VCLA Award Ceremony: Female Computer Scientists in the Spotlight

On September 26, the Vienna Center for Logic and Algorithms (VCLA) presented the VCLA International Student Awards to the winners of 2023 at an award ceremony that was held at TU Wien. During the ceremony, the Helmut Veith Stipend was also officially awarded to the winner of 2022. For the first time since the awards’ inception in 2014, both the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award as well as the Outstanding Master Thesis Award were presented to female computer scientists!

The VCLA International Student Awards, which were presented for the seventh time this year, aim to recognize outstanding scientific works in the field of Logic and Computer Science by students from all over the world. Following a welcome address by VCLA Co-Chair Agata Ciabattoni, Robert Ganian proceeded to chair the awards. The first speaker at the ceremony was Barbora Šmahlíková (Brno University of Technology), winner of the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award for her Bachelor paper “Next Generation of Rank-Based Algorithms for Omega Automata”. The young researcher, who also received the Czech Republic’s Award for a Gifted Student in 2022, presented her work on the complementation of Büchi automata. In the category Outstanding Master Thesis Award, the decision had been a close call, as there had been two exceptional papers that had each received many votes. Eventually, the award committee settled on Lydia Blümel (University of Leipzig, now FernUniversität in Hagen) for her paper “Defining Defense in Abstract Argumentation from Scratch – A Generalizing Approach”, in which she devised a general representation scheme of semantics for abstract argumentation frameworks. The runner-up in this category, Vitor Rodrigues Greati (Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande do Norte, now University of Groningen), was also invited to present his outstanding paper on “Hilbert-Style Formalism for Two-Dimensional Notions of Consequence”. All mentioned papers can be accessed here.

Jules Wulms, Barbora Šmahlíková, Robert Ganian, Agata Ciabattoni

Jules Wulms, Lydia Blümel, Robert Ganian

Jules Wulms, Vitor Rodrigues Greati, Robert Ganian

VCLA board member Georg Weissenbacher went on to introduce the Helmut Veith Stipend, which is dedicated to the memory of Helmut Veith, an outstanding computer scientist who tragically and unexpectedly passed away in 2016. As Veith was a strong advocate and mentor for women in computer science, it is a matter close to everyone’s heart at the VCLA to continue this important work in his name. Kurt Matyas, outgoing Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, had the pleasure of announcing that the Helmut Veith Stipend will from now on be fully financed by TU Wien (up to now, it had been co-financed by TU Wien and the Wolfgang Pauli Institute). Subsequently, Matyas awarded the seventh Helmut Veith Stipend (deadline November 30, 2022) to Alina Ehart, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Computer Science with a focus on cyber security from Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. Alina is the first Austrian recipient of the stipend; she is now enrolled in the Master’s program Media and Human-Centered Computing at TU Wien and has expressed interest to work on autonomous driving in order to make road traffic safer for everyone.

The warm weather allowed all participants to enjoy drinks and Italian pastries on the terrace of the event room. We would like to thank all guests and speakers, and we look forward to holding more award ceremonies in the years to come! The next call for the VCLA International Student Awards will be out in early 2024; the deadline for the current call of the Helmut Veith Stipend is November 30.

Georg Weissenbacher, Nikita Veith, Alina Ehart, Wolfgang Veith, Herta Veith, Anna Prianichnikova, Agata Ciabattoni, Kurt Matyas

Barbora Šmahlíková, Lydia Blümel, Alina Ehart, Vitor Rodrigues Greati

all pictures © Nadja Meister

Comments are closed.