Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award

The SIGSOFT Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award is presented annually to the author of an outstanding doctoral dissertation in the area of Software Engineering. The author of the winning dissertation will be invited to publish a dissertation summary in the SIGSOFT newsletter, Software Engineering Notes (SEN). The award includes a $1000 honorarium and a plaque for the author, which is presented at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), and funding support for the recipient to travel to ICSE to receive the award (including a registration to ICSE). A public citation for the award dissertation will be placed on the SIGSOFT web site. The award recipient also receives support for travel to ICSE up to $2500 within their home continent and up to $3000 outside their home continent, including airfare, hotel, and conference registration for ICSE.

The award is for an outstanding dissertation (in software engineering) dated within the year preceding the nomination due date. For nominations for the January 15, 2022 deadline, dissertations dated December 15, 2020 to December 31, 2021 are eligible.

To submit a nomination for the award, please use the awards nomination portal. Nominations are due no later than January 15 of each year. Among other details, the nominator needs to submit the following through the portal:

  1. Succinct description of why the nominee is well-qualified for the award (200-500 words) that includes the following sentence: "To the best of my knowledge, the candidate I am endorsing has not committed any action that violates the ACM Code of Ethics and ACM's Core Values."
  2. List of nominee's publications

The nominator also needs to upload up to 3 support letters (200-300 words will be sufficient for each support letter, although longer statements of support are of course welcome). Each support letter must include the following sentence: "To the best of my knowledge, the candidate I am endorsing has not committed any action that violates the ACM Code of Ethics and ACM's Core Values."

The selection committee shall have the option to decline to make an award in a given year, if no suitable nominations are presented. If you have questions about this award, please contact sigsoft-dissertation-award (at) acm (dot) org.


2022Wing Lam, Detecting, Characterizing, and Taming Flaky Tests, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advisors: Darko Marinov and Tao Xie
2021August Shi, Improving Regression Testing Efficiency and Reliability via Test-Suite Transformations, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advisor: Darko Marinov
2020Rachel Tzoref-Brill, Comprehension and Evolution of Combinatorial Models and Test Plans, Tel Aviv University
2019Sergey Mechtaev, Semantic Program Repair, National University of Singapore;
Honorable Mention: Christoffer Quist Adamsen, Automated Testing Techniques for Event-Driven and Dynamically Typed Software Applications, Aarhus University
2018Fan Long, Automatic Patch Generation via Learning from Successful Human Patches, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2017Srdan Krstic, Trace Checking of Quantitative Properties, Politecnico di Milano
2016Milos Gligoric, Regression Test Selection: Theory and Practice, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Darko Marinov, advisor
2015Muath Alkhalaf, Automatic Detection and Repair of Input Validation and Sanitization Bugs, University of California, Santa Barbara, Tevfik Bultan, advisor
2014Nicolas Mangano, Calico: An early-phase software design tool, University of California, Irvine, André van der Hoek, advisor
2013Jeff Huang, Effective Methods for Debugging Concurrent Software, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Charles Zhang, advisor
2012Mark Gabel, Inferring Programmer Intent and Related Errors from Software, University of California, Davis, Zhendong Su, advisor



  • Christian Bird, Microsoft Research, United States (chair)
  • Paolo Tonella, Universit√† della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland
  • Jeff Huang, Texas A&M University, United States
  • Lingming Zhang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
  • Shing-Chi Cheung, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China
  • Dan Hao, Peking University, China
  • Natalia Juristo, Universidad Polit√©cnica de Madrid, Spain
  • Myra B. Cohen, Iowa State University, United States
  • Lin Tan, Purdue University, United States (non-voting)
  • Thomas Zimmermann, Microsoft Research, United States (non-voting)
  • David Lo, Singapore Management University, Singapore (non-voting)


  • Chris Bird (chair)
  • Andy Zaidman
  • David Lo
  • Gabriele Bavota
  • Mario Linares-Vasquez
  • Paola Spoletini
  • Peter Rigby
  • Venera Arnaoudova
  • Zhi Jin