ACM Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Announces Recipients of Prestigious 2012 Innovation and Service Awards

The Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD) announced that Dr. Vipin Kumar is the recipient of the organization’s 2012 Innovation Award and Dr. Ying Li is the winner of its 2012 Service Award. Awarded for seminal research and service to the community, the awards represent the highest peer recognition in the knowledge discovery and data mining community. The awards will be presented by Ramasamy Uthurusamy, Chairman of Awards Committee, at KDD 2012, the world’s leading Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining conference (KDD), which will take place in Beijing, China, from August 12-16, 2012.

Applying Data Mining to Study Climate Change – ACM SIGKDD Innovation Award
The ACM SIGKDD Innovation Award is the highest award for technical excellence in the field of Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining and is conferred on an individual or a group of collaborators, whose outstanding innovations have had a lasting impact in advancing the theory and practice of the field. Prof. Vipin Kumar is recognized for his technical contributions to foundational research in data mining as well as its applications to mining scientific data. His contributions span a wide range of core data mining areas including graph partitioning, clustering, association analysis, high performance and parallel data mining, anomaly/change detection and data driven discovery methods for analyzing global climate and ecosystem data.

Prof. Kumar’s research group has also been at the forefront in the development of data driven discovery methods for analyzing global climate and ecosystem data. Their work on change detection in spatio-temporal data enabled the construction of comprehensive histories of large scale changes in the global forest cover due to multiple factors that are critical for understanding the relationships of such ecosystem disturbances to global climate variability and human activity. A recipient of multiple leadership awards and recognitions, Prof. Kumar is currently leading a multidisciplinary, multi-institution project on “Understanding Climate Change” and is funded by National Science Foundation’s “Expeditions in Computing” program that is aimed at pushing the boundaries of computer science research.

Recent SIGKDD Innovation Award recipients include leading data scientists J. Ross Quinlan, Christos Faloutsos, Padhraic Smyth, Usama M. Fayyad, Raghu Ramakrishnan. A full list of recipients and citations is available at

Building a Bridge between Science and Industry – ACM SIGKDD Service Award
The ACM SIGKDD Service Award recognizes an individual or group for their outstanding professional services and contributions to the knowledge discovery and data mining community. A leading practitioner in big data and large-scale knowledge discovery, data mining and analytics, Dr. Ying Li has actively served the data mining community as a leader, contributor, and mentor to many colleagues and up and coming scientists. In the annual ACM SIGKDD international conferences, she has led several conference committees, and helped champion the successful Industry Practice Expo track, which was created as a bridge between the science and business of data mining.

Dr. Li is a pioneer in Internet scale data mining, applying her extensive academic and industry research expertise at the Computer Research Institute of Montreal and to the first big data analytics effort at Microsoft in 1998. She holds over 50 patents filed, has collaborated with over 100 researchers and data scientists, and has built and led world class data mining organizations of over 300 people. She is currently the Chief scientist and Co-Founder of Concurix Corporation, a new startup building high performance operating systems for big data and big compute. Dr. Li joins an impressive list of SIGKDD Service Award recipients, including Bharat Rao, Osmar Zaiane, Sunita Sarawagi, Robert Grossman, Won Kim and the Weka Team. A full list of recipients and citations is available at

“Prof. Kumar and Dr. Li stand out with their dedication to the science of data mining and their commitment to the KDD community,” said Usama Fayyad, Chairman of the SIGKDD Executive Committee, and Chairman and CTO of ChoozOn Corporation. “Their work demonstrates more clearly than ever before that Big Data science, data mining and data analytics are increasingly indispensable to finding solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face in today’s global economic and social environment.”

With over 2000 members from leading research institutions, universities and business organizations in more than 80 countries, the ACM Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD) is the premier forum for advancement and adoption of KDD, data science, and data mining over Big Data. SIGKDD’s mission is to provide the growing community of big data and analytics experts with tools and resources to promote the value of knowledge discovery and data mining in today’s data-centric economy. The current SIGKDD Executive Council Chairman is leading data mining expert Usama Fayyad, Ph.D. For additional information, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@kdd_news).

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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