Principles of Distributed Computing Doctoral Dissertation Award

Purpose of the Award

To acknowledge and promote outstanding research by doctoral (Ph.D.) students on the principles of Distributed Computing.


  • To be eligible for the award, a nominated dissertation must have been successfully defended in the period January 1st, 2010 through December 31st 2011.
  • A dissertation adhering to the eligibility period can be nominated at most twice (in two consecutive years).
  • The dissertation must be in English: either originally written in English, or translated.
  • The main topic of the dissertation must be on the principles of Distributed Computing. (For a possible indication of what it is meant by this term, see for example the Call for Papers of DISC and PODC.)

Nomination and Submission

A one-page nomination must be submitted by the thesis advisor. The nomination should highlight the dissertation's contributions and justify why the dissertation is worthy of the award. The nomination must be accompanied by a list of publications on which the thesis is based and an electronic copy of the dissertation.

Submission Checklist

A nomination must include:
  • Contact details (affiliation and email addresses) of the advisor and the doctoral student.
  • A formal document from the student's department/institution/organization verifying the date that the dissertation was successfully defended (a scanned version is acceptable for the submission, but the original document might be required at a later stage of the evaluation).
  • A one page justification letter.
  • A list of publications on which the thesis is based or which resulted from the thesis.
  • One copy of the dissertation in electronic form (preferably in pdf).
All of the above must be submitted to Faith Ellen via email ( by May 31st, 2012.

Award Committee and Review Process

The committee will consist of four core members and a number of ad-hoc members (to be selected later as explained below).

The core members are:
  1. Faith Ellen, University of Toronto, Canada (PC Chair of DISC 2003, Chair).
  2. Sergio Rajsbaum, UNAM, Mexico (PC Chair of PODC 2003).
  3. David Peleg, Weizman Inst., Israel (PC Chair of DISC 2011).
  4. Pierre Fraigniaud, CNRS and University Paris Diderot, France (PC Chair of PODC 2011).

The first selection phase, carried out by the core members, will be based on the nomination letters and publication lists. At the end of this phase, a short list of dissertations to be considered in the second round will be compiled.

Based on the short list, the four core members will identify experts on the topics of the dissertations and invite them to serve as additional (ad hoc) members of the committee. The committee should include sufficiently many members to allow each dissertation to be reviewed by three members without requiring any member to review more than two dissertations.

Evaluation Criteria

The nominated dissertations will be reviewed for technical depth and significance of the research contributions in the area of Distributed Computing, potential impact on theory and practice, and quality of presentation/writing.


  • This year the award will be presented at DISC 2012.
  • The winning dissertation will receive a plaque and a monetary award of 1000 USD.
  • The committee reserves the right to split or decline to give the award.