The Awardees of the 2021 VCLA International Student Awards

We celebrate the research capacity of undergraduate students worldwide by introducing them to the broader community
in Logic and Computer Science.


The highly successful sixth edition of the VCLA International Student Awards 2021 was concluded in July 2021. Based on the international call for nominations, the award committee of eighteen internationally recognized researchers announced one Outstanding Master Thesis Award and one Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award. The nominated degrees had to be awarded between November 15th, 2019 and December 31st, 2020 (inclusive).


The Outstanding Master Thesis Award

The Outstanding Master Thesis Award is awarded to Tuukka Korhonen (University of Helsinki) for his master thesis “Finding Optimal Tree Decompositions” under the supervision of Matti Järvisalo.

Tuukka Korhonen

His decision on the topic of his master thesis was inspired by the participation at the PACE (Parameterized Algorithms and Computational Experiments Challenge) challenge:
My advisor suggested me to participate in the PACE 2017 challenge, which I gladly did, being interested in algorithms and competitions. After PACE 2017 it was a natural direction to look into further applications of the Bouchitté-Todinca algorithm, given the generality and the unexpected practical utility of the algorithm.”

After his graduation at the University of Helsinki, Tuukka Korhonen will start as a PHD student at the University of Bergen (Norway) in September 2021. His research interests are parameterized algorithms and complexity, especially topics related to tree decompositions.

The copy of the awarded thesis is available here.


The Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award

The Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award is awarded to Jasper Slusallek (Saarland University) for his undergraduate thesis “Algorithms and Lower Bounds for Finding (Exact-Weight) Subgraphs of Bounded Treewidth” under the supervision of Karl Bringmann.

Jasper Slusallek

His choice for his favorite undergraduate thesis topic seems to have paid off:

“So originally I asked Karl (my advisor) if he had any interesting topics in fine-grainedcomplexity or parameterized algorithms, which were my two favorite topics from any of the lectures I’d heard. He didn’t have any at first, at which point I actually started working with another professor on a possible thesis topic; but then Karl mailed me again after a couple of weeks and said he might have a topic about subgraph isomorphism and treewidth that sounded extremely cool, so after poking at it for a few days I ended up switching to that topic. Over the following months I worked really hard on it, but we kept coming up with new related results that I wanted to include, and those always motivated me to look at the problem from a new perspective.”


Jasper Slusallek is currently in the final stages of the pre-PhD preparation phase of the Graduate School for Computer Science at Saarland University. At the moment he is doing a research immersion lab with Dániel Marx about certain types of colorings on bounded-treewidth graphs.

The copy of the awarded thesis is available here.

The VCLA International Student Awards 

Helmut Veith, Co-Founder of VCLA

The annually awarded VCLA International Student Awards for Outstanding Undergraduate and Master Theses in Logic and Computer Science recognize and support students all over the world at the beginning of their scientific career in the field of logic in computer science.
The awards entail an invitation to the award ceremony (depending on the current COVID-19 situation) and a monetary prize from the fund of €2000. The VCLA Awards are dedicated to the memory of Helmut Veith, a brilliant computer scientist who tragically passed away in March 2016, and aim to carry on his commitment in promoting young talent and promising researchers in these areas.

The deadline for submission of nominations for the degrees awarded between November 15th, 2020 and December 31st, 2021 (inclusive) will be announced in early spring 2022.


The VCLA Award Committee 2021


The Former Awardees

  • Karolina Okrasa (Warsaw University of Technology): Complexity of variants of graph homomorphism problem in selected graph classes
  • Antonin Callard (ENS Paris-Saclay): Topological analysis of represented spaces and computable maps, cb0 spaces and non-countably-based spaces
  • Martín Muñoz (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile): Descriptive Complexity for Counting Complexity Classes
  • Alexej Rotar (TU München): The Satisfiability Problem for Fragments of PCTL 
  • Tomáš Lamser (Masaryk University): Algorithmic Analysis of Patrolling Games
  • Jeremy Liang An Kong (Imperial College London): MCMAS-Dynamic: Symbolic Model Checking Linear Dynamic Logic
  • Felix Dörre (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology): Verification of Random Number Generators
  • Valeria Vignudelli (University of Bologna): The Discriminating Power of Higher-Order Languages: A Process Algebraic Approach
  • Maximilian Schleich (Oxford University): Learning Regression Models over Factorised Joins
  • Pablo Muñoz (University of Chile): New Complexity Bounds for Evaluating CRPQs with Path Comparisons
  • Kuldeep S. Meel (Rice University): Sampling Techniques for Boolean Satisfiability
  • Luke Schaeffer (University of Waterloo): Deciding Properties of Automatic Sequences
  • Sophie Spirkl (University of Bonn): Boolean Circuit Optimization

See the full list here




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