2021 ADS Thesis Awards

The ADS Thesis Awards aim to promote excellence in Data Science and AI from students at the Bachelor and Master level in all Amsterdam-based knowledge institutes. 

Amsterdam Data Science (ADS) is seeking nominations for the ADS Thesis Award 2021 for the academic year 2020-2021. Winners of the awards will receive a cash prize sponsored by the UvA DSC, Elsevier, Prosus and ADS, as well as present their thesis work at the ADS Highlights Event in December.

Check out a summary of last year’s winners and their presentations at the ADS Highlights event.

Call for Nominations is Open

We are looking for thesis nominations that present exciting and innovative work in the area of Data Science and/or AI research. We take a broad view of applicable research, including, but not limited to:

  • computer systems
  • artificial intelligence
  • data management
  • life sciences
  • social sciences
  • digital humanities
  • business intelligence and processes

We specifically encourage nominations for thesis work by women and underrepresented minorities. The work will be evaluated by members of the selection committee who will be affiliated with the ADS Gold Partners (to be announced).

Submit your nomination now 

The goals of the ADS Thesis Award are to:

  1. Reward and champion high-quality thesis work;
  2. Promote women and underrepresented minorities and encourage them to continue their education;
  3. Encourage diversity in Data Science and AI research;
  4. Advance Amsterdam and the ADS network as an innovation hub by showcasing excellent theses.

Important Dates

  • Submission Deadline (extended)September 17th (Friday) September 24th (Friday), 23:59, 2021
  • Award Decision: November 15th (Monday), 2021 (a minimum of 3 weeks before the ADS Highlights Event in December)
  • Award Ceremony: ADS Highlights Event, December, 2021

Classes of the Award

The awards for the best theses are given in the two categories, BSc and MSc. Both categories have two awards each (a total of four awards), where at least one of the winners (out of the two) in both BSc and MSc categories must be a woman or someone from an underrepresented minority. Each award is accompanied by a cash prize sponsored by the UvA DSC and ADS, and a certificate given at the annual ADS Highlight event (held in December). The winners will have the opportunity to present their thesis work at the ADS Highlight event.

Evaluation Criteria

All thesis submissions will be judged on how they advance Data Science and/or AI through:

  1. Innovative scientific and technical contributions;
  2. High societal and/or economical impact from the findings and results of the thesis;
  3. Promotion of open science via FAIR data principles, and the availability of high-quality open-source code, results, traces, frameworks, etc.

Please see the nomination letter template for how to provide such information in the most accessible manner for the selection committee to access.

Eligibility and the Selection Process

Eligibility criteria are:

  1. The thesis work must have been supervised and supported by a faculty member of one of the ADS university partners (AUAS (HvA), UvA, or VU).
  2. The thesis must have been completed in the preceding 12 months before the submission deadline. Hence, for this award cycle, it must have been completed between September 18th, 2020 and September 17th, 2021.
  3. Must have a grade 8.0 or above.

Who can nominate and how

The thesis supervisor will directly nominate the thesis with an accompanying letter articulating its merits. We recommend that each supervisor only submits one BSc and one MSc thesis nomination for the award.

Tip: Please be in contact with the student, if you submit their thesis. In case they are awarded the ADS Thesis prize, they are expected to prepare a short presentation and join the award ceremony in December 2021.

We specifically encourage nominations for thesis work by women and underrepresented minorities. We take a broad and diverse view which includes (but not limited to) race, gender, different abilities, socioeconomic, cultural, and immigration backgrounds.

Should your nominated candidate fall within these groups please provide a paragraph within your nomination letter stating as such. Please see the nomination letter template for the required details.

The required documents for a valid nomination are:

  1. The final thesis (PDF), which shows:
    1. name of the student and the supervisor
    2. the official date of completion or defense
  2. Nomination letter (PDF, a template provided), mentioning:
    1. the grade of the thesis
    2. the percentile in the course (if available)
    3. how the thesis meets the evaluation criteria (see above for criteria)
    4. if your candidate falls within an underrepresented group

Download the nomination letter template.

The nominations can be submitted at EasyChair (submission site is open): https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=2021adsthesisawards

Guidelines for the EasyChair submission portal

  • The supervisor of the thesis should upload these two documents as a single PDF in the submission portal.
  • The student and the supervisor should enter their details as the authors of the nomination (Easy Chair asks about the author information).
  • In the keywords section, please mention if it is a BSc or MSc thesis, with appropriate technical keywords.

The selection committee will follow a conference paper-style reviewing process to evaluate the submitted thesis nominations. Each submission will be evaluated and scored by a subset of the members of the selection committee, with at least one or more of them being an expert in the field of the thesis. The selection committee will inform the steering committee and the ADS management of the award winners three weeks before the ADS Highlight event.

If the selection committee lacks expertise in a specific area, they will ask additional external expert members to evaluate the nominations.

Privacy and Confidentiality Note

All thesis nominations and details provided in the ADS Thesis Award selection process are kept confidential. For example, personal information about the students (in case of underrepresented groups) is strictly accessible by the selection committee members for the purpose of the award selection only. In case you have further concerns or questions regarding how the information is shared and used, feel free to contact the chair of the steering committee.

If you have any questions or remarks then please contact the chair of the Steering committee, Animesh Trivedi (a.trivedi@vu.nl).

Steering Committee

  • Paola Grosso (IvI, UvA)
  • Evangelos Kanoulas (ABS/IvI, UvA)
  • Animesh Trivedi (CS, VU) – Chair
  • Katrien de Witte (FDMCI/CoE AAI, HvA)
  • Ana-Lucia Varbanescu (IvI, UvA)

Selection Committee

  • Emma Beauxis-Aussalet (Civic AI Lab, VU Amsterdam) – Co-Chair
  • Iva Gornishka (AI Team, Gemeente Amsterdam)
  • Sara Magliacane (INDElab UvA, MIT-IBM Watson AI)
  • Stevan Rudinac (ABS, UvA) – Co-Chair
  • Fernando P. Santos (Civic AI Lab, UvA)
  • Dayana Spagnuelo (UCDS, VU Amsterdam)
  • Pieter Bons (FT, HvA)
  • Florian Kunneman (Social AI, VU)
  • Lise Stork (KRR,VU)
  • Davide Ceolin (HCDA, CWI)
  • Vlad Niculae (IvI, UvA)
  • Charlotte Gerritsen (Social AI, VU)
  • Michel Klein (Social AI, VU)
  • Lin Wang (CS, VU)

2020 ADS Thesis Awards

The ADS Thesis Award winners for 2020 were Johanna Heddes and Nick Tehrany in the BSc category, and Rochelle Choenni and Mario Giulianelli in the MSc category. The awards were sponsored by Elsevier, Prosus and ADS and the winners were announced at the ADS Highlights Event

Check out a summary of last year’s winners and their presentations at the ADS Highlights event.