The Domino Award – A History Lesson

November 2007

This branch has several purposes:

  1. To inspire computer science students at the University of Colorado and open new and exciting opportunities for students, possibly leading to them set their own branches in motion.
  2. To honor leading computer scientists who have made an important and lasting impact on the world.
  3. To show through example that it’s good to “give back” to your alma mater.

Here are the specifics:

The Domino Award is given annually to two Computer Science students for an outstanding essay honoring the impact that other computer scientists have made on modern society.

The 2007/2008 Domino Award will presented on April 14 (new date), and all entrants will be invited to join the festivities.  The awards banquet will include presentations from leading technologists, a “Domino Topple”, short presentations from the finalists, and culminate with announcing this year’s winners.   The two winners will each receive $500 in cash, and an all expenses paid invitation to attend the next Telluride Tech Fest in beautiful Telluride Colorado.

All entrants will receive a #0000003 domino with a unique serial number.  These dominoes will be used to help track the impact and reach of this topple.

January 2008

I am pleased to announce that Bill Coleman has generously agreed to be the keynote speaker at the Domino Awards banquet to be held April 8th. Bill exemplifies the notion of a “Toppler,” and I know the students will be inspired by his story.

Bill has been at the helm of some of the most important technology companies of the last two decades. Also, together with his wife Claudia, he founded the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities.

I’ve yet to meet Bill, but I’ve heard so much about him over the years. I’m truly honored that he’s agreed to help with this year’s Domino Award.

It’s ironic that I’m making this announcement this week, while at the same time Oracle Corp. is buying Bill’s last company, BEA Systems, for $8.5 billion.  Transactions of that size set in motion countless topples – and Bill was instrumental in making that possible.  Under his leadership as the original CEO and first chairman of the Board, BEAbecame the fastest software firm to exceed $1 billion in annual revenue.

Currently, Bill is the founder, chairman of the board, and chief executive officer of Cassatt Corporation, an organization that helps companies run green data centers with innovative software to improve resource, operational, and energy efficiencies.

Before Cassatt and BEA, he was vice president of system software at Sun Microsystems, where Coleman’s team transformed SunOS into the commercially successful Solaris operating system. While at Sun he also founded Sun’s Professional Services Division and co-founded Sun’s Federal Division.

He began his career in the U.S. Air Force where he served as chief of satellite operations in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. He is also chairman of the board of directors for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the U.S. Air Force Academy and master’s degrees in computer science and computer engineering from Stanford University. He also has an honorary doctorate from the University of Colorado.

Again, I can’t express enough how honored I am to have Bill speak at this year’s award banquet.  It’s all about “setting big things in motion” – something Bill knows a lot about!

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