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Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award Honors Design Automation Expert

Walker Led Efforts to Increase Interaction among ACM Computing Communities

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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NEW YORK, March 6, 2008 -- Robert A. Walker, who oversaw the growth of ACM’s Special Interest Group on Design Automation (SIGDA) and its portfolio of programs for computing professionals who design and produce electronic systems, will receive the 2007 Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award. Walker, an associate professor of computer science at Kent State University, chaired the ACM Special Interest Group (SIG) Governing Board, where he streamlined activities to create opportunities for collaboration among ACM’s 34 SIGs representing the many technical communities that comprise the computing field.

Walker currently serves as a SIG representative on ACM’s Council, and is chair of the Senior Member Committee. Among his other contributions, Walker increased the interaction between ACM’s SIG Governing Board and the other governing bodies of ACM. He also served in a variety of administrative positions for 42 different conferences since 1999. They include the Design Automation Conference (DAC) and the Design Automation and Test in Europe (DATE) conference. These conferences are among the flagship events that represent the largest conference series in their field.

As a SIGDA officer for more than 10 years, Walker encouraged new programs for professional development within the design automation community. Activities sponsored by SIGDA now include international symposia and workshops; technical initiatives to help young practitioners and students stay current on advances in the design automation field; and peer-reviewed papers and newsletters to speed communication of new research and development. Other activities currently available for SIGDA members are educational programs, scholarships and grants aimed at the next generation of engineers and computer scientists. These efforts have helped to broaden participation from underrepresented populations in the design automation field.

Walker is department chair of the Computer Science Department at Kent State University. He was elected an ACM Distinguished Member in 2006. His research interests include novel architectures for embedded systems, high-level behavioral synthesis of digital systems, and design space exploration.

A graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, Walker holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

ACM will present the 2007 Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award to Walker at the annual ACM Awards Banquet on June 21, in San Francisco.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is an educational and scientific society uniting the world’s computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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