William Chan was an exceptional graduate student in our department who was killed in a tragic automobile accident one week after defending his dissertation and a month before joining the faculty at Brown University. His dissertation was posthumously recognized in the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award competition in 2000.

Each year the faculty are asked to nominate students whose dissertations from the past academic year show exceptional merit. The winner of the award is selected from that pool of nominees by a small group of faculty.

The winner receives a cash award and an individual plaque.

Ari Holtzman, Interpretation Errors: Extracting Functionality From Generative Models Of Language By Understanding Them Better
Nathan Klein, Finding Structure in Entropy: Improved Approximation Algorithms for TSP and other Graph Problems

Dhruv Jain, Sound Sensing and Feedback Techniques for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People
Kuikui Liu, Spectral Independence A New Tool to Analyze Markov Chains

Maarten Sap, Positive AI with Social Commonsense Models
Ivan Evtimov, Disrupting Machine Learning: Emerging Threats and Applications for Privacy and Dataset Ownership

no award

Aditya Vashistha, Social Computing for Social Good in Low-Resource Environments

Marco Tuilio Correia Ribeiro, Model Agnostic Explanations for Machine Learning Models
Kanit "Ham" Wongsuphasawat, Augmenting Exploratory Data Analysis with Visualization Recommendation

Irene Zhang, Distributed Operating Systems for Mobile/Cloud Applications
Supasorn Suwajanakorn, Audiovisual Persona Reconstruction

no award

Adrian SampsonHardware and Software for Approximate Computing.
Morgan Dixon, Pixel-Based Reverse Engineering of Graphical Interfaces.

Franzi Roesner, Security & Privacy from Untrusted Applications in Modern & Emerging Client Platforms.
Sidhant Gupta, ElectriSense: Single-Point Sensing Using EMI for Electrical Energy Disaggregation in the Home.

Hadi Esmaeilzadeh, Approximate Acceleration for a Post-Multicore Era.

Jon Froehlich, Sensing and Feedback of Everyday Activities to Promote Pro-environmental Behaviors.
Ethan Katz-BassettSystems for Improving Internet Availability and Performance.

Seth Cooper, A Framework for Scientic Discovery through Video Games.
Winner, 2012 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.
Roxana Geambasu, Regaining Control over Cloud and Mobile Data.

Prasad Raghavendra, Approximating NP-hard Problems--Efficient Algorithms and Their Limits.
Keith Noah Snavely, Scene Reconstruction and Visualization from Internet Photo Collection.
Honorable Mention, 2010 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.

Krzysztof Gajos, Automatically Generating Personalized User Interface.
Tapan Parikh, Designing an Architecture for Delivering Mobile Information Services to the Rural Developing World.

Lin Liao, Location-Based Activity Recognition.
Atri Rudra, List Decoding and Property Testing of Error Correcting Codes.

Aseem Agarwala, Authoring Effective Depictions of Reality by Combining Multiple Samples of the Plenoptic Function
Honorable Mention, 2007 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.
Mike Swift,  Improving the Reliability of Commodity OperatingSystems.

Gerome Miklau, Confidentiality and Integrity in Distributed Data Exchange.
Zasha Weinberg, Accurate Annotation of Non-Coding RNAs in Practical Time.

Luke McDowell, Meaning for the Mases: Theory and Applications for Semantic Web and Semantic Email Systems.
Matthew Richardson Learning and Inference in Collective Knowledge Bases.

AnHai Doan, Learning to Map between Structured Representations of Data
Winner, 2004 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.
Jonathan Aldrich, Using Types to Enforce Architectural Structure.

Mathieu Blanchette, Algorithms for Phylogenetic Footprinting
Stefan Savage, Protocol Design in an Uncooperative Internet.

Jeremy Buhler, Search Algorithms for Biosequences Using Random Projection 

Michael Ernst, Dynamically Detecting Likely Program Invariants.
Honorable Mention, 2001 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.