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ACM/CSTA Cutler-Bell Prize
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The ACM/CSTA Cutler-Bell Prize in High School Computing is a prize designed to recognize talented high school students intending to continue their higher education in the areas of computer science or technology. The program seeks to promote and encourage the field of computer science, as well as to empower young and aspiring learners to pursue computing challenges outside of the traditional classroom environment.


The prize is a made available through a $1 million endowment established by David Cutler and Gordon Bell. Dr. Cutler is a software engineer, designer and developer of several operating systems including Windows NT at Microsoft and RSX-11M, VMS and VAXELN at Digital Equipment Corporation. He is Senior Technical Fellow at Microsoft. Dr. Bell is an electrical engineer and an early employee of Digital Equipment Corporation where he led the development of VAX. He is now a researcher emeritus at Microsoft Research.


“David and I are delighted to endow this new award to recognize, encourage and reward
high school students in computing,” said Gordon Bell. “We hope that it proves to help students discover computer science and how empowering computing can be.”


Up to four winners will be selected annually and each will be awarded a $10,000 prize which will be administered through the financial aid department at the university the student will attend.


“We are honored to sponsor the ACM/CSTA Cutler-Bell Prize in High School Computing,” said ACM President Cherri M. Pancake. “The Cutler-Bell Prize has a unique place in the landscape of high school computing education. It encourages students to devise original projects that address problems in society or business. In this way, the contest fosters a spirit of innovation and builds confidence. The Cutler-Bell Prize offers the added benefits of showcasing excellent work as an inspiration to all—while easing the financial burden of highly talented computer science students as they enter college. We thank David Cutler and Gordon Bell for funding the prize, as well as everyone who has made it such a success since its inception.”

Eligible applicants for the award will include graduating high school seniors residing and attending school in the US. Challenges for the award will focus on developing an artifact that engages modern computing technology and computer science. Judges will look for submissions that demonstrate ingenuity, complexity, relevancy, originality, and a desire to further computer science as a discipline.


Previous Years' Winners



Application Information

The application period for the 2018-2019 award is open now and will close January 5, 2019. The winners are expected to be announced in February 2019.

Click here for the application.



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The Association for Computing Machinery founded CSTA as part of its commitment to K-12 computer science education