Pioneering Achievement Award

 The SIGDA Pioneering Achievement Award was created to recognize early work that has played a pivotal role in the design of electronic systems.  The award is presented annually at ICCAD at the member meeting banquet dinner (which is open to all members of the EDA community).  The recipient of the award normally presents a short talk, which is recorded and made available through the ACM Digital Library.

2013: Prof. Donald E. Thomas, Carnegie Mellon University
Donald E. Thomas
For his pioneering work in making the Verilog Hardware Description Language more accessible for the design automation community and allowing for faster and easier pathways to simulation, high-level synthesis, and co-design of hardware-software systems.
2012: Dr. Louise Trevillyan, IBM
Louise Trevillyan
Recognizing her almost-40-year career in EDA and her groundbreaking research contributions in logic and physical synthesis, design verification, high-level synthesis, processor performance analysis, and compiler technology.
2011: Prof. Robert K. Brayton, UC Berkeley
Prof. Robert K. Brayton
For outstanding contributions to the field of Computer Aided Design of integrated systems over the last several decades.
2010: Prof. Scott Kirkpatrick, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Prof. Scott Kirkpatrick
On Solving Hard Problems by Analogy
Automated electronic design is not the only field in which surprising analogies from other fields of science have been used to deal with the challenges of very large problem sizes, requiring optimization across multiple scales, with constraints which eliminate any elegant solutions. Similar opportunities arise, for example, in logistics, in scheduling, in portfolio optimization and other classic problems. The common ingredient in all of these is that the problems are fundamentally frustrated, in that conflicting objectives must be traded off at all scales. This, plus the irregular structure in such real world problems eliminates any easy routes to the best solutions. Of course, in engineering, the real objective is not a global optimum, but a solution that is "good enough" and can be obtained "soon enough" to be useful. The model in materials science that gave rise by analogy to simulated annealing is the spin glass, which recently surfaced again in computer science as a vehicle whose inherent complexity might answer the long-vexing question of whether P can be proved not equal to NP.
 2009: Prof. Martin Davis, NYU
 Prof. Martin Davis
 For his fundamental contributions to algorithms for solving the Boolean Satisfiability problem, which heavily influenced modern tools for hardware and software verifciation, as well as logic circuit synthesis.
 2008: Prof. Edward J. McCluskey, Stanford
Prof. Ed McCluskey
 For his outstanding contributions to the areas of CAD, test and reliable computing during the past half of century.
 2007: Dr. Gene M. Amdahl, Amdahl Corporation
Dr. Gene Amdahl
Award citation: For his outstanding contributions to the computing industry on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Amdahl's Law.
Video of Dr. Amdahl's dinner talk and a panel debate are available on the ACM digital library.