Department of Computer Science and Technology

Department of Computer Science and Technology - Awards and honours

  • Alumna Rana El Kaliouby named in BBC's 100 influential women of 2019

    Rana el Kaliouby is an AI pioneer and entrepreneur who works on artificial emotional intelligence.

    Rana el Kaliouby studied for her PhD in the Department of Computer Science and Technology, and co-founded the startup Affectiva ten years ago, which built on her PhD research.

    She has been recognised in the BBC's list of inspiring and influential women of 2019.

    Affectiva is now the main player in affective computing, with $50m in venture capital and 100 employees.

    Rana is CEO of Affectiva, and advocates strongly for diversity in AI, including the involvement of children and young people in developing tech.

    Diversity and inclusion are critical in building AI that works for everyone. The more we focus on building teams with diverse backgrounds, the better our outcomes will be in AI.

    Rana el Kaliouby, via Twitter

    Software developed by Affectiva can be used to detect sleepiness in drivers through facial recognition. Further applications of the software include understanding human emotions by analysing facial expressions.

  • Andreas Grammenos wins a Distinguished Paper Award

    Andreas Grammenos, a third-year PhD student in the Department, has won a Distinguished Paper Award for the paper “You Are Sensing, but Are You Biased? A User Unaided Sensor Calibration Approach for Mobile Sensing”. The paper was coauthored by Andreas Grammenos, Professor Cecilia Mascolo and Professor Jon Crowcroft.

    Andreas joined the University of Cambridge as a PhD student in October 2016, and is also a doctoral student at The Alan Turing Institute.

    Andreas’ thesis revolves around big data primarily sourced from mobile devices, and the challenges involved in dealing with it. His broader research interests include Data Analytics, an intersection of computer science, systems programming and mathematics.

    The paper was published in the Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT), Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2018).

    A selection committee made up of 16 members of the IMWUT Editorial Board selected Andreas' paper as one of 8, out of 202 papers published. Those eight papers were judged to represent outstanding, exemplary contributions to the UbiComp research community.

    The award was announced and presented at the UbiComp 2019 Drinks & Awards Reception on Tuesday 10th September at the Natural History Museum in London.

  • PhD student Krittika D'Silva wins multiple awards

    Krittika D’Silva, a third-year PhD student, has been recognised with Rising Star Awards in both AI and Networking & Communications, and a Youth Award.

    Rising Star in Networking and Communications

    Krittika has been named one of ten “Rising Stars in Networking and Communications”. She joins nine other women from universities around the world, who have been featured in the N2Women list “10 Rising Stars of 2019”.

    The judges said: “we received so many nominations from around the world, that it was difficult to choose only 10 amazing women”.

    Rising Star in Artificial Intelligence

    Krittika won the Rising Star Award at VentureBeat’s first-ever Women in AI Awards. The awards were announced at the Transform 2019 Diversity in AI reception on 12th July in San Francisco, a conference that brings together the thought leaders of Artificial Intelligence and focuses on the practical applications of AI.

    The organisers of the Women in AI Awards aim to recognise women who have a strong commitment to changing the status quo, and who also campaign for inclusivity in their communities.

    Her mobile application directly impacted the untenable conditions in Chhattisgarh, India, and her work... has wide-reaching applications

    VentureBeat Staff

    Youth Award in Canadian Immigrant Awards

    Krittika was also awarded the Youth Award at Royal Bank of Canada's Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards. This award recognises the contributions of an outstanding young Canadian immigrant aged between 16 and 29. Krittika received her award at a ceremony in Vancouver on 4th July 2019.

    Research in Computer Science and Technology

    Krittika works on spatio-temporal urban mobility modelling using social media and transport data, under the supervision of Professor Cecilia Mascolo. Krittika is a member of Jesus College and a Gates Cambridge Scholar.

    As an undergraduate at the University of Washington, Krittika studied both Bioengineering and Computer Engineering. There she worked on projects including designing devices to improve prosthetic socket fit for individuals with lower limb amputations.

    Krittika’s other experiences include having worked for Microsoft Research, interning at Google, and working for the UNDP in Jakarta. This summer she’ll be working at NASA, using data from astronaut biosensors to train AI models and simulate different medical conditions.

  • Two alumni win SME Business Awards for their software consultancy
    Green Custard

    Green Custard is a Cambridge-based software consultancy supporting fast-growing startups through to global enterprises. They have been named Overall Winner at the SME Cambridgeshire Business Awards.

    Green Custard is headed by entrepreneurs and University of Cambridge Computer Science alumni James Green and Jonathan Custance. They founded Green Custard in 2009, using a memorable fusion of their surnames. The team celebrated their 10th year in business just last month.

