The Topplers Domino Award is a fun and easy essay contest to enter, with a big payoff for the winners!

Simply write a short essay about the IMG_5822positive impact a computing professional has had on society through their work and you could earn a trip to SXSW Interactive* this coming spring.

Write a 400-500 word (maximum) essay honoring the work of a notable computing professional, focusing on the chain events their work set in motion, and the positive impact their work has had on society.  

The Domino Award is open to undergraduates of computer science, or related programs such as electrical engineering, computer engineering, and information systems.  If you are unsure if you qualify please don’t hesitate to ask.

Essays must be submitted as a Word Doc or PDF. Include your name, email address, and university name with the submission.  All submissions should be sent to by 11:59PM Oct 27th, 2017.

The essays are judged by a panel of professors, computing professionals in industry, and former winners. Winners will be announced in December, and have the option of partaking in an all expenses paid trip to the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas in March, 2018.

*The Topplers Domino Award is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with SXSW, LLC.


What the Winners Are SayingTwilio group photo

“Submitting an essay lead to me being more inspired, excited, and hopeful about my future in computer science than I think anything else has thus far. It’s made me so eager to get out there and do something; see how the next set of dominoes in my life are to topple. I hope that all future award recipients feel just as motivated by their experience, because soon we’ll have a small army of computer scientists who are out there shaping the world in small (maybe even big) but extraordinary ways.”

– Austin Holler
,  Domino Award winner

“What’s so amazing about this opportunity is that it allows you to take inspiration from things that you might have never imagined yourself taking inspiration from. It was definitely worth the effort (to apply). I  had an amazing experience myself.  I met some truly great people on this trip. I saw some really awesome displays and heard some really amazing presentations. And just to do a 500 word essay to get that is absolutely one of the best things that you could do. I loved it.”

 -Alex Tsankov
, Domino Award winner

“I like talking to people who are in the industry. Everyone is so inspiring. Its really cool to think that you have a team and you are working on a project that is so personal to you. It sounds exciting! I feel like the energy of the people who go to conferences that have to do with computers, it is so invigorating and inspiring. Its this vitality and passion for technology. These are the people who actually built the industry and built the things were interacting with. I’m excited to be one of them one day.”

– Brittany Arthur, Domino Award winner

“It’s great to be amazed by the work that’s being done, but there’s another side to it – we can be the ones doing that same work. We can be the next future leaders. This experience has given me an opportunity to already help people. I’m hoping that this will lay the foundation for future opportunities where I can help serve others and make an impact.”

    -Nithin Jilla
, Domino Award winner

“I’m inspired to do great things now.”

  -Valerie Chang
, Domino Award winner