The best thesis in computer science 2021 was written at DTU Compute  Aleksander B. G. Christiansen has won the thesis prize for his master's project in graph theory. Danish Industry, IDA and the universities are behind the award. Supervisor Eva Rotenberg (left) & Aleksander. Credit: Mikal Schlosser

Aleksander's thesis has been awarded as the best of the year

Wednesday 26 Oct 22



Eva Rotenberg
Associate Professor
DTU Compute
+45 45 25 50 05

Best Computer Science Master Thesis of 2021

  • Aleksander B. G. Christiansen, DTU Compute: Dynamic algorithms for implicit vertex-colouring of graphs with bounded arboricity.
  • Supervisor: Eva Rotenberg, Associate Professor, Algorithms, Logic and Graphs, Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, DTU Compute.
  • The award committee consists of: Rikke Hagensby Jensen, PhD, Assistant Professor Human-Centered Computing, Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University.
    Troels Andreasen, MSc & PhD, Associate Professor Programming, Logic and Intelligent Systems & Centre for Big Data, Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University.
    Anders Yeo, Professor, Graph Theory and Algorithms, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Southern Denmark.
  • Learn more: (Danish)
Aleksander B. G. Christiansen's thesis in graph theory wins the award as best master thesis in computer science in 2021.

When Aleksander B. G. Christiansen completed his master's at DTU Compute in 2021, it was clear for his supervisor, Associate Professor Eva Rotenberg, that the thesis went beyond what you normally see. So she nominated his thesis for the award as the best Danish master thesis in computer science in 2021.

The award committee agreed! At the tech-event Digital Tech Summit, the thesis in graph theory was awarded as the best. The award is a collaboration between Dansk Industri/DI Digital and IDA, with support from the computer science departments at Danish universities.

"I am very happy and honored that my thesis was nominated and received the award. It has been fun and challenging to write the thesis, as I had the opportunity to use my mathematical background in a new way," says Aleksander B. G. Christiansen, who now is a PhD student in the research section Algorithms, Logic and Graphs at DTU Compute.

New solution to a graph problem

Aleksander's work examines algorithms that, given a solution to a graph problem, can update that solution faster than the time it would take to solve the problem from scratch on a new graph that has changed only slightly from the original one. The thesis has also led to two professional articles published at the research conferences ICALP 2022 and MFCS 2022.

In the justification, the award committee writes that "the thesis contributes new algorithmic and complexity-theoretic results about dynamic thin graphs, and contains new algorithms with sharply better running times than were previously known, as well as lower bounds.

... It is unusual that a thesis leads to the production of several research articles. It documents that the thesis is of an extremely high standard. The thesis is also well written, well illustrated and with a thorough overview of the related literature, so this thesis is a well-deserved winner.”

The prize has been awarded every year since 1991. Aleksander's supervisor, Eva Rotenberg, received the prize in 2014 for her master's thesis written at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen. Now she is happy that Aleksander receives the same award:

"The thesis has been a pleasure to supervise. During the project, Aleksander has shown extraordinary mathematical maturity and problem-solving skills, which has led to exciting new insights into algorithms and complexity for dynamic graph problems," says Eva Rotenberg.

In addition to the honor, the prize also includes 25,000 DKK, donated by Dansk Industri/DI Digital and IDA.

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