Call for Nominations

The newly instated FOCS Test of Time Award recognizes papers published at the Proceedings of the Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science. Three awards will be given in 2019, one targeted towards papers presented at the conference in 2009, one targeted towards papers presented at the conference in 1999, and the final one for papers presented in 1989.

In each of these categories, it is possible to nominate papers published in up to four conferences earlier than the targeted conference. Thus papers published at FOCS 85-88 can compete for the award targeting the 1989 conference and similarly for the other two awards.

Nomination Procedure

Anyone in the Theoretical Computer Science community may nominate at most one paper in each category. To do so, please send nominations to: with a subject line of FOCS Test of Time Award by April 23, 2019. The nomination should contain an explanation of the impact of the nominated paper(s), including references to follow-up work.


The winners are selected by a committee appointed by the FOCS steering committee and for 2019 it consists of Paul Beame (U of Washington), Allan Borodin (U of Toronto), Uri Feige (Weizmann Inst), Monika Henzinger (U of Vienna), Johan HÃ¥stad (KTH, chair), and Mihalis Yannakakis (Columbia U).

In selecting the Test of Time Award, the Committee will pay particular attention to long term impact. This impact can come in many forms and some possibilities are to: (i) open up a new area of research; (ii) introduce new techniques; (iii) solve a problem of lasting importance.

The committee expects to select exactly one paper in each category, and moreover, it expects it to be a paper from the corresponding targeted year. However, if the committee finds that circumstances justify this, it may select up to three papers in each category, and include among them papers from up to four years prior to the targeted year. The committee may select papers other than those that are nominated.

About the Award

This is the first FOCS Test of Time Award and it will be an annual award. The 2019 award winners will be presented at FOCS 2019, held in Baltimore, November 9 to 12.