The IEEE Computer Society Awards Dinner on 2003 May 09
Special Report by Jonathan Lam,
now an 8th-grader in Vancouver, BC, CA


On Friday, when Ms Chomyn pulled me out of the classroom, she told me that my mother had phoned and that Bob Bemer had said I was invited to a dinner at the Sheraton Hotel for the Awards Presentation for the IEEE Computer Society. I was so excited. My dad came and picked me up at 1:30 pm, then my parents took me to Hills to buy some clothes since I had outgrown my old suit. I then went and had a haircut. Lastly I went home and rested up for the evening.

At around 6:30 pm, my dad drove us to the Sheraton Wall Center. When we arrived at the location, Bob Bemer was already waiting for us. He introduced us to Dr. Michael Williams, a member of the Awards Committee of the IEEE Computer Society, and also head curator of the History of Computing Museum. Bob introduced us to Bettie, his wife. After taking some pictures with Bob, we met other important computer scientists.

When we went into the ballroom, I was introduced to the President of The Computer Society, Dr. Stephen Diamond, President-Elect Dr. Carl K. Chang, and Past President Dr. Willis K. King. They were very friendly and easy to talk with. They encouraged me to become a computer engineer. They inspired me to work towards this goal.

During dinner I was able to get autographs from the four winners: Dr. Eliza Bertino, Dr. Pradeep K. Khosda, Dr. Sartaj K. Sahni and Robert W. Bemer (Bob), and some other key people. Some people invited me to visit Silicon Valley, a museum, a company, and some other places. These scientists were very kind. They treated me like one of them and I really enjoyed being there. I also took pleasure in listening to them discuss their research and I respect their contributions to society. They even offered me a membership in the Computer Society, although I do not have a degree, am underaged, and do not really fit their criteria.

During the awards ceremony, each of the winners went to the platform to receive their awards and make speeches. They were very humorous and used computer puns in their speeches which made it very funny. Just before closing, the chairman introduced me to the group and complimented me. I felt very important and proud, but I realize that if I want to live up my expectations, I must study harder in many subject areas.

At the end of the evening, we invited Bob and Bettie to have lunch with us the next day. We had a wonderful time. Bettie thought Vancouver looked very beautiful, and it made me proud to be living here.

It was an exciting weekend, although I did not finish all of the homework I had planned. It happened because of the Evening of Eminence. I would have never guessed that something so great would happen to me because of a school project. My special thanks to Ms Chomyn, who initiated the project, Bruno Vernier from Roberts Adult Education Centre for telling me about Bob Bemer, and to Bob Bemer for caring enough to answer my first email and for visiting Vancouver, plus many other wonderful things he did.

Here are some pictures that we took on this memorable occasion.

Bob at Reception
Bob at the reception before the dinner.

Jonathan Lam and Bob Bemer
Jon and Bob at the Sheraton Vancouver
Wall Center.

The Award
Bob, ready to receive his Award, with Dr.
Michael Williams (Awards Committee).

Two license plates
Bob shows his license plates, both saying
"ASCII". One is from Texas, the other
is from Arizona.

Bob's Medal
The 2002 Computer Pioneer Award

Dr. Diamond, IEEECS President
Jon meets Dr. Stephen Diamond, 2003
President of the IEEE Computer Society.

at Sun Sui Wah
Bob at Sun Sui Wah Restaurant, having
dim sum with our family on Saturday.

Chatting after Lunch
Bob and Jon relaxing and chatting after a
nice lunch.