From 1990-1994, he was chair of the Stanford Computer Science Department. He has served as chair of the CS-GRE Examination board, Member of the ACM Council, Chair of the New York State CS Doctoral Evaluation Board, on several NSF advisory boards, and is past or present editor of several journals.

Ullman was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1989 and has held Guggenheim and Einstein Fellowships. He is the 1996 winner of the Sigmod Contributions Award, the 1998 winner of the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, and the 2000 winner of the Knuth Prize.
He is the author of 16 books, including widely read books on database systems, compilers, automata theory, and algorithms.