A data expert from RMIT University is the only academic in Australia awarded one of the world's top honours in computer science.
Professor Timos Sellis, from RMIT's School of Computer Science and Information Technology, was last year named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world's largest educational and scientific computing society.
Being named a Fellow is ACM's highest honour and one of the most prestigious titles for computer scientists.
"ACM's Fellow grade recognises the top 1 per cent of ACM members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and IT, as well as outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community," Professor Sellis said.
"It is considered to be the highest distinction in Computer Science, apart from the Turing award - the equivalent of a Nobel Prize."
As one of only 50 members worldwide to be recognised as ACM Fellows in 2013, Professor Sellis has joined an elite band, including colleagues from the world's leading universities, corporations, and research labs.
"It gives me great satisfaction to see that my work has been recognised by my peers," he said.
"Moreover, I feel very happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with excellent PhD students and postdocs, who give me the drive to pursue continuously new research results, and it is to them that I dedicate this award."
In announcing the awards, ACM President Vinton G Cerf celebrated the impact of the 2013 Fellows.
"We recognise these scientists and engineers, creators and builders, theorists and practitioners who are making a difference in our lives," he said.
"They're enabling us to listen, learn, calculate, and communicate in ways that underscore the benefits of the digital age; their advances have led to opportunities for improved healthcare, enhanced security, expanded interactions, and enriched lifestyles."
Within the field of data management, Professor Sellis specialises in database query optimization, spatial data management, and data warehousing nowadays referred to as "big data".
"In the past I have worked on various issues related to data management, like how to optimize queries running over vast amounts of data, how to efficiently handle large volumes of spatial and spatiotemporal data, efficient implementations of data warehouses, and other related problems," he said.
"More recently, I have focused on GeoStreaming data - data coming from GPS equipped devices, called 'data streams'.
"These 'data streams' pose very interesting problems in many applications such as transport, monitoring, security, sensor networks, as they produce vast amounts of data which have to be handled in real-time.
"My personal research agenda for the next few years includes working on Big Data Infrastructures - techniques, algorithms and systems that are able to handle big data in various areas including scientific data, social network data and government data."
Professor Xinghuo Yu, Director of the Platform Technologies Research Institute, said RMIT was a great place to pursue this type of research because of its expertise in the area of data management.
"What is also important is the synergy between the different schools within the College of Science, Engineering and Health, which complement this research," he said.
"While Professor Sellis joined RMIT in 2012, his elevation to ACM Fellow demonstrates RMIT's commitment to appointing high-calibre researchers and my sincere congratulations go to Professor Sellis for this prestigious achievement."
The ACM Fellows Program, initiated in 1993, celebrates the exceptional contributions of leading members in the computing field throughout the world.