Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award

The Boston University’s CS Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 2008. The purpose of this award is to (1) recognize CS alumni who have excelled in their professional careers, (2) introduce our current and prospective students to success stories and role models, and (3) build bridges with successful alumni to keep them in touch with our department’s goals and ambitions.

Nomination Process

Nominations are sought each year from faculty, alumnae, and alumni. A solicitation for nominations is sent to BU/CS alumnae and alumni using the BUCAN mailing list, Facebook, and LinkedIn groups. A nomination must include current contact information for both nominator and nominee, and a short (one or two paragraphs) justification. Self nominations are welcome. All nominations should be sent to bucan-owner@cs.bu.edu or to any faculty member in the department.

Selection Process

A chair-appointed committee including three faculty members, at least one undergraduate student, and up to three former awardees will review all nominations and make recommendations to the faculty, along with a proposed citation for each recommended candidate. The selection must be approved by a formal vote of the faculty before the end of the Fall semester. The selected candidate is contacted and the selection is finalized if the candidate commits to visiting the department during the Spring semester to formally receive the award.


The award is presented on campus in the Spring semester on a date determined in consultation with the awardee. The awardee will be presented with a plaque on which the citation will be inscribed. The award will also be communicated with the BUCS community through various means, including the BUCAN newsletter and the department’s web site. Events organized around the awardee’s visit will feature meetings between the awardee and students, faculty members, and selected members of the administration, as well as a forum involving undergraduate students in which the awardee is expected to make a presentation.

Past Awardees and Citations

2008 Award: Rebecca Norlander (CAS’91)

“In recognition of her impressive career and achievements as a technical lead and strategist at Microsoft, her passion for changing the world for the better through software and technology, her exemplary efforts to advance the role of women in computing, and her dedication to the excellence of Computer Science at Boston University.”

May 18, 2008.

2009 Award: Manuela Veloso (GRS’86)

“In recognition of her lifelong academic achievements at Carnegie Mellon University, her significant research contributions to the field of robotics, and her leadership of the RoboCup federation which inspires and challenges computer science students to learn and innovate through competition.”

October 9, 2009.

2010 Award: Matthew Boggie (CAS’99)

“In recognition of his professional achievements at Accenture, his exceptional record of volunteer work, his belief in the ability of Information Technology to transform K-12 education towards the development of the Global Citizen, and his dedication to the realization of this ideal through his volunteer contributions to ProjectExplorer.”

May 16, 2010.

2011 Award: Shabbir Dahod (CAS’85)

“In recognition of his lifelong achievements as a cutting-edge innovator, first as a technologist at early-stage startups, then as a thought leader in collaboration and knowledge management initiatives at Microsoft, and finally as founder and CEO of successful companies iWant and SupplyScape that pioneered advances in Internet advertising and supply chain management, respectively.”

May 22, 2011.

2012 Award: Melissa Leffler (CAS’86)

“In recognition of her entrepreneurship and vision as cofounder of two successful high tech companies, Liquid Machines and eRoom Technologies, her professional achievements as Vice President of Engineering at AwarenessNetworks, and her technical leadership, as Chief of Operations and Engineering, in launching the nonprofit Global Health Delivery Project, an online community that aims to improve health among disadvantaged populations worldwide.”

May 20, 2012.

2013 Award: Eric Nyberg (CAS ’83)

“In recognition of over 20 years of achievements at CMU as a researcher advancing the state of the art in language processing, automatic translation and question-answering systems (including the Jeopardy-champion Watson system) and his dedication to Computer Science education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

September 27, 2013.

2014 Award: Anukool Lakhina (CAS ’01 GRS ’06)

September 17, 2015.

2015 Award: Raymond Velez (CAS ’92)

May 17, 2015.

2016 Award: Eswar Priyadarshan (CAS ’87 GRS ’87)

May 15, 2016.