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Horace Mann Medal

The Horace Mann Medal is given annually to a Brown Graduate School alumnus or alumna who has made significant contributions in his or her field, inside or outside of academia. Any graduate of a Brown advanced-degree program is eligible.  The medal is awarded at Commencement exercises in May. 

The Graduate School issues a call for nominations in September, with a late October deadline. A nomination should, at a minimum, include a strong supporting rationale for the nomination, expressed in a letter of nomination. Up to two additional supporting letters may also accompany the nomination. Send all nominations to

The final selection process takes place in the fall, in conjunction with the University's selection of honorary-degree recipients. (Nominations received after the deadline will be considered in the next round of review.) Selection news is announced in May.

This award was created in 2003 and replaced the Distinguished Graduate School Alumni Award.  

2015-2016 Horace Mann Medal winner:

Sridhar Ramaswamy ’95 Ph.D.

Sridhar Ramaswamy is a visionary executive with a track record of technical innovation. As Senior Vice President for Ads and Commerce at Google, Dr. Ramaswamy has helped to shape the global online advertising business, while helping to create Google’s multi-billion dollar advertising business and its original product, AdWords.  He leads Google's advertising and commerce business, which encompasses search advertising, display and video advertising, Google Shopping, Android Pay and many more global platforms.

At Google, he and his team have used innovative methods to make online advertising relevant for users and cost effective for marketers. His innovations include creation of online auction models with highly precise ad-delivery, the development of a scientific framework and platform for understanding how website layouts and user interface components impact online monetization, and the establishment of leading ads quality systems.  

Before going to Silicon Valley in 1999, he worked at Bell Labs, where his papers provided the first efficient algorithm for mining outliers in large data sets and is considered a pioneering contribution in the field. 

Dr. Ramaswamy received the Ph.D. in Computer Science from Brown University in 1995. He remains connected to Brown University, serving in the inaugural cohort of the Computer Science Advisory Board and, in 2014, delivering the first talk in the department’s IT Leaders Lecture Series. 

Previous Medal Recipients