The 2008 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award was awarded to Corinna Cortes and Vladimir Vapnik “for the development of Support Vector Machines, a highly effective algorithm for classification and related machine learning problems“.
It’s not the first time this award is given to Machine Learning people. In 2004 it was awarded to Yoav Freund and Robert Schapire “for the development of the theory and practice of boosting and its applications to machine learning.”
I found a bit weird that they left Bernhard Boser and Isabelle Guyon out of the prize, because they were Vapnik’s co-authors in the 1992 paper “A training algorithm for optimal margin classifiers“, which I guess is considered to be the first paper on Support Vector Machines…
Anyway, congratulation to the winners. These are indeed elegant algorithms with sound theoretical foundations and numerous sucessful applications to vision, speech, natural language and robotics, to name just a few.
Thanks to my cousin Rui for the link to this news.