    On Thursday 4th July, guests came together at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, to celebrate businesses and individuals that have demonstrated success and provided an impressive contribution within their industry at the SME Cambridgeshire Business Awards. 

    20 awards were presented to these local businesses, with Green Custard being awarded the "Business of the Year (Less Than 50 Employees)" and "Overall Winner" of the SME Cambridge Business Awards. 

    Commenting on Green Custard, a judge said, “A very interesting and exciting business, a clear winner for us.”

    Thrilled to win, especially the second award which was a huge surprise. Great for our team to get the recognition they deserve, and it motivates us to keep improving for our staff, partners, and customers.

    Jonathan Custance, Director, Green Custard

    As a winner in the "Business of the Year (Less Than 50 Employees)" category, Green Custard will automatically be a finalist in the SME National Business Awards Finals, which will be held at Wembley Stadium in December 2019.

  • Professor Simone Teufel wins 2019 Pilkington Prize for outstanding teaching
    Pilkington Prize winners 2019

    Professor Simone Teufel has been awarded a Pilkington Prize for delivering outstanding teaching.

    Simone Teufel is Professor in Information and Language, in the Natural Language research group at the Department of Computer Science and Technology.

    Those awarding the Prize gave the following statement on Professor Teufel as a "highly gifted and committed teacher":

    "Professor Teufel was the main author of the Computer Science Part 1A Machine Learning for Real World Data course which ran for the first time in 2017. She created the syllabus, designed the practicals, oversaw the creation of the software and developed most of the lecturing material...

    Professor Teufel has created an exceptionally innovative course, from its design and content through to its mode of delivery: we are not aware of anything similar anywhere else in the world. Her course has been enthusiastically received by students and was key to the Department’s successful expansion of its first-year undergraduate teaching and restructuring of the Tripos to deliver more practical experience."

    Pilkington Prizes are awarded annually to teaching staff for their outstanding quality and approach to teaching. The awards were initiated by Sir Alastair Pilkington who believed that the quality of teaching was crucial to the University’s success. The Pilkington Prizes for 2019 were awarded at Girton College on 25th June.

    Professor Teufel was awarded her first degree from the University of Stuttgart, and obtained a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. She joined the University of Cambridge as a lecturer in 2001, and became a professor in 2017. Her research involves text understanding or text mining, summarisation and search from scientific articles or from language learner texts.

  • Neel Krishnaswami and Jeremy Yallop win two awards

    Neel Krishnaswami and Jeremy Yallop received a Distinguished Paper Award and Distinguished Artifact Award for their research paper "A Typed, Algebraic Approach to Parsing" at the PLDI 2019 conference, which took place in Arizona.

    Their paper presents a new approach to parsing, the process of analysing the syntax of strings of symbols such as computer programs or English sentences. There are several existing approaches to writing parsers, each with different benefits: guarantees about good performance, ease of reasoning, modularity, etc. Krishnaswami and Yallop's work combines these benefits in a single system: a library of parser combinators that uses type checking and multi-stage programming to ensure that parsing executes efficiently in time proportional to the length of the input.

    PLDI (Programming Language Design and Implementation) is a series of conferences dating back to 1979, and describes itself as "the premier forum in the field of programming languages and programming systems research, covering the areas of design, implementation, theory, applications, and performance". This year the PLDI committee selected 6 papers (from 283 submissions) for Distinguished Paper Awards and 1 paper (from 47 submissions) for a Distinguished Artifact Award.

  • Pietzuch and Bacon win Most Influential Paper Award for 2002 paper on Hermes architecture


    A past research paper on Hermes architecture by Peter Pietzuch and Jean Bacon has won the DEBS 2002 Most Influential Paper Award.

    The paper was titled "Hermes: A Distributed Event-Based Middleware Architecture", and was written by Peter R. Pietzuch and Jean M. Bacon.

    This was the thesis work of Peter Pietzuch, with Jean Bacon. It was originally presented at the 1st International Workshop on Distributed Event-Based Systems in Vienna, Austria in July 2002. DEBS Distributed Event-Based Systems started as a workshop in 2002 and became a conference in 2007.

    Peter is now Professor in the Department of Computing at Imperial and leader of the Large-Scale Data & Systems (LSDS) group. Jean was the first woman to be appointed a lecturer at the Computer Laboratory in 1985, and is now Professor Emerita of Distributed Systems.

    The award ceremony will take place in a dedicated session on Friday 28th June, 2019. In addition to publicly announcing the winners, the ceremonial session will include 10 minute talks by each of the authors of the winning papers across the years, from 2002 to 2007.


  • Prof John Crowcroft made Honorary Professor at UCL

    Professor Jon Crowcroft has been made an Honorary Professor at University College London. He will supervise a PhD student in the Department of Statistical Science at UCL. The work is on machine (deep) learning and efficient graph representation.

    Additionally, Prof Crowcroft is one of three founding editors of a new journal Data & Policy. The journal was launched last week and is a collaboration between Cambridge University Press and the annual Data for Privacy conference.

    Data & Policy is "a new Open Access journal [that] will explore the role of data science in shaping government policy – and its possible impact on privacy and public trust."


  • Six promotions to Professor and Reader

    The University has promoted four members of the Department to Professor, and two more to Reader.

    The new appointments will take effect from 1st October 2019.

    The following will become Professors:

    Dr Alastair Beresford

    Dr Paula Buttery

    Dr Mateja Jamnik

    Dr Andrew Moore

    These members become Readers:

    Dr Hatice Gunes Smith

    Dr Robert Mullins


    Alastair Beresford's work focuses on the security and privacy of networked mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. His recent research on the calibration fingerprinting attack was presented in a paper at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, and was reported in The Register.

    Paula Buttery's research focuses on building Natural Language Processing tools that work with non-canonical forms of natural language and low resource languages. She is Director of ALTA, an Artificial Intelligence institute that uses techniques from Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to improve the experience of learning online.

    Mateja Jamnik specialises in Artificial Intelligence, and is an associate fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence. She has served as Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence.

    Andrew Moore is part of the Systems research group, and works on issues of network and computer architecture. He has led the NetFPGA project, which won a SOSR System Award in April this year.

    Hatice Gunes' research interests lie in affective computing and social signal processing. Her current research aims focus on the area of health and in empowering the lives of people through creating socio-emotionally intelligent technology.

    Robert Mullins was a founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and is now founder and director of the lowRISC project, a not-for-profit working on open silicon.

    See the Cambridge University Reporter for more details of academic promotions this year.

  • Andrew Pitts is joint winner of the 2019 Alonzo Church Award

    Andrew Pitts and Jamie Gabbay (Heriot-Watt) have been selected for the 2019 Alonzo Church Award for their work on nominal techniques, begun when Jamie was a PhD student with Andrew in the Computer Laboratory in the late 1990s.


    The Alonzo Church Award is for outstanding contributions to Logic and Computation. It was established in 2015 by the ACM Special Interest Group for Logic and Computation (SIGLOG), the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS), the European Association for Computer Science Logic (EACSL), and the Kurt Goedel Society (KGS).

    Andrew and Jamie are honoured for the the invention of nominal techniques, providing a highly influential mathematical model for key concepts that arise when computing with data involving atomic names. The award cites two of their papers:

    • "A new approach to abstract syntax with variable binding" by Murdoch J. Gabbay and Andrew M. Pitts, Formal Aspects of Computing 13(3):341-363, 2002
    • "Nominal logic, a first order theory of names and binding" by Andrew M. Pitts, Information and Computation 186(2):165-193, 2003.

    The award will be presented at the 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP 2019) in Patras, Greece, in July.

More award news ...

Older award news (before 2007)

Awards for Professor Karen Spärck Jones

  • 2007 BCS Lovelace Medal
  • 2007 ACM Athena Lecturer
  • 2006 ACM – AAAI Allen Newell Award

Andy Hopper has been made a CBE

Prof. Andy Hopper as been made a Commander of the British Empire in the 2007 New Year Honours list for services to the computer industry.

Andy Hopper elected FRS

Prof. Andy Hopper was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006.

2005 IBM ThinkPad Challenge

Each year the winning Part IB Group Project Team is invited to participate in the IBM ThinkPad Challenge at Hursley. In 2005, Cambridge has become the first university, among the 18 that compete, to win the Thinkpad Challenge twice.

Andy Hopper receives IEE Mountbatten Medal

Prof Andy Hopper was the recipient of the IEE Mountbatten Medal 2004, for his work in the computer industry and in helping the development of UK computer companies.

Keir Fraser wins BCS/CPHC Distinguished Dissertation Award

Dr Keir Fraser was awarded one of the two 2004 British Computer Society/Council of Professors and Heads of Computing Distinguished Dissertation Awards for his PhD dissertation "Practical Lock-Freedom", supervised by Dr Ian Pratt. A second Computer Lab dissertation, "Reconfigurable wavelengths-switched optical networks for the internet core" by Dr Tim Granger, was one of the seven shortlisted for the award. Tim was supervised by Prof. Ian Leslie.

