Hicks, Mount Named ACM Fellows

Feb 02, 2023

Two faculty members affiliated with the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) were recently named Fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Michael Hicks (left in photo) and David Mount (right) are among the cohort of 57 members named 2022 ACM Fellows, which recognizes the top 1% of ACM members for their “outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community.”

Hicks, a professor emeritus of computer science who also served as a core faculty member in the Maryland Cybersecurity Center, was recognized for “contributions to programming language design and implementation, program analysis, and software security.”

Mount, a professor of computer science with a joint appointment in UMIACS, was recognized for “contributions to algorithms and data structures for geometric data analysis and retrieval.”

Nominated by peers and evaluated by a selection committee, ACM Fellows have achieved a lasting impact on the field of computing through technical leadership and the demonstration of innovation, originality, and creativity in theoretical or practical accomplishments.

“Computing’s most important advances are often the result of a collection of many individual contributions, which build upon and complement each other,” explained ACM President Yannis Ioannidis in the January 18 announcement. “But each individual contribution is an essential link in the chain. The ACM Fellows program is a way to recognize the women and men whose hard work and creativity happens inconspicuously but drives our field. In selecting a new class of ACM Fellows each year, we also hope that learning about these leaders might inspire our wider membership with insights for their own work.”

Hicks has conducted influential research for 25 years, applying novel programming languages and program analysis techniques to solve a variety of problems in security, systems, databases, networks and quantum computing.

He has developed programming languages and tools to secure low-level programs, update software dynamically, ensure data confidentiality and integrity, and implement formally verified programming stacks on emerging quantum computers. During his career, he has published more than 140 refereed conference and journal papers that have been cited more than 11,500 times.

In 2022, Hicks received the ACM Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN) Distinguished Service Award. He was elected and served as SIGPLAN chair (2015-18) and then as past chair for three years. As past chair, he founded and was the editor-in-chief of the SIGPLAN blog called PL Perspectives. Hicks was also the Principles of Programming Languages symposium steering committee chair (2018-21) and Computer Security Foundations Symposium programming co-chair (2015-16).

He is currently area chair for the SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation and editor-in-chief of the Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages.

Hicks also contributes to community outreach activities, including the Build It, Break It, Fix It security contest he developed and ran for several years at UMD.

Hicks received his B.S. in computer science from Pennsylvania State University in 1993 and his M.S. and Ph.D. in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 and 2001, respectively. He is currently a senior principal scientist at Amazon Web Services.

Mount has published almost 200 research papers on algorithms for geometric problems, particularly problems with applications in image processing, pattern recognition, information retrieval and computer graphics.

He currently serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including TheoretiCS, Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications, and the International Journal of Computational Geometry & Applications. Mount previously served on the editorial boards of ACM Transactions on Spatial Algorithms and Systems, ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software, and Pattern Recognition. He was co-recipient of the Symposium on Computational Geometry Test-of-Time Award in 2021 for the paper titled “The analysis of a simple k-means clustering algorithm.”

Mount was the conference chair for the International Symposium on Computational Geometry in 2008. He has served on the program committees of many of the major conferences in his area, including as the program committee co-chair for the ACM Symposium on Computational Geometry in 2003 and the Fourth Workshop on Algorithm Engineering and Experiments in 2002 and SPIE's Conferences on Vision Geometry from 2001 through 2006. He co-authored the textbook Data Structures and Algorithms in C++ with Mike Goodrich and Roberto Tamassia.

He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Purdue University in 1977 and 1983, respectively, and started at UMD in 1984.

—This article was adapted from a news release published by the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences