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Honors & Awards

The Northwestern CS community is recognized for their accomplishments in research, teaching, mentorship, and more.

External Faculty Awards and Recognition

Our faculty is honored to receive awards and recognition from external organizations, including the Association for Computing Machinery, Computing Research Association, and the National Science Foundation.

Northwestern University Awards

CS faculty also receive interal honors from Northwestern University.

Department Awards

Northwestern CS bestows internal department awards to faculty, students, and staff for excellence and service within the department.


A sampling of recent accomplishments and honors received by faculty and students is listed below:

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2022 Awards and Accomplishments

Faculty Awards

Joint Faculty and Student Awards

  • Team TUTELARY – Zhenpeng Lin, a third-year PhD student, Yueqi Chen, a visiting scholar with Northwestern CS, and Xinyu Xing – successfully demonstrated a Use After Free bug leading to elevation of privilege on Ubuntu Desktop at the Pwn2Own hacking contest. The team won a $40,000 prize.
  • Qi Zhu and Zhilu Wang, a fifth-year PhD student in electrical and computer engineering, won a Best Paper Award in the Embedded Systems Design track at the Association for Computing Machinery/Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Design, Automation, and Test in Europe Conference 2022.

Student and Alumni Awards

  • Carina Biar, an undergraduate student majoring in neuroscience with a minor in computer science, won a Barry Goldwater Scholarship. Biar is a peer mentor for the COMP_SCI 214: Data Structures and Algorithms course.
  • Modibo Camara (PhD ’22), who was jointly advised by Jason Hartline and Eddie Dekel, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Economics at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, won the ACM SIGecom Best Paper with a Student Lead Author and an Exemplary Theory Track Award for his paper “Computationally Tractable Choice.”
  • Jacob Kelter, a PhD candidate in the joint Computer Science and Learning Sciences Program through the School of Education and Social Policy and the McCormick School of Engineering, received a Presidential Fellowship, the most prestigious fellowship awarded to graduate students by Northwestern University.
  • Alisa Liu (’20), currently a PhD student at the University of Washington, received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
  • Ryan Louie, a sixth-year PhD student in the joint Technology and Social Behavior program with Northwestern's School of Communication, received a 2022 Google PhD Fellowship in Human Computer Interaction.
  • Students in Northwestern Engineering’s Design, Technology, and Research (DTR) program earned top awards in the Undergraduate Category at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) 2022 Student Research Competition. Fardeem Munir, a fourth-year undergraduate in computer science at the McCormick School of Engineering, and Roxanna Wilcox ('22) won first place. Cindy Hu, a fourth-year undergraduate in computer science at Northwestern Engineering and in communication studies at Northwestern’s School of Communication, won second place.
  • Ruiqi Pan ('22) was named McCormick School of Engineering’s 2022 Walter P. Murphy Cooperative Engineering Education Student of the Year. Pan plans to begin the master of computational data science program at Carnegie Mellon University in the fall.
  • PhD student Nick Wanninger (advised by Peter Dinda) won the Best Artifact Award at EuroSys 2022.
  • PhD candidate Yunming Xiao earned second place in the Hewlett Packard summer intern fair for project proposing a novel SmartNIC-aided control plane called Conspirator which can mitigate the various performance bottlenecks of today’s distributed machine learning workloads.
  • Undergraduates Peter Zhong and Jay Zou received honorable mentions in the Computer Research Association 2022 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Awards.

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2021 Awards and Accomplishments

Faculty Awards

  • Ken Forbus was named to the 2020 class of AAAS fellows.
  • Zhaoran Wang received a prestigious NSF CAREER award.
  • Eleanor O’Rourke received a $10,000 Google Systems Research Award in recognition of her work related to technical leadership and achievements in systems research. The award was given to seven female assistant professors conducting systems research.
  • Josiah Hester won a 3M Non-Tenured Track Faculty Award, which recognizes junior faculty for excellence in research, exeperience, and academic leadership.

Joint Faculty and Student Awards

  • Nikos Hardavellas and PhD candidate Haiyang Han received a best paper award nomination at the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design (ISLPED) for their paper titled "Pho$: A Case for Shared Optical Cache Hierarchies."
  • PhD student Hugo Flores García, research assistant and undergraduate Aldo Aguilar, PhD candidate Ethan Manilow, and Professor Bryan Pardo won the Best Paper Award at the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) Conference.
  • Professor Xiao Wang and third-year PhD student Chenkai Weng won runner-up for Best Paper Award at the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control Conference on Computer and Communications Security.

Student and Alumni Awards

  • Computer science undergraduates Michael Cuevas, Amil Dravid, Souradip Ghosh, and Elizabeth Petersen received honorable mentions in the Computer Research Association’s 2021 Oustanding Research Award Program.
  • Amil Dravid (advised by Aggelos Katsaggelos) won a 2021 Goldwater Scholarship
  • Souradip Ghosh ('21) received DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship. He is currently a first-year PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • PhD student Byungjin Jun (advised by Fabian Bustamante) won a Google PhD Fellowship.
  • PhD candidates Harrison Kwik (co-advised by Eleanor O'Rourke and Haoqi Zhang) and Claire Lee (advised by Alok Choudhary) and alumni Jared Fernandez ('19), Sarah Lim ('18), and Emma McDonnell ('19) received NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards. The NSF GRFP "recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions."

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2020 Awards and Accomplishments

Faculty Awards

Research

Teaching and Mentoring

Joint Faculty and Student Awards

Student Awards

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