BCS announces distinguished dissertation winner

11 November 2013

A student from University of Manchester has been selected by the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) in conjunction with BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, as the winner of the distinguished dissertation competition 2013.

The annual award selects the best British PhD/DPhil dissertations in computer science. The winning dissertation and runner-up submissions will be published on the BCS website. The prize winner will receive their award at the 2013 BCS Roger Needham Lecture (19 November) at the Royal Society, London.

Around 20 submissions were received, covering a range of research topics. Following a rigorous review process involving over 60 technical experts, the judging panel selected three dissertations it regarded as exemplary.

Overall winner:
Feature Selection via Joint Likelihood, Adam Pocock, University of Manchester

The judges were very impressed by the fact that the thesis not only makes a major advance of the state of the art, but also illustrates the context of the problem and motivates the work in a way that a general audience would be able to understand. One reviewer observed that he would use it as a standard reference in the area, and recommend it to his students as a model to be aspired to.

Runners Up:
Budget-Limited Multi-Armed Bandits, Long Tran-Thanh, University of Southampton

The panel thought it was particularly noteworthy that Long’s thesis both makes significant theoretical contributions, and provides solutions which can be beneficially employed in practice.

PlayPhysics: An Emotional Student Model for Game-based Learning, Karla Cristina Munõz Esquivel, University of Ulster, Magee

The panel noted that a particular strength of this work is how it is comprehensive, and broad-ranging, with innovative methodological contributions in machine learning and cognitive modelling, followed and complemented by validation and by evaluation through to a very successful application.

Simon Thompson, Professor of Logic and Computation, School of Computing, University of Kent and Chair of the Distinguished Dissertations panel: “Congratulations to the authors of these theses, their supervisors and departments. Each year the standard is very high indeed and the judging panel face a very difficult task. The competition and the high standard of entries is a testament to the excellence of computer science research in the UK - we are already looking forward to next year and the ideas we envisage it will bring.”

Dr Iain Phillips, Chair of CPHC and Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Loughborough University, says: “I am extremely pleased that CPHC continues to support for the Distinguished Dissertation competition. We expect that many of these young researchers will continue to grow and become leaders in the computing world.  My congratulations to all who were submitted for consideration and I wish all the best for your future careers"

View the dissertations online

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