SIGMM Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis in Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications

Award Description

This award will be presented at most once per year to a researcher whose PhD thesis has the potential of very high impact in multimedia computing, communication and applications, or gives direct evidence of such impact. A selection committee will evaluate contributions towards advances in multimedia including multimedia processing, multimedia systems, multimedia network services, multimedia applications and interfaces. The award will recognize members of the SIGMM community and their research contributions in their PhD theses as well as the potential of impact of their PhD theses in multimedia area. The selection committee will focus on candidates’ contributions as judged by innovative ideas and potential impact resulting from their PhD work.

The award includes a US$500 honorarium, an award certificate of recognition, and an invitation for the recipient to receive the award at a current year’s SIGMM-sponsored conference, the ACM International Conference on Multimedia (ACM Multimedia). A public citation for the award will be placed on the SIGMM website, in the SIGMM Records e-newsletter as well as in the ACM e-newsletter.


The award honorarium, the award plaque of recognition and travel expenses to the ACM International Conference on Multimedia will be fully sponsored by the SIGMM budget.

Nomination Applications

Nominations will be solicited by the 31st May 2016 with an award decision to be made by August 30. This timing will allow a recipient to prepare for an award presentation at ACM Multimedia in that Fall (October/November).

The initial nomination for a PhD thesis must relate to a dissertation deposited at the nominee’s Academic Institution between January and December of the year previous to the nomination. As discussed below, some dissertations may be held for up to three years by the selection committee for reconsideration. If the original thesis is not in English, a full English translation must be provided with the submission. Nominations for the award must include:

  1. PhD thesis (upload at: )
  2. A statement summarizing the candidate’s PhD thesis contributions and potential impact, and justification of the nomination (two pages maximum);
  3. Curriculum Vitae of the nominee
  4. Three endorsement letters supporting the nomination including the significant PhD thesis contributions of the candidate. Each endorsement should be no longer than 500 words with clear specification of nominee PhD thesis contributions and potential impact on the multimedia field.
  5. A concise statement (one sentence) of the PhD thesis contribution for which the award is being given. This statement will appear on the award certificate and on the website.

The nomination rules are:

  1. The nominee can be any member of the scientific community.
  2. The nominator must be a SIGMM member.
  3. No self-nomination is allowed.

If a particular thesis is considered to be of exceptional merit but not selected for the award in a given year, the selection committee (at its sole discretion) may elect to retain the submission for consideration in at most two following years. The candidate will be invited to resubmit his/her work in these years.

A thesis is considered to be outstanding if:

  1. Theoretical contributions are significant and application to multimedia is demonstrated.
  2. Applications to multimedia is outstanding, techniques are backed by solid theory with clear demonstration that algorithms can be applied in new domains -  e.g., algorithms must be demonstrably scalable in application in terms of robustness, convergence and complexity.

The submission process of nominations will be preceded by the call for nominations. The call of nominations will be widely publicized by the SIGMM awards committee and by the SIGMM Executive Board at the different SIGMM venues, such as during the SIGMM premier ACM Multimedia conference (at the SIGMM Business Meeting) on the SIGMM web site, via SIGMM mailing list, and via SIGMM e-newsletter between September and December of the previous year.

Submission Process

  • Register an account at  and upload one copy of the nominated PhD thesis. The nominee will receive a Paper ID after the submission.
  • The nominator must then collate other materials detailed in the previous section and upload them as supplementary materials, except the endorsement letters, which must be emailed separately as detailed below.
  • Contact your referees and ask them to send all endorsement letters to with the title: "PhD Thesis Award Endorsement Letter for [YourName]". The web administrator will acknowledge the receipt and the submission CMT website will reflect the status of uploaded documents and endorsement letters.

It is the responsibility of the nominator to follow the process and make sure documentation is complete. Thesis with incomplete documentation will be considered invalid.

Selection Committee

The 2016 award selection committee consists of:

Previous Recipients

  • 2015: Ting Yao (Multimedia Search by Self, External, and Crowdsourcing Knowledge)
  • 2014: Zhigang Ma (From Concepts to Events: A Progressive Process for Multimedia Content Analysis)
  • 2013: Xirong Li (Content-based visual search learned from social media)
  • 2012: Wanmin Wu (Human-Centric Control of Video Functions and Underlying Resources in 3D Tele-immersive Systems)