Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize
in Distributed Computing

The Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing is named for Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (1930-2002), a pioneer in the area of distributed computing. His foundational work on concurrency primitives (such as the semaphore), concurrency problems (such as mutual exclusion and deadlock), reasoning about concurrent systems, and self-stabilization comprises one of the most important supports upon which the field of distributed computing is built. No other individual has had a larger influence on research in principles of distributed computing.The prize is given for outstanding papers on the principles of distributed computing, whose significance and impact on the theory and/or practice of distributed computing have been evident for at least a decade. The Prize includes an award of $2000.The Prize is sponsored jointly by the ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC) and the EATCS Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC). This award is presented annually, with the presentation taking place alternately at PODC and DISC. The winners of the award will share the cash award, and each winning author will be presented with a plaque. An announcement of each year’s prize recipient(s) will be included in the PODC and DISC proceedings of that year, describing the paper’s lasting contributions.

Prize-winning papers

*The “Dijkstra Prize” was awarded under the name “PODC Influential-Paper Award” in the years 2000, 2001, and 2002.

Award committee

The winner of the Prize is selected by a committee of six members. The Award Committee will consist of the current PODC and DISC program chairs, the PODC program chairs from five and ten years ago, and the DISC program chairs from five and ten years ago. The Award Committee will be chaired alternately by the current PODC and DISC program chairs.

If the resulting committee consists of less than six distinct members (because one of the specified program chairs is unable to serve on the committee or because a single person has served in the role of more than one of the specified program chairs), then the committee chair will nominate a replacement of similar stature for the approval of the PODC and DISC steering committees. The PODC and DISC steering committees shall be the final authority on the membership of the awards committee.

Nominations and eligibility

At least four months prior to each year’s PODC or DISC (whichever comes earlier), a Call for Nominations will be posted on the PODC and DISC mailing lists. Nominations may be made by any member of the scientific community. Each nomination must identify the paper being nominated and include a short paragraph (approximately 200 words) justifying the nomination. Papers appearing in any conference proceedings or journal are eligible, as long as they have had a significant impact on research areas of interest within the theory of distributed computing community, and as long as the year of the original publication is at least ten years prior to the year in which the award is given.

Papers authored or co-authored by members of the Award Committee will not be eligible for consideration.

Members of the Award Committee can nominate papers as well. However, they must carefully consider nominations from within the community. Members of the Award Committee should be especially sensitive to conflict-of-interests issues if papers by former students or close colleagues are nominated (members of the Award Committee cannot nominate such papers themselves).

Selection process

Although the Award Committee is encouraged to consult with the distributed computing community at large, the Award Committee is solely responsible for the selection of the winner of the award. The prize may be shared by more than one paper. All matters relating to the selection process that are not specified here are left to the discretion of the Award Committee.

Financing the award

  1. The award is financed with the combination of income from endowments and registration fees. Each of ACM PODC and EATCS DISC will provide an equal share of $1,000 towards the $2,000 award at least two weeks prior to the official start date of the conference at which the prize will be awarded.
  2. The PODC share is financed with income from an endowment at ACM that is based on gifts from the ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT), the ACM Special Interest Group on Operating Systems (SIGOPS), the AT&T Corporation, the Hewlett-Packard Company, the International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, the Intel Corporation, and Sun Microsystems, Inc. If the income from the endowment is insufficient to fund a year’s prize, the prize will be financed partially from the endowment and partially from that year’s PODC budget.
  3. The DISC share is financed with income from an endowment at EATCS that is based on contributions from several year’s DISC budgets, and gifts from Microsoft Research, the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación of Spain. If the income from the endowment is insufficient to fund a year’s prize, the prize will be financed partially from the endowment and partially from that year’s DISC budget.
  4. If either PODC or DISC is unable to produce $1,000, then the value of the award will be the sum of the amounts produced.
  5. Should one party (PODC or DISC) be unable two times to produce its $1,000 share of the award, then the steering committee of the other party will have the option of revising the definition of the Award Committee and determining the venue where the award will be presented, unless both parties can come to a mutually agreeable resolution.
  6. Should both parties (PODC and DISC) be unable two times to produce the respective $1,000, then the definition of the award will be referred to ACM and EATCS for a mutually agreeable resolution.