The 2021 SIGACT Distinguished Service Award is presented to Paul Beame for over 20 years of dedicated and effective support of the mission of the Theoretical Computer Science community. Paul’s tireless service, in both official and unofficial roles, has been highly instrumental in ensuring the smooth running and continued vitality of the flagship STOC and FOCS conferences and of SIGACT itself.
Among Paul’s many concrete contributions are the following:
Paul’s influence on the STOC and FOCS conferences has been profound: indeed, he has been instrumental in running one or both of these events every year since the mid-2000s. His contributions run the gamut from the big picture (such as promoting and enabling the revitalization of the STOC conference through the introduction of TheoryFest) to the exquisitely detailed (such as fine-tuning budgets and local arrangements).
In addition to his many official roles, Paul’s influence is also felt, equally significantly, through his unofficial roles as “SIGACT oracle” and advisor to those responsible for running our main conferences every year, from PC chairs to local organizers to finance chairs. Whereas many people who have served in leadership roles view stepping down as a chance to leave obligations behind, Paul has repeatedly viewed it as an opportunity to smooth the path for future incumbents.
With this Award, SIGACT recognizes Paul Beame's selfless devotion to the TCS mission over two decades.