Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Viewpoint

The Informal Guide to ACM Fellow Nominations


View as: Print Mobile App ACM Digital Library In the Digital Edition Share: Send by email Share on reddit Share on StumbleUpon Share on Hacker News Share on Tweeter Share on Facebook
The Informal Guide to ACM Fellow Nominations, illustrative photo

Credit: Andrij Borys Associates / Shutterstock

The ACM fellows program recognizes the top 1% of the ACM membership that has shown excellence in technical, professional, and leadership contributions. The ACM web site (http://awards.acm.org/fellow/) provides detailed information about the criteria of the program and detailed instructions about the process and requirements for nominations. This Viewpoint aims to complement these formal instructions with informal advice about writing good nominations and endorsements. It is based on the personal experience of the author and of other current and past members of the ACM Fellows Award committee. It is not an official ACM document, therefore presentation as a Communications Viewpoint.

The success of a nomination depends first and foremost on the quality of the candidate. Usually, the candidate will not be familiar to most or all the committee members; a committee member that knows the candidate well could have a conflict and not be able to participate in the discussion of that candidate. Further, few committee members are likely to be thoroughly versed in the candidate's subfield. Therefore, decisions on candidates will be based almost uniquely on the information provided by the short nomination and endorsements. Hence, the quality of these documents is paramount: While a good nomination may not help a weak candidate, a lousy one may sink a good candidate. Most nominators and endorsers understand this and write well-considered nominations and endorsements.


Comments


Richard Gabriel

"... no nomination is a no-brainer for the award committee."

I think this is, strictly speaking, false. In 2008 I was asked to endorse a nominee for ACM Fellow. My endorsement letter was one sentence:

"Alan Kay won the Turing Award."

Alan Kay won the Turing award in 2003.


Displaying 1 comment

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
  

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account