Association for Computing Machinery
Recognition of 40 Years Service 1967-2007

Citation


Peter J. Denning



ACM honors Peter J. Denning for his exceptional vision, devotion, and commitment to excellence. His 40 years of dedication and guidance have been an inspiration to the Association and all those who have served with him.

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June 9, 2007
ACM PRESIDENT’S CITATION:

We are indeed fortunate to have with us this evening a special individual.

He is a past president of the ACM and has served this organization in many different capacities for over 40 years. I’m talking about Peter Denning.

He has been making extraordinary contributions to this organization since 1967. He started as newsletter editor for SIGOPS, then chaired SIGOPS, then became the founding chair of the SIG Governing Board. He has been an ACM council member, Editor-in-Chief of the Communications of the ACM, Chaired the Editorial Committee and the Publications Board, led the development of the ACM Digital Library and chaired the ACM Education Board.

He served as President 1980-82 and was vice president just before that.

When the ACM Fellow designation was instituted in 1994, Peter was in the first group of Fellows. He has also been a numerous winner of many of the awards we give this evening, including the Distinguished Service Award and Outstanding Contribution to ACM.

Therefore, it gives me immense pleasure to make this presentation to Peter for his exceptional vision, devotion and commitment to excellence. His 40 years of dedicated and guidance have been an inspiration to the Association and all those who have served with him.



Professor Denning Receives Surprise Association of Computing Machinery Award
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

By Barbara Honegger Senior Military Affairs Journalist

Prof. Peter Denning, chairman of the Naval Postgraduate School Department of Computer Science and director of the Cebrowski Institute, has received a special award from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) for “exceptional vision, devotion and commitment to excellence.” The award was presented at the society’s awards banquet celebrating “the best and the brightest computing innovators and innovations” in San Diego, June 9.

"Professor Denning has been making extraordinary contributions to this organization since 1968," ACM President Stuart Feldman said at the presentation ceremony. "His 40 years of dedication and guidance have been an inspiration to the Association and all those who have served with him."

The award was so special the association kept it a secret by leaving it out of the published schedule.

"It was a surprise since I was not told in advance that they were doing this and it wasn’t on the main awards agenda," Denning said. "Dorothy [Professor of Defense Analysis Dorothy Denning, his wife] remarked that I had already gotten most of the other ACM awards, so they had to invent a new one."

Denning has received numerous previous awards from the association, including its Best Systems Paper Award, Distinguished Service Award, Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, Computer Science Education Special Interest Group Educator Award, Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award and designation as one of the society’s first ACM Fellows.

Denning has continuously served the Association of Computing Machinery as a volunteer since 1968. He started as newsletter editor for one of the society’s special interest groups (SIGs), became its chair and then founding chair of the SIG governing board. He was a member of the ACM Council, then vice president, and served in the top post as president from 1980 to 1982. In 1983, he became editor in chief of the association’s monthly magazine ACM Communications, leading its transformation from an esoteric research journal to an award-winning publication.

"Sometimes I feel like Peter Sellers, having played all the major roles," Denning quipped in receiving the award. "On this occasion, I feel like George Burns, who said they pay attention to you when you get older because you're the last man standing."

In 1992, Denning stepped down as editor in chief to become chair of ACM’s Publications Board, where he led the planning and development of the ACM Digital Library, the first comprehensive digital library of any scientific society, which went online as a member service in 1998.

"The ACM Digital Library has since been labeled 'ACM's crown jewel' because it completely transformed ACM publications and the ACM community," Denning said.

At the end of his term, Denning left the ACM Publications Board to chair the society’s Education Board. During that time, he initiated the ACM Information Technology (IT) Profession Initiative culminating in a new Profession Board and new attitude toward computing professionals. He writes a column three times a year for ACM Communications called "IT Profession". A complete set of back copies is available at http://cs.gmu.edu/cne/pjd/PUBS/CACMcols.