Banner Michael and Sheila Held Prize

Banner Michael and Sheila Held Prize

Scheduled for presentation in 2021, recipients will be announced in January. To get awards news straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for our Connect with Awards newsletter.

About the Michael and Sheila Held Prize

The Michael and Sheila Held Prize is presented annually and carries with it a $100,000 prize. The prize honors outstanding, innovative, creative, and influential research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science, such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory. This $100,000 prize is intended to recognize recent work (defined as published within the last eight years). The prize was established in 2017 by the bequest of Michael and Sheila Held.

Most Recent Recipient

Julia Chuzhoy, Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago, received the 2020 Michael and Sheila Held Prize.

Chuzhoy has conducted influential work in the fields of graph algorithms, hardness of approximation, and structural graph theory, which have introduced powerful new techniques and resolved deep open questions.

Chuzhoy’s work on graph routing problems settled central open questions in graph optimization and introduced powerful new graph decomposition and routing techniques, opening up the potential for future applications in algorithm design and structural graph theory. The improved parameters for the Excluded grid theorem led to faster algorithms for a host of graph optimization problems, and stronger bounds for a number of graph theoretic results. Read more about Chuzhoy's work»


Julia Chuzhoy (2020)
For her foundational research on algorithms for routing in networks and finding disjoint paths in graphs, which has introduced powerful new techniques and resolved deep open questions in both discrete optimization and in the structure of graphs.
Read more about Chuzhoy's work» 
Watch Chuzhoy's acceptance speech»

Ola Svensson (2019)
For breakthroughs in combinatorial optimization and graph-theoretic algorithms culminating in the first constant factor approximation algorithm for the asymmetric traveling salesman problem.
Read more about Svensson's work» 
Watch Svensson's acceptance speech»

Prasad Raghavendra and David Steurer (2018)
For a body of work which revolutionizes our understanding of optimization and complexity. It better explains the exact limits to efficient approximation of NP-hard problems. It provides better understanding of the computational assumptions underlying hardness of approximation. And it develops a structure theory of linear and semi-definite programming and their hierarchies, which leads to new algorithms and new lower bounds.
Read more about their work»
Watch their acceptance speech»
Press release»

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software