Professors Gillian Hayes and Sharad Mehrotra Named Distinguished Members of the ACM

December 16, 2020

On Dec. 16, 2020, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) introduced 64 new Distinguished Members, selected by their peers for outstanding scientific contributions that “propel the digital age.” Two faculty members from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) are among the 2020 inductees: Gillian Hayes and Sharad Mehrotra.

Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Professor of Informatics Gillian Hayes, who currently serves as vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate Division at UCI, has been recognized for her outstanding scientific contributions to computing. Her focus on inclusive and ethical design, particularly for assistive and educational technologies, empowers diverse groups of people, including those with disabilities; Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; and the LGBTQIA community. “It is always an honor to be recognize by one’s peers for work in the field,” says Hayes. “On this particular milestone, I am reminded of the person I was 25 years ago doubting I could hack it in CS classes of nearly all men. I am glad to have made a career as a computer scientist, and I am glad to help others get there too.”

Computer Science Professor Sharad Mehrotra was also recognized for his outstanding scientific contributions to computing. With expertise in data management and distributed systems, he pioneered the database-as-a-service concept, for which he received the ACM SIGMOD Test-of-Time Award in 2012. His work on database indexing, data cleaning and quality, sensor data management and multimedia retrieval have been recognized with various best paper awards, and he led the RESCUE [Responding to Crisis and Unexpected Events] project (one of the largest NSF grants to UCI), exploring information technology solutions for first responders. He is now leading a $5 million DARPA project, titled TIPPERS, that has created a one-of-a-kind smart-space testbed at UCI that is being used in the context of safe reopening of the campus from the COVID-19 lockdown. His current work explores various aspects of data management, including secure data outsourcing and integrating machine learning in database systems. He is also part of a team of working on a $1.5 million NSF grant to develop smart water infrastructures. “It is an honor to being included among such a distinguished group of ACM members,” says Mehrotra.

As ACM President Gabriele Kotsis notes in the announcement, “With the Distinguished Member designation, ACM celebrates specific contributions of these members and their career growth as reflected in a long-term commitment to the field, as well as their collaboration with peers in supporting a global professional association for the benefit of all.”

In receiving this honor, Hayes and Mehrotra join fellow ICS colleagues Chen Li (2018); Andre van der Hoek (2013); Crista Lopes, Richard Pattis and David Redmiles (2011); Nikil Dutt (2007); and Michael Franz and Michael Goodrich (2006).

Shani Murray