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Europe Region Special Section: Hot topics

ACM Europe Council's Best Paper Awards


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The ACM Europe Council's remit is to support European ACM members while increasing the level and global visibility of ACM activities throughout Europe. Toward this goal, the ACM Europe Council's Best Paper Awards aim to achieve three key objectives: First, is to foster, recognize, and reward research excellence showcased at ACM-sponsored conferences held in Europe. Second, is to expand awareness of the many high-quality, ACM-sponsored events that take place annually within Europe. Third, is to enhance diversity and inclusion of European research across the global ACM community of researchers, students, and practitioners.

The ACM Europe Council's Best Paper Awards recognize authors of outstanding technical contributions to ACM-sponsored conferences held in Europe. In addition, these awards acknowledge groundbreaking research in each conference's discipline for its importance and contribution to computing, and to highlight theoretical and practical innovations likely to shape the future of computing both within Europe and globally. This initiative began in 2016 as an award to recognize best student papers. In 2018, the ACM Awards Committee recognized the initiative as a meritorious endeavor that now extends to both junior and senior participation categories. Thus far, eight awards have been bestowed, and six more are planned for the fiscal year 2019 including ACM CHI19 in Glasgow. Currently, this is the only regional-based best paper award of its kind offered by ACM.


The ACM Europe Council's Best Paper Awards recognize authors of outstanding technical contributions to ACM-sponsored conferences held in Europe.


There are between 30 and 50 ACM-sponsored conferences held annually in Europe. These events bring together a community of 6,000–10,000 researchers, students, and professionals. While every ACM-sponsored conference that takes place in Europe is eligible for the award, to date only a few have been invited to confer this distinction. Among those, for example, is the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS, the flagship annual conference of ACM's Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control or SIGSAC), which bestowed this award in 2016. From its inception, CCS has established itself as a high standard research conference in its area. The ACM Europe Council was proud to join SIGSAC in awarding the Best Student Paper to Xiao Han, Nizar Kheir (Orange Labs), and Davide Balzarotti (Eurecom) for their work "PhishEye: Live Monitoring of Sandboxed Phishing Kits."a

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Figure. Xiao Han receives the ACM Europe Council Best Student Paper Award from Gabriele Anderst-Kotsis during CCS 2016 in Vienna, Austria.

Another well-established venue is ACM Virtual Reality Software Technology, one of the oldest conferences in the field of virtual reality. The ACM Europe Council was proud to join SIGCHI/SIGGRAPH in bestowing the Best Paper Award to Misha Sra, a student from MIT's Media Lab Student, Sergio Garrido-Jurado, from the University of Córdoba, Chris Schmandt, and Pattie Maes from MIT's Media Lab for their paper entitled, "Procedurally Generated Virtual Reality from 3D Reconstructed Physical Space."b This award aims to foster excellence, and as recipients Garrido-Jurado and Sra commented: "The award was a validation of an idea we both strongly believed in despite some people telling us otherwise."

The ACM Europe Council was also honored to bestow on researcher Sergio Cabello, his first Best Paper Award in recognition of his work, "Subquadratic Algorithms for the Diameter and the Sum of Pairwise Distances in Planar Graphs," at the ACM-SIAM 2017 Symposium on Discrete Algorithms. This distinction aims to expand awareness of ACM conferences held in Europe, and as Cabello noted, "I definitely got a lot of recognition from colleagues in my research area because of the award."


By showcasing such work, and underscoring the diversity of research areas represented at ACM-sponsored conferences held across Europe, this award highlights excellence to the global ACM community.


For most of its recipients, the ACM Europe Council's Best Paper Award was their first such distinction. It will be interesting to see what lasting impact this recognition will have on the awardees. From their initial feedback, the short-term personal impacts have ranged from "more recognition from colleagues," "more speaker invitations," "more requests to review papers," "wider recognition for authors within their institutions and internationally," "confidence to continue to work on projects," "a first step of a European funded project," "follow-on journal papers," and "encouragement and validation." By showcasing such work, and underscoring the diversity of research areas represented at ACM-sponsored conferences held across Europe, this award will continue to highlight excellence to the global ACM community.

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Figure. Misha Sra receives the ACM Europe Council Best Student Paper Award from Hans-Joachim Hof during VRST 2016 in Munich, Germany.

For more details about the award, and to view distinguished papers to date, visit https://europe.acm.org/awards.

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Authors

Joaquim Jorge is a professor of computer graphics and multimedia at the Departamento de Engenharia Informática do Instituto Superior Técnico da Universidade de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal. He is also secretary of ACM Europe Council.

Mashhuda Glencross is the director for research and development at Switch That Technologies Ltd. and Pismo Software Ltd., both in Oxford, U.K. She is also Director-at-Large for ACM SIGGRAPH.

Aaron Quigley is chair of Human Computer Interactions at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He is SIGCHI vice president for conferences and general co-chair for ACM CHI 2021.

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Footnotes

a. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2978330

b. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2993372

ACM Europe Council seeks to continue its engagement with ACM conferences held in Europe. If you are chairing such a conference and would like to be considered for the ACM Europe Council's Best Paper Award, please contact [email protected].


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