ACM SIGMOBILE Doctoral Dissertation Award

The SIGMOBILE Doctoral Dissertation award will recognize excellent thesis research by doctoral candidates in the field of mobile computing and wireless networks. The SIGMOBILE Doctoral Dissertation Award winner and up to two runners-up will be recognized at one of the ACM SIGMOBILE conferences that the winner chooses. The award winner will receive a plaque, a $1,000 honorarium and a complimentary registration to one of the following year’s ACM SIGMOBILE Conferences.  The runners-up each will receive a plaque. 

Current Awardee

  • Winner

    Wireless Systems that Extend Our Senses

    Fadel Adib, MIT

    Fadel's dissertation proposes ways in which Wi-Fi signals, traditionally used for communication, can be extended for use as sensing tools that enable us to learn about our environment without physically reaching out to the various objects in it. 

Past Awardees

  • Winner

    Power, Communication, Sensing Solutions for Energy Constrainted Platforms

    Vamsi Talla, University of Washington

    Vamsi's dissertation proposes wireless power delivery and ultra-low power backscatter based communication and sensing solutions for the next billion devices.

  • Winner

    Leveraging Backscatter for Ultra-Low Power Wireless Sensing Systems

    Pengyu Zhang, UMass

    Pengyu's thesis presents fundamental principles underlying the physical layer, hardware architecture, and operating system design of backscatter based sensors to enable widespread deployment of such systems.

  • Runner Up

    Pushing the Limits of Wireless Networks

    Swarun Kumar, MIT

    Swarun's thesis significantly improves the performance of wireless networks in presence of interference and mobility, and enhances them with accurate location.


  • Nominations are limited to one doctoral dissertation per department.
  • The final dissertation defense should take place at the nominee’s host institution during the 12 months before the submission deadline. For this year, the dissertation should be completed during Sept. 1, 2016 – Aug. 31, 2017.
  • Submissions must be received by the current SIGMOBILE dissertation committee co-chairs. Each submitted doctoral dissertation must be on a topic related to mobile computing and wireless networks. The determination of whether a thesis is in scope for the award will be made by the SIGMOBILE Doctoral Dissertation Award Committee. Each nominated dissertation must also have been successfully defended by the candidate, and the final version of each nominated dissertation must have been accepted by the candidate's academic unit. An English-language version of the dissertation must be submitted with the nomination. A dissertation can be nominated for both the SIGMOBILE Doctoral Dissertation Award and the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.

Submission Deadline:

Feb 16, 2018

Dissertation Award Committee Co-chairs

Submission Procedure

All nomination materials must be submitted electronically to the current Chair of the SIGMOBILE Doctoral Dissertation Award Committee by the submission deadline, and must be submitted in English. PDF format is preferred for all materials. Late submissions will not be considered.

Nominations for the award must include:

  1. A statement summarizing the candidate’s PhD thesis contributions and potential impact, and justification of the nomination (no more than two pages);
  2. The PhD thesis itself;
  3. An endorsement letter by the department chair;
  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 the nominee’s PhD thesis contributions and potential impact on the mobile computing and wireless networking  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 plaque and on the SIGMOBILE website.

Self-nomination is NOT allowed.

Doctoral Dissertation Award Selection Committee

The Doctoral Dissertation Award Selection Committee will consist of several SIGMOBILE members, one of whom will be appointed as the Selection Committee chair. Award committee members will be appointed by the current SIGMOBILE awards chair. The committee chair will adjudicate conflicts of interest, appointing substitutes to the committee as necessary. Committee members may remain on the committee for up to four years

Resolution of Conflict of Interest

A member of the Doctoral Dissertation Award Committee who has a potential conflict of interest should report it to the committee chair, and the committee chair will determine whether a conflict exists. If the conflict exists, the committee chair and the SIGMOBILE award chair will replace the member of the award selection committee with another volunteer.

A potential conflict of interest occurs when a person is involved in making a decision that: could result in that person, a close associate of that person, or that person's company or institution receiving significant financial gain, such as a contract or grant, or could result in that person, or a close associate of that person, receiving significant professional recognition, such as an award or the selection of a paper, work, exhibit, or other type of submitted presentation. Some examples of instances of associations that could cause a conflict of interest are: employment at the same institution or company candidate for employment at the same institution or company received an honorarium or stipend from the institution or company within the last year co-author on book or paper in the last 48 months co-principal investigator on grant or research project actively working on project together family relationship close personal relationship graduate advisee/advisor relationship deep personal animosity.

Doctoral Dissertation Award Funding

The funding comes exclusively from ACM SIGMOBILE.