Andy Hopper receives ACM SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contribution Award

Prof Andy Hopper was given the SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contribution Award in Philadelphia on 28 September 2004 for pioneering new areas of research in wireless and mobile computing, driven by a unique blend of innovative academic research and recognition of its commercial potential.

Robin Milner receives Royal Society of Edinburgh Royal Gold Medal

Professor Robin Milner was awarded a Royal Gold Medal for outstanding achievement at a ceremony held in The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) on 2 September 2004. The medal was awarded for his "outstanding contributions to software engineering which have changed the face of modern computer science."

Karen Spärck Jones receives ACL Lifetime Achievement Award

Prof Karen Spärck Jones was given the Association for Computational Linguistics' Lifetime Achievement Award at the 42nd annual meeting of the ACL in Barcelona on 23 July 2004. These awards began in 2002; Prof Spärck Jones is only the third recipient.

Andy Hopper receives Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal

On 5 July 2003 Prof Andy Hopper was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal in recognition of an oustanding and demonstrated contribution to British engineering leading to market exploitation.

Martin Richards receives IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award

Martin Richards has been awarded one of the IEEE Computer Society's 2003 Computer Pioneer Awards for pioneering system software portability through the programming language BCPL, widely influential and used in academia and industry for a variety of prominent system software applications.

BCPL is a simple typeless language that was designed in 1966. It was the precursor to Ken Thomson's B, and the two gave rise to C.

David Wheeler made Fellow of the Computer History Museum

In October 2003, Prof David Wheeler was made a Fellow of the Computer History Museum for his invention of the closed subroutine, his architectural contributions to the ILLIAC, the Cambridge Ring, and computer testing.

2003 SET Awards

James Murphy (Jesus College) received the IEE Award for Best Information Technology Student at the national Science, Engineering and Technology Student of the Year Awards in September 2003. This is the third year, running, that a Cambridge student has received the SET award for best IT or CS student.

James' Part II project, the subject of his nomination, was on modelling smoke for computer graphics. This involved solving the equations governing fluid motion (Euler, Navier-Stokes, mass conservation equations) in a stable way to simulate the motion of the smoke, in order to create physically plausible smoke. The solution method was based on a finite grid (Eulerian) discretization and solving the system of sparse linear equations thus produced required the implementation of several numerical methods. He was supervised by Dr Neil Dodgson who says: "James' project was a challenging piece of work; the award is well deserved."

2003 IBM ThinkPad Challenge

Each year the winning Part IB Group Project Team is invited to participate in the IBM ThinkPad Challenge at Hursley. In 2003, the Cambridge team were the outright winners of the ThinkPad Challenge. The final of the contest was held at Hursley on 26 September 2003 with teams from 18 of the best UK Universities battling against each other to win an IBM ThinkPad for each member of the team.

The Cambridge team were: Arthur Taylor, Christian Steinruecken, Andrew Owen, Muntasir Ali, Rui Wang and Sean Moran.

2002 SET Awards

Tim Hospedales of Jesus College received the MISYS Award for the Best Computer or Computer Software Student at the national Science, Engineering and Technology Student of the Year Awards in September 2002. The SET awards are judged based on students' final year projects. Tim's Part II Project was on eye-movement tracking.

2001 SET Awards

Hanna Wallach (Newnham College) received the MISYS Award for the Best Computer or Computer Software Student for her project "Visual Representation of Computer Aided Design Constraints".

Distinguished Dissertations

2004, Keir Fraser, "Practical Lock-Freedom"
2000, Jacques Fleuriot, "A combination of geometry theorem proving and nonstandard analysis with application to Newton's Principia"
1997, John Harrison, "Theorem proving with real numbers"
1994, Sai-Lai Lo, "A modular and extensible network storage architecture"
1993, Andrew D. Gordon, "Functional programming and input/output"
1990, Andrew Harter, "Three-dimensional integrated circuit layout"

Honours Lists

Prof Andy Hopper received a CBE in 2007.
Prof Roger Needham received a CBE in 2001.
Prof Maurice Wilkes was knighted in 2000.
Dr John Daugman received an OBE in 2000.


Royal Society

Prof Andy Hopper (2006)
Prof Mike Gordon (1994)
Prof Robin Milner (1988)
Prof Roger Needham (1985)
Prof David Wheeler (1981)
Prof Sir Maurice Wilkes (1956)

Royal Academy of Engineering

Prof Jon Crowcroft (1999)
Prof Andy Hopper (1996)
Prof Roger Needham (1993)
Prof Sir Maurice Wilkes (1976)

British Academy

Prof Karen Spärck Jones (1995)