Female Computer Scientists Excel at VCLA
The Vienna Center for Logic and Algorithms (VCLA) hosted the 2023 VCLA International Student Awards, also announcing this year’s Helmut Veith Stipend.
This year’s VCLA Awards Ceremony took place on September 26, 2023 in the Contact Room of the Gußhaus Campus, and kicked off the MOSAIC Workshop 2023 (Modalities in Substructural Logic II - Theory, Methods and Applications) from September 27-29, 2023. After VCLA Co-Chair Agata Ciabattoni welcomed guests, Awards Committee Chair Robert Ganian introduced the VCLA International Student Awards. These awards have been presented since 2015 to students from around the world who are conducting research in logic and computer science. It is worth highlighting that this year, for the first time, both categories – the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award and the Outstanding Master Thesis Award – were given to two female computer scientists.
Oustanding Undergraduate and Master Thesis Awards
This year’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award went to Barbora Šmahlíková (Brno University of Technology), who worked on the complementation of Büchi automata (“Next Generation of Rank-Based Algorithms for Omega Automata”). The young computer scientist can thus look forward to another award after the Czech government’s prize for gifted students in 2022. The close race for the Outstanding Master Thesis Award was won by Lydia Blümel (University of Leipzig, now a doctoral student at the Fern Universität in Hagen) with “Defining Defense in Abstract Argumentation from Scratch - A Generalizing Approach”. Blümel developed a general representation form of semantics for Abstract Argumentation frameworks based on an operator notation for the central concepts of attack and defense. The runner-up in this category, Vitor Rodrigues Greati (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, now a doctoral student at the Imperial University of Groningen), also presented his paper, “Hilbert-Style Formalism for Two-Dimensional Notions of Consequence,” which had also been well received by the jury. The papers of all award winners are available for download on the VCLA website.
Helmut Veith Stipend
The awarding of the Helmut Veith Stipend was opened by Georg Weissenbacher, who not only serves on the VCLA Board of Directors but was also a friend of the late Helmut Veith. Because Veith was considered a strong advocate and mentor for women in computer science, VCLA is eager to continue this important mission in his name. The scholarship was established in 2016 (first awarded in March 2017), making this the seventh time it has been awarded this year. The outgoing Vice-Rector for Studies and Teaching, Kurt Matyas, was pleased to announce that the Helmut Veith Scholarship will now be funded every year by the TU Wien. Previously, the funding was shared with the Wolfgang Pauli Institute. He then presented the certificate to this year’s winner, Alina Ehart from Carinthia. Ehart studied applied computer science at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt and was able to complete her bachelor’s degree in just five semesters thanks to crediting courses from her training at HTBLuVA Villach. She financed her studies with skiing, snowboarding, and climbing lessons and as a saleswoman in sports retail; she wrote her bachelor thesis on the topic of “Machine-Learning-supported User Entity Behavior Analysis” on behalf of a company.
The beautiful weather added to the participants enjoying a pleasant end of the event with drinks and Italian delicacies on the terrace of the contact room. The VCLA thanks you for your lively interest and looks forward to more award ceremonies in the coming years!
About the VCLA International Student Awards
The VCLA International Student Awards have been awarded since 2015 to students from all over the world who conduct research in the field of logic and computer science. The winners receive prize money (EUR 1,200 for the best Master’s thesis and EUR 800 for the best Bachelor’s thesis) and are allowed to present their winning work at an event in Vienna.
About the Helmut Veith Stipend
The Helmut Veith Stipend is dedicated to the memory of Helmut Veith (1971-2016), an outstanding computer scientist who worked in the areas of logic in computer science, computer-aided-verification, software engineering, and computer security. Helmut Veith, who tragically passed away in March 2016, was a strong advocate and mentor for women in computer science. It is awarded annually to particularly talented and motivated female students in the field of computer science who are pursuing (or planning to pursue) one of the English-language master’s programs in computer science at TU Wien and who have (or are developing) a solid mathematical-technical background in at least one of the areas in which the Austrian scientist Helmut Veith was active. The scholarship was previously jointly funded by the TU Wien and the Wolfgang Pauli Institute (WPI) and will be fully funded by the TU Wien starting this year.
About the Vienna Center for Logic and Algorithms
The Vienna Center for Logic and Algorithms (VCLA) is a center of excellence for algorithms and logic at TU Wien Informatics. It was established in 2011 to raise awareness of the importance of logic and algorithms - both among the scientific community and the general public.