The Awardees of the 2020 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 fifth edition of the VCLA International Student Awards 2020 was concluded in July 2020. 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 have had to be awarded between 15.11.2018 and 31.12.2019 (inclusive).

The Outstanding Master Thesis Award

The Outstanding Master Thesis Award is awarded to Karolina Okrasa of Warsaw University of Technology (Poland), for the master thesis “Complexity of variants of graph homomorphism problem in selected graph classes” prepared under the supervision of Paweł Rzążewski. 

Her decision for the topic of her master thesis was pretty straightforward: “I found the open problem interesting, mostly because the tools of algebraic graph theory usually solve the problems in the field related to this topic. I have always had a fondness to the non-trivial and elegant algebraic methods, so together with my interest in graph theory and computational complexity, it was a perfect choice.

Since obtaining her Master Degree, Karolina Okrasa is currently pursuing her PhD in Mathematics at the Warsaw University of Technology (Poland). Concurrently she is a research assistant at the Institute of Informatics, at the University of Warsaw (Poland). Aside from continuing working on graph homomorphism problems, she is pursuing more general research in parameterized algorithms and fine-grained complexity. The copy of the awarded thesis is available here.

The Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award

The Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award is awarded to Antonin Callard of ENS Paris-Saclay (France) for the undergraduate thesis “Topological analysis of represented spaces and computable maps, cb0 spaces and non-countably-based spaces” prepared under the supervision of Mathieu Hoyrup.

His idea for the undergraduate thesis grew after attending illustrative lectures by Hubert Comon where he got fascinated by Turing machines, undecidable problems and more generally computability theory. “Since I had a keen interest in topology pretty much since I discovered maths, I naturally tried to find a topic bringing computability and topology together. Fortunately, I met Mathieu Hoyrup, who enthusiastically introduced me to descriptive set theory and type 2 theory of effectivity.”  

Antonin Callard is currently preparing a master degree in theoretical computer science at the ENS Paris-Saclay.  He is keen to continue his research career with a PhD in computer science. His fields of interest include (not exhaustively) computability theory, topology, symbolic dynamics and geometry. The copy of the awarded thesis is available here.

The VCLA International Student Awards 

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 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, 2019 and December 31st, 2020 (inclusive) will be announced in January 2021.

The VCLA Award Committee 2020

The Former Awardees

  • 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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