TU Wien Informatics

Laura Kovacs Awarded with Amazon Research Award

  • 2021-03-29
  • Research
  • Faculty
  • Excellence

Laura received the award for her work in logical methods that make computer systems more secure.

Laura Kovacs Awarded with Amazon Research Award

Software plays a role in almost all areas of our lives - in the healthcare system, in road traffic, in commerce. Everywhere, software errors can also become a severe problem. Laura Kovacs works with her team on logical methods that reliably and precisely detect software errors. To further advance this research, she has now received an Amazon Research Award, endowed with €50,000.

Guaranteed correct codes

In December 2014, a software error on Amazo’s website led to many products suddenly being mistakenly available for a penny - an error that cost retailers hundreds of thousands of British pounds.

Such cases show: The need for methods to detect software errors at an early stage is constantly growing. However, because of the complexity of modern software, the human eye is no longer sufficient. Today, you need automated methods to detect errors: You need computer systems that check other computer systems.

To achieve this, one needs sophisticated techniques that have evolved from the research field of mathematical logic. The desired properties of the software are described in a formal language, and then it can be proven with mathematical precision that the software meets the desired requirements – always, in every logically possible context.

“My team has been working with Amazon for several years,” says Laura Kovacs. “That’s why I’m even more pleased with the award: it solidifies our collaboration and at the same time is a recognition of the leading role of my research group and TU Vienna in the field of Automated Reasoning.”

Amazon promotes research

Laura Kovacs has already been awarded numerous prizes, including three grants from the European Research Council (ERC). Now her work is also being honored with a Research Award from Amazon. Amazon is providing 50,000 euros for the research without any content requirements.