ACM Recognizes Leaders Who Created Research, Learning Opportunities in Computing

ACM Recognizes Leaders Who Created Research, Learning Opportunities in Computing

Distinguished Service, Outstanding Contribution Award Recipients Saw Potential of Collaborative Environments to Promote Creativity and Drive Innovation

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

Contact: Virginia Gold

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NEW YORK, April 21, 2011 – ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) today announced the winners of two awards whose recipients recognized the importance of collaborative research and learning environments to promote creativity and drive innovation in computing and information technology.  From their respective leadership positions on different continents, they guided the development of institutions that attracted and inspired computing students and professionals from around the globe.  The programs and infrastructures they built and sustained during their respective tenures produced renowned innovators who have changed the world.  Dr. Reinhard Wilhelm of Schloss Dagstuhl in Saarland, Germany, and Joseph S. DeBlasi, former Executive Director of ACM, will be honored at the ACM Awards Banquet on June 4, in San Jose, CA.  

The awards include:

  • The Distinguished Service Award to Reinhard Wilhelm for two decades of exceptional service at the Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics, creating a stimulating environment for advancing research in informatics.      

Wilhelm brought together researchers from complementary computing areas for intensive workshops that promoted new research collaborations and directions.  Throughout his leadership, he fostered a rare, intensive engagement among the more than 30,000 international participants, many of whom were students.  As scientific director of the Schloss Dagstuhl Center, Wilhelm encouraged seminars that brought together people with common interests but limited prior contact, contributing to the consummate intellectual health of computing research.     

A Fellow of ACM for his research on compiler construction and program analysis and his leadership of the Leibniz Center for Informatics, Wilhelm is a member of the European Academy of Sciences. In 2009, he was awarded the Konrad-Zuse medal for his achievements in research and education, and in 2010, he received the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.  

  • The Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award  to Joseph S. DeBlasi for his executive leadership from 1989-1999 that transformed ACM into a financially sound, globally respected institution, and for his foresight in implementing programs and expanding international initiatives that continue to sustain ACM.            

DeBlasi established reserve funds for continued program support, promoted revenue sharing among ACM’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and established funding sources from industry to support ACM programs.  He laid the foundation for ACM to develop many of the products and services valued by ACM’s worldwide members.  He championed the ACM Digital Library, the world’s largest full-text archive of computing literature available.  Today, more than 1.5 million users have access to ACM’s Digital Library, a readership representing individuals and institutions from over 190 countries worldwide who download some 13-15 million full text resources annually.  

Under DeBlasi’s direction, ACM expanded the fledgling Scholastic Programming Contest into the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, an innovative initiative that challenges students to solve real-world computer programming problems under a grueling, five-hour deadline. IBM assumed sponsorship of the contest in 1997, and this multi-tier team-based competition continues to develop under the auspices of ACM.  In recent years, it has grown to more than 7,100 teams involving tens of thousands of talented students and faculty in computing disciplines at more than 1,800 universities from nearly 90 countries on six continents. 

Mr. DeBlasi is Chairman of Decision Systems Inc., a computing and management-consulting firm, and Co-Managing Partner of IMI-DSI LLC, a New York consulting firm.  He serves on the Board of COMAP, an organization dedicated to advancing and improving education in mathematics, and on the Board of the Lockwood-Mathews Museum. In 1999, he was named an ACM Fellow for contributions to computing and information technology. In 2001, he received the American National Standards Institute's Information Technology Medal, and in 2002, he was awarded the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest Outstanding Contribution Award.


About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing 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.