ACM Athena Lectures

Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom; with her wisdom and sense of purpose, and her willingness to enter the fray, Athena epitomizes the strength, determination, and intelligence of the “Athena Lecturers”. 

Athena Lecturer Award Winners

The Athena Lecturer Award celebrates outstanding women researchers who have made fundamental contributions to computer science. Each year ACM will honor a preeminent woman computer scientist as the Athena Lecturer. Speakers are nominated by SIG officers. The Athena Lecturer will give a one-hour invited talk at an ACM conference determined by the speaker and the SIG which nominated her. A video of the talk will appear on the ACM website. The award includes travel expenses to the meeting and a $25000 honorarium. Financial support for the Athena Lecturers is being provided by Google.

  • Athena Lecturers must be nominated by a SIG. To nominate a speaker in the SIGs research areas, an officer of the SIG must
    fill out the form
    ; three letters of reference are also requested. All SIGs are eligible to nominate up to two candidates, and the SIG is strongly advised not to inform the nominee of the nomination.
    Note: Members of the Athena Lecturer Selection Committee cannot be nominated to be an Athena Lecturer.
  • The chosen speaker will give an invited lecture at an ACM-sponsored meeting determined by the lecturer and the SIG. (It is expected that the talk will be at one of the conferences run by the nominating SIG.) ACM will cover travel expenses and honorarium.
  • The Athena Lecturer selection committee recognizes that in some fields, senior women researchers are rare and thus the committee promotes flexible arrangements, e.g., a SIG may chose to invite an outstanding woman researcher in a related area to give a keynote (for example, a usability speaker at a security meeting). In addition, two SIGs may choose to collaborate and invite a speaker to give keynotes at two meetings during the year, one in each SIG’s research area. It will the Athena Lecturer’s choice as to whether to do one or two Athena Lectures (and if one, which one). In any case, the two SIGs must themselves provide the additional travel funding for the second conference.
  • Deadlines: Applications due: February 1 2016. Announcement of Athena Lecturer: March 2016. Lecture will occur: Between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018.
  • For questions or information, contact the committee chair:  Judith Olson, UCI