ACM honors iSchool's Shah as Distinguished Member

Chirag ShahUW Information School Professor Chirag Shah is among 67 global scholars recognized this year as Distinguished Members of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for their outstanding contributions to the computing field. 

The ACM is the world’s largest computing society. It recognizes up to 10 percent of its worldwide membership as distinguished members based on their professional experience, groundbreaking achievements and longstanding participation in computing. The ACM has three tiers of recognition: fellows, distinguished members and senior members. The Distinguished Member Recognition Program, which honors members with at least 15 years of professional experience, recognized Shah for his work at the intersection of information, access and responsible AI. Shah expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the award. 

“I’m incredibly grateful for all the support I’ve received from everyone. It’s a very humbling experience,” said Shah. 

Shah has contributed a great deal of research related to people-centered information access and examining how biases and issues of discrimination that are present within information systems can be counteracted. One of Shah’s significant contributions to the iSchool has been co-founding Responsibility in AI Systems and Experiences (RAISE). One of the key people Shah acknowledged for RAISE and other initiatives is Dean Anind K. Dey. 

“Anind has been instrumental in bringing me to the iSchool and unequivocally supporting me in my career,” said Shah.

Shah said the iSchool’s interdisciplinary values have enabled him to work across multiple disciplines and enhance his scholarship. 

“I have really benefited from being at a place like the iSchool that readily supports cross-discipline engagement at its core. I have gotten the chance to work with people in fields that I have no expertise in, like social sciences, health, education, linguistics, and have also gotten to work in the industry to learn about the human impact of technology in practice,” said Shah. 

To Shah, being honored as an ACM Distinguished Member comes with the privilege and responsibility of paying it forward and setting an example for the next generation. 

“When I was a student and an early career faculty, I remember looking up to other faculty I admired and being inspired by their work,” said Shah. “I want to do the same for my students and show them that things were not always easy for me in taking the path that I have taken.” 

The iSchool also has several other faculty that have been recognized by the ACM as senior members for their leadership and professional contributions, including Dey, Batya Friedman, Amy J. Ko and Jacob O. Wobbrock.