Heinz Schwärtzel Dissertation Award goes to LMU computer scientist

16 Dec 2021

Computer scientist Thomas Gabor is a research associate in the Mobile and Distributed Systems Group. For his dissertation, he has now received the Heinz Schwärtzel Dissertation Award.

Thomas Gabor

Dr. Thomas Gabor at the award ceremony for the Heinz Schwärtzel Dissertation Prize | © Ernst-Albert Graf

Gabor won the prize for his thesis Self-Adaptive Fitness in Evolutionary Processes, in which he looks at evolutionary processes that are inspired by biological evolution and in which optimization and machine learning play a particular role. Normally, these processes are used by scientists to get closer to pre-set objectives. But in many cases, evolutionary processes work better when they can adapt the set goals within certain parameters. Where does this phenomenon originate? And in which applications can these self-adaptive target functions be used? These questions form the core of Thomas Gabor’s dissertation.

“The thesis showcases the full repertoire of the “computer science” discipline in all its variegated beauty: As well as pursuing a formal approach by creating an interdisciplinary, mathematically precise vocabulary that describes phenomena from biology to software development, it also pursues an empirical approach by observing and analyzing in extremely close detail numerous instances of complex systems ranging from ready for industrial use to completely new and experimental. With consummate didactic skill, Thomas Gabor weaves together the most important insights from many years of scientific study and contemplation. This dissertation is a milestone on the road to a new understanding of informatics as natural science,” said Professor Claudia Linnhoff-Popien, Chair of Mobile and Distributed Systems at the Institute of Informatics and supervisor of Gabor’s thesis, describing it as one of the very best dissertations in the 20 years of the existence of her chair.

Handed out annually since 2006, the Heinz Schwärtzel Dissertation Award for outstanding theses in computer science is open to excellent doctoral candidates from the three Munich universities. It is awarded by a committee, which makes the selection together with the donor, Heinz Schwärtzel. It last went to LMU four years ago.

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