The Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (ACM SIGIR) has announced that Edward Fox, professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Computer Science and faculty at the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, is one of 25 inductees from across the globe in its inaugural SIGIR Academy. 

The inaugural academy inductees, drawn from academia, industry, and beyond, are principal leaders in information retrieval whose significant contributions have shaped the discipline or industry.

"We started the Academy to recognize more of the great work happening in information retrieval, including a broader range of ways to contribute to the field beyond traditional research contributions," said Ryen White, founding chair of the SIGIR Academy selection committee. "We wanted to highlight the efforts of a broader set of individuals and show that significant industry innovation and service contributions are also highly valued by the SIGIR community."

Fox has been an active member of the Association for Computer Machinery since joining as an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Fifty years later, in 2017, he was named an ACM Fellow, an honor bestowed on an elite group that represents less than 1 percent of ACM’s overall membership. That same year, he was named an IEEE Fellow for his leadership and contributions in information retrieval and digital libraries.

Included in the history of his service at ACM, Fox was program chair for the 2018 ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries — also serving as general chair in 2001 and as a member of the steering committee since 2003. Fox was editor for information retrieval and digital libraries in the ACM Books series; member of the ACM Publications Board (1988-1992 and 2018-2019); and a member of the editorial board for ACM Transactions on Information Systems.

Other positions Fox has held at ACM include: vice chair and then chair of the Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval from 1987 to 1995; founder and chairman of the steering committee for the ACM Multimedia conferences from 1992 to 1994; and founder and chairman of the steering committee for the ACM Digital Libraries series of conferences from 1995 to 1998. He received ACM Recognition of Service Awards in 1991, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2012, and 2018.

Fox joined Virginia Tech in 1983. In addition to his positions in the Department of Computer Science and the Sanghani Center, he is also a faculty member in the Center for Human-Computer Interaction; the Global Change Center; and the VT Center for Autism Research. He is director of the Digital Library Research Laboratory.

In 2016, Virginia Tech honored him with the university’s XCaliber Award for technology enriched learning. In 2018,  Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, presented Fox with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

Written by Barbara L. Micale