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 October 30, 2023, deadline, dissertations dated December 15, 2022 to October 15, 2023 are eligible. The dissertation date can refer to the “deposit date,” “committee approval date,” or another reasonable and relevant date, depending on the process followed by the nominee’s institution. However, please note that a dissertation can be nominated only once. Thus, if, e.g., the “deposit date” and “committee approval date” would fall into two award periods, the thesis cannot be nominated twice, and the nominee would have to choose one period.

To submit a nomination for the award, please use the awards nomination portal. Please note that:

  • An intent to nominate must be submitted in the nomination system by October 16, 2023. The intent submission is very lightweight and only requires: (1) full name and affiliation of the nominee, (2) contact information of the nominator, and (3) some metadata. If no intent is received by the deadline, the nomination will be deemed late and not considered for this round of award selection.

  • A single PDF containing the nomination package must be submitted through the portal to complete the submission by October 30, 2023. The PDF should contain the following:

    1. Full name and affiliation of the nominee
    2. One- to two-page summary of the nominee’s dissertation (in English)
    3. Link to download the nominee’s dissertation (in any language)
    4. List of nominee’s publications (that were used as the basis of chapters in the nominated dissertation)
    5. Succinct description of why the nominee is well-qualified for the award (200-500 words)
    6. Up to three 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.


  • 2024 Bianca Trinkenreich, Understanding and Supporting Women’s Participation in Open Source Software, Northern Arizona University, advisors: Igor Steinmacher and Marco Aurelio Gerosa
  • 2023 David Shriver, Increasing the Applicability of Verification Tools for Neural Networks, University of Virginia, advisors: Matt Dwyer and Sebastian Elbaum
  • 2022 Wing Lam, Detecting, Characterizing, and Taming Flaky Tests, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advisors: Darko Marinov and Tao Xie
  • 2021 August Shi, Improving Regression Testing Efficiency and Reliability via Test-Suite Transformations, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advisor: Darko Marinov
  • 2020 Rachel Tzoref-Brill, Comprehension and Evolution of Combinatorial Models and Test Plans, Tel Aviv University
  • 2019 Sergey 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
  • 2018 Fan Long, Automatic Patch Generation via Learning from Successful Human Patches, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2017 Srdan Krstic, Trace Checking of Quantitative Properties, Politecnico di Milano
  • 2016 Milos Gligoric, Regression Test Selection: Theory and Practice, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Darko Marinov, advisor
  • 2015 Muath Alkhalaf, Automatic Detection and Repair of Input Validation and Sanitization Bugs, University of California, Santa Barbara, Tevfik Bultan, advisor
  • 2014 Nicolas Mangano, Calico: An early-phase software design tool, University of California, Irvine, André van der Hoek, advisor
  • 2013 Jeff Huang, Effective Methods for Debugging Concurrent Software, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Charles Zhang, advisor
  • 2012 Mark Gabel, Inferring Programmer Intent and Related Errors from Software, University of California, Davis, Zhendong Su, advisor



  • Myra B. Cohen, Iowa State University, United States (chair)
  • Gordon Fraser, University of Passau, Germany (deputy chair)
  • Aldeida Aleti, Monash University, Australia
  • Kelly Blincoe, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Gregory Gay, Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Cindy Rubio-Gonzalez, UC Davis, United States
  • Rachel Tzoref-Brill, IBM, Israel
  • Shin Yoo, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea
  • Lingming Zhang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
  • Thomas Zimmermann, Microsoft Research, United States (SIGSOFT chair, non-voting)
  • David Lo, Singapore Management University, Singapore (SIGSOFT award chair, non-voting)


  • Natalia Juristo, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain (chair)
  • Grace A. Lewis, Carnegie Mellon University, United States
  • Shahar Maoz, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Ignacio Panach, Universitat de Valencia, Spain
  • Birgit Penzenstadler, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  • Federica Sarro, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Francisco Servant, Universidad de Malaga, Spain
  • Ayse Tosun, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
  • Tao Xie, Peking University, China
  • Thomas Zimmermann, Microsoft Research, United States (SIGSOFT chair, non-voting)
  • David Lo, Singapore Management University, Singapore (SIGSOFT award chair, non-voting)


  • Christian Bird, Microsoft Research, United States (chair)
  • Paolo Tonella, Università 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 Politécnica 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 (SIGSOFT chair, non-voting)
  • David Lo, Singapore Management University, Singapore (SIGSOFT award chair, non-voting)


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