The Alonzo Church Award for Outstanding Contributions to Logic and Computation

An annual award, called the Alonzo Church Award for Outstanding Contributions to Logic and Computation, was established in 2015 by the ACM Special Interest Group for Logic and Computation (SIGLOG), the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS), the European Association for Computer Science Logic (EACSL), and the Kurt Goedel Society (KGS) (referred to below as the four “Sponsoring Organizations”). The award is for an outstanding contribution represented by a paper or small group of papers within the past 25 years. This time span allows the contribution to have established evidence of lasting impact and depth. The award can be given to an individual or a group of individuals who have collaborated on the research.

Eligibility and Nominations

The basic eligibility criterion is that the contribution has appeared in a paper or papers within the past 25 years. When a paper has appeared in a conference and then in a journal, the date of the journal publication will determine the cut-off date. Thus, for the first award, which is planned to be presented in summer 2016, the cut-off date would be 1st January 1991. In addition, the contribution(s) should not yet have received recognition via a major award, such as the Turing Award, the Kanellakis Award, or the Goedel Prize. (The nominee(s) may have received such awards for other contributions.) While the contribution can consist of either conference or journal papers, journal papers will be given a preference. Decisions about eligibility are in the purview of the Award Committee.

Nominations will be solicited through the newsletters, bulletins, mailing lists, social networks, and websites of the sponsoring organizations and through publicity flyers at major conferences. The nominating letter must summarize the contribution and make the case for why it is outstanding. The nominating letter can have multiple co-signers. Self-nominations are excluded. A nomination must state clearly the contribution, explain why the contribution is fundamental and outstanding, and may be accompanied by supporting letters and other evidence of worthiness. Nominations must include a proposed citation (up to 25 words), a succinct (100-250 words) description of the contribution(s), and a detailed statement to justify the nomination.

The award will be given for intellectual depth, novelty, and impact. The award will be selected by the Award Committee from the submitted nominations by consensus, following the Ground Rules for Award-Committee Decision Making by ACM Awards Committee. If the Award Committee does not select any nomination, then no award will be made in the given year. The Award Committee shall provide a detailed citation that explains the basis of the award. The Award Committee shall take into account all individuals who have contributed to an awarded accomplishment, as well as independent discoveries of an awarded contribution, and assure that all individuals are treated fairly. In particular, the Award Committee can select a nomination, but change the set of selected individuals. The Committee must follow the Guidelines on Conflict-of-Interest by ACM Awards Committee.

Presentation of the Award

The award will be given annually and will be presented in turn at LICS,CSL, and ICALP, which are the flagship conferences of SIGLOG, EACSL, and EATCS, respectively. (The 2016 award will be given at LICS, the 2017 award will be given at CSL, and the 2018 award will be given at ICALP.) The award will be accompanied by an invited lecture by the award winner or one of the award winners at the conference where the award will be presented.

The awardee(s) will receive a certificate and a cash prize of USD2,000. If there are multiple awardees, this amount will be shared. The award will be covered by the operating expenses of the sponsoring organizations. The individual conference organization will cover the travel and other expenses for one of the award winners to present the invited talk. Each of the sponsoring organizations will contribute USD500 every year for the award honorarium.

Award Committee

The Church Award Committee will consist of four members appointed by EACSL (in consultation with KGS), EATCS, and SIGLOG. The appointments should be coordinated to strive for multi-dimensional diversity of the Committee, as well as to provide broad coverage of expertise across different research areas. A member of the Award Committee will serve for four years, with one member retiring every year. (There will be an initial transient period with an accelerated retirement schedule; see below.). Members of the Award Committee are not eligible to receive the Award during their service on the Committee. Officers of the sponsoring organizations are not eligible to serve on the Award Committee.

The four positions on the Award Committee are referred to as 1, 2, 3, and 4. The Sponsoring Organizations will appoint the members of first Award Committee to specific positions. The tenure of a member in position n shall be n years. In respective subsequent years, the member in position 1 shall retire from the Committee, the member in position n (n > 1) shall assume position n-1, and a new member shall be appointed by the Sponsoring Organizations for position 4. The Sponsoring Organizations shall take turns in appointing new members, to ensure a fair representation on the Award Committee according to the schedule specified below. In the event of an unanticipated vacancy on the Award Committee, the Sponsoring Organizations shall appoint a new member to the vacated position.

The Committee shall be chaired by the member in position 2. Thus, after serving as a chair, a member serves one additional year and then retires. The chair is responsible for publicizing the request for nominations, receiving nominations and distributing them to members of the Award Committee, and overseeing the selection processes.

For the 2016 Committee, the positions will be appointed as follows:

(1) EATCS, (2) SIGLOG, (3) EACSL, and (4) EATCS, Thereafter, appointments will continue in the cyclic order EATCS, SIGLOG, EACSL. (EACSL appointments will be in consultation with KGS.)

Oversight

Oversight of the Award will be done by the SIGLOG Awards Chair, who is responsible for keeping track of Committee membership, announcement materials, timelines, and the like, reminding the Sponsoring Organizations when it is their turn to name a new member of the Award Committee contacting the new chair of the Award Committee every year by October 1 to go over the Award rules, monitoring Committee’s work progress, and coordinating with the four Sponsoring Organizations. Any circumstances that are unaccounted for through the above process shall be resolved by the Sponsoring Organizations through the coordination of the SIGLOG Awards Chair. This set of rules can be changed by the Sponsoring Organizations.

Winners of the 2017 Alonzo Church Award

The 2017 Alonzo Church Award for Outstanding Contributions to Logic and Computation is given jointly to Samson Abramsky, Radha Jagadeesan, Pasquale Malacaria, Martin Hyland, Luke Ong, and Hanno Nickau for providing a fully-abstract semantics for higher-order computation through the introduction of game models, thereby fundamentally revolutionising the field of programming language semantics, and for the applied impact of these models.   Continue reading...

May 4, 2017