Remco Abraham wins the ENIAC Thesis Award 2020– 2021!

On January 30th, 2022 Remco Abraham has received the ENIAC Thesis Award 2020-2021 for his thesis titled “Symbolic LTL Reactive Synthesis”. A delegation of the ENIAC board visited Remco at home to hand over the big cheque (worth €500,-) and the physical trophy.

The jury consisted of Tim Kemp (winner last year, FMT), Pieter-Tjerk de Boer (DACS) and Luís Ferreira Pires (SCS) . They scored all nominated theses on a number of criteria:

  • Scientific approach
  • Practical approach (“engineering approach”)
  • Difficulty of research
  • Readability and usability of thesis to specialists and computer scientists in general
  • Benefits of research / development for greater good

The jury had the following to say:

The jury agreed that all the nominations were of excellent quality, which made us proud of the work that is being performed by our Master students. It was interesting to notice that the nominated theses are quite diverse not only in terms of their application areas, techniques, and methodologies, but also their presentation and writing styles. This means that the selection of the award-winning thesis is a far from trivial process. After evaluating the theses for their scientific depth, practical importance, level of difficulty (complexity), readability and relevance, the jury unanimously selected Remco Abraham as the winner of the ENIAC thesis award 2020-2021!

The thesis is entitled ‘Symbolic LTL Reactive Synthesis’, and the relatively short title hides the complexity and comprehensiveness of the work. The thesis dives into mathematical theories like Linear Temporal Logic, w-automata and parity games, amongst others, without losing the attention of the reader. The text is extremely clear and properly illustrated with figures and diagrams, making it accessible for computer scientists with some basic knowledge of formal methods.

Remco combined different mathematical theories of computation in a new way and in great depth. The jury was impressed by the amount and the quality of innovative work performed in this thesis. In addition to the theoretical work, Remco also implemented these theories in a software tool where he implemented multiple techniques for the first time using a symbolic approach. The tool has been compared with another tool that is quite popular in this area on a common set of benchmarks, both showing its correctness and showing potential benefits in performance. The tool embodies the practical application of the results, making the work quite complete.

We congratulate Remco for this outstanding achievement!

Remco was nominated by the FMT group. Besides Remco, the other nominees were:

  • Chakshu Gupta – “HoneyKube: Designing a Honeypot Using Microservices-Based Architecture” (SCS)
  • Frank Ruis – “Independent Prototype Propagation Graph for Compositional Zero-Shot Recognition” (DMB)
  • Ricardo Ampudia – “Visible Light Positioning for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” (PS)
  • Matthijs Souilljee – “Locating Selective Sweeps with Accelerated Convolutional Neural Networks” (CAES)
  • Rick de Vries – “Clash of Clangs: Differential Testing of srcML and Clang” (FMT)

We would like to thank the departments for the nominations and the jury for reading and grading the theses. We wish all nominees the best of luck with their future careers!