Fellow Award Nominations

Make a Nomination

The annual Computer History Museum Fellow Awards program publicly recognizes individuals of outstanding merit who have significantly contributed to advances in computing technology or applications, and to the evolution of the information age. Each year a selection committee composed of Museum staff and trustees, historians, industry peers, and prior Fellows reviews qualified nominees and selects the new Fellows.

Fellows may have worked in such diverse fields as hardware, software, networking, computer science, business, education, public service, or journalism, but they have one thing in common: their contributions have had a direct influence on computer history, and ultimately, they have changed our lives.

Selection Criteria

Candidate Fellows are judged by the following criteria:

  • By their work in research, development, business, education, or public service, the candidate has made a significant and lasting contribution to the advancement of computing and the information age. Contributions may take different forms:
    • The candidate's work is of a foundational nature that has strongly influenced the intellectual, disciplinary, or industrial underpinnings of computing.
    • The candidate's work resulted in a new direction, or significantly changed the evolutionary path of computing.
    • The candidate's work advanced the adoption of computing by successfully applying research results in an industry, business, or product, or by applying computing technology in society in a new and significant way.
    • The candidate's work advanced the understanding and adoption of computing through education or promotional activity.
  • Special consideration will be given to a candidate's lifelong accomplishments, contributions to more than one area (research, development, business, education, or public service) and the ultimate benefit of their contribution to society.
  • Sufficient time must have elapsed between a candidate's primary contribution and their nomination in order to properly assess the historical importance of their achievements.
  • Equal consideration will be given to candidates from any of the computing disciplines, including hardware, software, networks, academic research, commercial development, electrical engineering, computer science, etc.
  • Selections will be made without regard to age, citizenship status, color, disability, gender/sex, gender identity, marital status, nationality, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Public Nomination Process

The Museum solicits written nominations for the Fellow Awards from the wider Museum community. This public nomination process helps the Museum to identify a pool of qualified candidates who best fit the selection criteria above. By drawing on the cumulative industry knowledge of our community, the written nomination process helps us to document and enrich our understanding of candidates' contributions.

If you feel strongly about someone who has contributed to the industry and deserves the highest recognition, please submit a nomination recommending that person for a Fellow Award by filling out the Fellow Nomination Form. Here are considerations you should keep in mind:

  1. Nominations should be made for living persons only.
  2. You cannot nominate yourself.
  3. Fellows will be selected on the basis of their accomplishments as described in the "Reasons for Nomination" section of the form, which should explain how the candidate meets the selection criteria. This section is best when between 500 and 1500 words; extreme brevity or excessive length will make a nomination less effective.
  4. Typically a nominee is an individual. However, the selection committee will accept a single nomination of co-contributors if their contributions demand equal and joint consideration.
  5. Questions about the nomination process may be sent to . The selection committee will not, however, answer questions about the selection process.
  6. Nominators agree to respond to requests for clarification from the selection committee.
  7. The nominator should be acting as an individual, not as a representative of an institution.
  8. Nominators may not make public statements about the nomination or selection process. The selection committee may set aside a nomination from a nominator who violates this rule.
  9. Nominators must make reasonable efforts to verify the accuracy of all the statements on the nomination form. The selection committee may set aside any nomination found to contain material inaccuracies.
  10. In addition to the completed nomination form, submissions can include recommendation letters and other supporting material. We encourage nominators to solicit additional materials in support of their application from colleagues, peers and other interested parties.
  11. Nominations are due by August 31, 2016 for the spring 2017 awards.