The ACM/Cutler Bell Prize in High School Computing is designed to recognize talented students intending to continue their higher education in the areas of computer science or technology. The program seeks to promote and encourage computer science and empower young and aspiring leaders to pursue computing challenges outside of the traditional classroom environment.

The Award

Up to four winners will be selected annually and will receive:

  • A $10,000 scholarship (administered through the financial aid department at the university the student will attend)
  • A trip to the CSTA 2022 Annual Conference in July to receive the award. Travel and lodging will be provided for the winner and one guest.
  • recognition on CSTA and ACM's websites
  • Opportunity to present on your project at the CSTA Conference and to at a Computer Science Honor Society webinar in the fall of 2022.

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for the Cutler-Bell prize, you must:

  • Live in the United States
  • Be a graduating high school senior at an accredited school
  • Plan to continue studying computer science
  • Create an original computational artifact (e.g., program)

Application & Review

Students must develop an original computational artifact that engages modern computing technology and computer science. See previous winners to learn about the types of projects selected. This year, to help better prepare students for the application, a google document of all applications is available for review; we encourage students to make a copy to prepare their answers before submitting. Students must develop an original computational artifact that engages modern computing technology and computer science. See previous winners to learn about the types of projects selected.
The application includes:
  • Description of your project and development (two essays of <1,000 words each)
  • Project source code and executable file
  • A short video showing and describing the project (2 minutes)
  • Consent form (under 18, over 18)
A group of educators will review all submissions and judge the project's ingenuity, complexity, relevancy, originality, and the student's desire to further computer science as a discipline.

Past CSTA/ACM Cutler-Bell Prize Winners

Harshal Bharatia
Yash Narayan
Shoumik Roychowdhury
Hiya Shah
Sahithi Ankireddy
Maurice Korish
Brian Minnick
Emily Yuan
Kevin Meng 
Lillian Kay Petersen
Axel S. Toro Vega
Zeyu Zhao
Raghav Ganeth, Honorable Mention
Read about the winners.
Naveen Durvasula
Isha Puri
Eshika Saxena
Varun Shenoy
Sreya Guha
Amir Helmy
Amy Jin
Benjamin Spector & Michael Truell
Elizabeth Hu
Avi Schwartz
Aaron Walter

Cheery Zou
Valerie Chen
Matthew Edwards
Karthik Rao
Zack Baker, Honorable Mention
Maya Varma, Honorable Mention  


The prize is 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.
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