School of Informatics


BCS highly commended dissertation 2015

Congratulations to Domagoj Vrgoc, whose dissertation was highly commended in the BCS Distinguished Dissertation Competition 2015.

Domagoj, a former PhD student of Professor Leonid Libkin, is now a Postdoctoral Researcher at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC Chile), Center for Semantic Web Research. His thesis was entitled ‘Querying graphs with data.’

An abstract and copy of Domagoj’s thesis have been published on the BCS website.

The BCS Academy of Computing is a learned society dedicated to advancing computing as an academic discipline. Each year, in conjunction with the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing, it selects the best PhD/DPhil dissertations in computer science from across Britain for publication.

Previous Edinburgh winners

Domagoj is the latest in a series of winners and runners up for the BCS Distinguished Dissertation Competition.

The 2014 prize was won by Juan Reutter, another of Professor Libkin’s students now working as Assistant Professor, PUC Chile. The title of Juan’s thesis was ‘Graph Patterns: Structure, Query Answering and Applications in Schema Mappings and Formal Language Theory.’

2011’s runner up prize went to Vera Demberg-Winterfors, who studied for her MSc in Artificial Intelligence and PhD in Informatics here. Vera’s thesis was on ‘A broad-coverage model of prediction in human sentence processing.' Her PhD supervisors were supervised by Professors Frank Keller and Fernanda Ferreira.

In 2009, the prize was won by Christophe Dubach, now a lecturer here in Informatics. His thesis was entitled, ‘'Using Machine-Learning to Efficiently Explore the Architecture/Compiler Co-Design Space.’

We had two independent runners up in 2004, Julia Hockenmaier and Mathias Seeger. Julia’s thesis was ‘Data and models for statistical parsing with Combinatory Categorical Grammar’ (supervisor Professor Mark Steedman) while Mathias’s was on ‘Bayesian Gaussian process models: PAC-Bayesian generalization error bounds and sparse approximations’ (supervised by Professor Chris Williams).

2016 competition now open

There is a limit of three dissertations per year per university, and one per research group within any university. To be considered, a dissertation should:

  • make a noteworthy contribution to the subject;
  • reach a high standard of exposition;
  • place its results clearly in the context of computer science as a whole; and
  • enable a computer scientist with significantly different interests to grasp its essentials.

The 2016 CPHC/BCS Distinguished Dissertations competition is now open. Closing date Friday 1 April 2016.

Useful links

2016 CPHC/BCS Distinguished Dissertations competition

2015 Distinguished Dissertations winners

Previous Distinguished Dissertations