In my continuing quest to make the International Society for Artificial Life as awesome as possible, you may recall that I made a totally unofficial spreadsheet for keeping track of eligible people and project. My thinking at the time was that, even if I was the only one to use it, it would be super helpful for me to actually submit some nominations for the ISAL annual awards since I would remember all the cool people and projects I had seen during the year. That was definitely a success; I found it much easier to submit a number of nominations, so I’m continuing the experiment this year!

An additional goal/benefit of my spreadsheet system is that many of the awards are for things that continue to be relevant year after year, so the spreadsheet will continue to grow as new useful information is added each year. Therefore, I’ve duplicated the spreadsheet (and Google makes it quite easy since it also created a paired duplicated form for me) and done the following to the various categories (these are some what just notes to myself):

  • Lifetime Achievement submissions are all kept, I’ll go and move whomever wins this year once that is decided
  • Early Career submissions are all kept, I’ll need to move people from here to a ‘lifetime in waiting’ list once they get tenure; it doesn’t really make sense for them to be moved to the Lifetime Achievement list since they probably aren’t really competitive yet, though technically eligible, so I might make an additional tab for midcareer folks (and perhaps there should be another award category for them!)
  • Service submissions are all kept since there isn’t an actual time limit on those, though there is a practical
  • Pub of 2021 submissions are all removed and perhaps also should go onto an ‘in waiting list’ for once they become eligible for the decade award (five years from now), though since this is a duplicate sheet, it won’t be hard to just go back and grab things from the doc from five years ago (assuming I keep this up for that long)
  • Pub of the decade (2007-2017) submissions have been copied over except for those that were published in 2007 since they are no longer eligible for the 2008-2018 decade
  • Education and Outreach submissions have all been kept
  • Student publication submissions have been kept since they have a fuzzy time limit, I will need to start tracking when the student graduated since the time limit is that they are within three years of graduation

At some point, I want to increase the fanciness of the form so that it has variable fields based on the category and therefore gets more of the information that is useful for a particular category, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet. I’m also teaching a course on building database backed websites and resisting the temptation to abandon Google and make my own website for this; we’ll see how long I last.

As we all wait eagerly for the results of the ALIFE conference paper reviews and ISAL awards, keep adding all your great stuff for next year! Also let me know if you have suggestions for changes to the unofficial form or the awards process that would make you more inclined to participate (email to vostinar at carleton dot edu is the easiest).

Cheers, Anya