Richard Dimick Jenks
The terms computer algebra and software engineering will be
interpreted broadly in determining eligibility of software for the prize.
If you are not sure about the eligibility of a software package, ask the
Committee for clarification.
The canonical nomination will normally be software that has a large
user base, is well-documented, practices innovative and good software
engineering, and is cited by many publications. However, there is other
work being done that does not fit this canonical model such as highly tuned
and effective packages of a narrow scope that are or may be used as
other software, or work by individuals or small groups, often largely
unrecognized in traditional ways, that implements,
supports, and/or maintains widely used public domain software
important to the computer algebra community. The Committee realizes that
such work may be worthy of the Jenks Memorial Prize and encourages such nominations,
but it is important that the nominators find ways to clearly explain the
impact of such work. Effective supporting letters will be essential in
Software in which a committee member has a substantial interest will not be
eligible for the prize in any year such a person serves on the prize committee.
Approximately 6-8 months before each deadline for nominations, the Jenks Memorial
Prize Committee will issue a Call for Nominations. To submit a nomination,
do the following:
- Go to the
Calls for Nominations
web page for instructions on
submitting a nomination. Follow the instructions you find there
as well as the supporting information found on this page. The call
for nominations will contain a list of the names of the Prize
Committee for that year.
- Designate yourself or another appropriate person to make sure that
a high quality, complete nomination packet is submitted before
- Ask 3-5 persons who are knowledgeable about the software being
nominated to write letters in support of the nomination.
- At an appropriate time before the deadline follow up with the persons
who have been asked to write supporting letters to make sure that they have
or will do so.
- If there are any questions about the nomination process, please
contact a Committee member for clarification. The Committee wants to facilitate
getting the best possible nomination packet for each nominee. High quality
nomination packets are vital to helping the Committee make well-informed,
Hints/Suggestions to Nominators
- The supporting letters are especially important parts of the
nomination packet. It is a good strategy to ask more than five persons to
write letters in case one or more is unable to do so by the deadline.
A nomination with only one or two letters will be considered but will
be at a disadvantage for lack of information.
All letters received by the Committee will be evaluated.
- The most effective supporting letters are those written by persons
independent from the developers of the software but who are knowledgeable
about its strengths and weaknesses relative to competing software.
A writer who can cite significant software engineering aspects of the work
and/or impacts in use of the software in his/her
work is especially effective. Such impacts include using the software
scientific problems, in its adaption for use in other software packages, etc.
- Normally, only nominated software will be considered for the prize.
- After the deadline, each committee member will read and study all
the nomination packets with an eye toward determining the overall
quality and scientific impact of the software. The Committee may,
at its discretion, seek other evaluative information about a particular
nomination. However, in practice due to time constraints,
the nomination packet will be the key evaluation tool and should be
prepared with care by the nominators.
- Important attributes in determining rankings of the nominations include the
scientific impact of the software;
correctness and ingenuity of the implementations;
quality of the documentation;
its ease of use; and the scope of its availability.
- The Prize Committee will
utilize a scheme for ranking all the
nominations either linearly or into groups such as (a) those of high
quality that are strongly competitive for the prize, (b) good quality
nominees, but one reason are another are not in the top group, and
(c) all the rest.
- Via its procedures and discussions, the goal of the Prize Committee
will be to reach a consensus on an awardee. In rare cases, the
Committee may decide to not make any award if none of the nominees is
judged to be sufficiently worthy.
- The decision of the Committee will be final.
- Normally, only the prize winner will be announced as a result of the
Hints/Suggestions to Prize Candidates
- As a general rule, software developers should include, in their
user manual or other documentation, information
on how to cite their software. This can be a citation to a seminal
article about the software, a manual of documentation, and/or a URL to a web
site. When a URL is used, make sure that it is one with some permanence.
Include a BibTeX entry for citations to your software that others can easily
copy for inclusion in their BibTeX files.
Here are a couple of nice examples
taken from the URL catalog and bibliography of the book The LaTeX Web
Drakos, N. and Moore, R. 1998. The LaTeX2HTML Translator, User's Guide
and Manual. Accompanies the software, 1998. Online version available at
L2HDOC: LaTeX2HTML online documentation.
This page last updated 2008-04-10.