Dénes König (1884-1944) was a Hungarian mathematician and an early pioneer of discrete mathematics. He wrote the first book in the field of graph theory, and his name is associated with many fundamental results. The prize is named in his honor, as his influence over the field is still being felt.

The SIAM Activity Group on Discrete Mathematics (SIAG/DM) Dénes König Prize, established in 2007,is awarded biennially to an early career researcher or early career researchers for outstanding research, as determined by the prize committee, in an area of discrete mathematics, based on a publication by the candidate(s) in a peer-reviewed journal published in the three calendar years prior to the year of the award.

The term "discrete mathematics" is used in the spirit of the SIAG/DM website, and includes combinatorics, graph theory, cryptography, discrete optimization, mathematical programming, coding theory, information theory, game theory, and theoretical computer science.

The prize committee will consist of a panel of five members of the SIAG/DM. The Vice Chair of the SIAG/DM during the last year of the two-year award period will serve as chair of the committee. The SIAG Chair, in consultation with the other officers, will form a list of people to serve in the remaining four places and will submit the list to the SIAM Vice President at Large (SIAM VP) for approval prior to inviting the committee members to serve. The SIAG officers will seek to ensure a diverse composition of the prize committee in research area, geography, employment sector (industry, national laboratories, universities), and under-represented groups. The appointments will be made at least twelve months in advance of the prize award date.

The term of office will be from the date of appointment until the date of the prize award.

The committee will solicit nominations for the prize from the general membership of the SIAG/DM and from other members of the scientific community, using SIAM office resources as needed. In the case of a multiple-authored paper having at least one senior co-author (i.e., a person not eligible for the award), at least one senior co-author will write a letter outlining each eligible author's contribution to the paper.

The paper by the candidate(s) must be published in English in a peer-reviewed journal bearing a publication date within the eligibility period, that is, the three calendar years prior to the year of the award. No candidate can be a previous recipient of this award. Each candidate must be a PhD student or, at the time of the award be within four years after completing a PhD. The committee may consider exceptions to the four-years-from-PhD rule, for career interruptions or delays occurring, e.g., for child bearing, child rearing, or elder care.

The prize committee will notify the SIAM VP of its selection at least five months prior to the award date. The prize committee will base its selection on a paper by the candidate(s). The notification must be accompanied by a written justification and a citation not exceeding 25 words that can be read at the award time.

The SIAM VP will accept or reject the recommendation at least four months prior to the award date.

If the recommendation is accepted, the award will be presented according to the procedure outlined below. If the nomination is not accepted, the SIAM VP and Chairperson of the Prize Committee may select another candidate at least three months prior to the award date. The prize need not be given in years in which no suitable candidate can be found.

The Chairperson of the Prize Committee will notify the recipient(s) of the award normally at least three months in advance of the award date. An invitation will be extended to the recipient(s) to attend the award ceremony to receive the award and to present the paper.

The award will consist of a certificate containing the citation. If the selected paper has multiple eligible authors, each such author will receive a certificate. There will be a cash prize of US$1,000 (to be shared if there are multiple recipients). Google has kindly donated the funds for the first five awards of the prize.

Beginning in 2008, the prize will be awarded every second year at the biennial SIAM Conference on Discrete Mathematics. The eligibility period will be the three calendar years prior to the year of the meeting. The overlap in eligibility periods is intended to ensure that no paper will fail to be considered because of the nomination deadline.

At least one of the awardees is expected to attend the award ceremony and to present the paper at the SIAM DM meeting. Travel funds will be made available to reimburse one recipient for reasonable expenses incurred in attending the award ceremony.

The Chairperson of the SIAG/DM will announce the award at the chosen meeting. An announcement of the award recipient(s) will also appear in SIAM News and the SIAG/DM news letter.