nearest neighbor search. The ACM cited Chan for his “contributions to computational geometry, algorithms, and data structures.”

Professor Karrie Karahalios
Professor Karrie Karahalios

Karahalios is a leading expert in interactive and social computing, a field that explores the impact of computer mediation on human interactions and relationships. She has worked with speech and education professors to create visualization tools that help assess and aid autistic children and their parents.  Karahalios is also at the forefront in examining the algorithms that tie us together and the ethics behind them, building interfaces to examine social media. Her award-winning 2015 study examining Facebook’s news feed has helped to spark an important discussion about algorithmic bias.

Associate Professor Hari Sundaram
Associate Professor Hari Sundaram

Sundaram is innovating at the intersection of social network analysis and computational advertising, with expertise on the analysis of structure and of dynamics in social networks, sensing physical activity via smartphones and wearable sensors, and developing computational advertising frameworks for persuasion. His work was the first to propose a generic framework to jointly address skew and sparsity challenges in online behavioral data, improving prediction performance by 25-40% over the state of the art Neural models.

ACM will formally recognize its 2019 Fellows at the annual Awards Banquet, to be held in San Francisco on June 20, 2020. Additional information about the 2019 ACM Fellows, as well as previously named ACM Fellows, is available through the ACM Fellows site.  Visit the ACM Distinguished Members site for more information about that program and a complete list of the 2019 inductees.


About the ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery www.acm.org, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting 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.