Griffith student takes PhD thesis award

Griffith University graduate Silvia Richter has won the CORE prize for the best Computer Science thesis produced in Australia during 2011. Silvia won the prestigious Computing Research and Education Association of Australasia (CORE) Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation award from a field of 17 nominations.

Silvia recently moved into the corporate world where she is leading IT projects forGerman car manufacturers.

Her award was accepted on her behalf by Acting Director of Griffith’s Institute of Integrated and Intelligent Systems, Professor Vladimir Estvill-Castro.

Professor David Abramson, Chair of the CORE Distinguished PhD Thesis award committee said the committee doesn’t re-examine theses, but relies on the examiners’ reports and the supervisor support letter.”Silvia’s examiners reports were outstanding. We were impressed by the quality and the depth of the work. Whilst we received some very good applications, Silvia’s was by far the best, and it didn’t take very long to single it out. The work is a credit to Silvia, her supervisor, Griffith University and NICTA.”

The competition is highly selective whereby CORE member universities and research institutions submit their top computer science theses for consideration.

Silvia’s thesis, Landmark-based Heuristics and Search Control for Automated Planning, contributes to improvements in the efficiency of planning systems, i.e. systems that can reason about problems and compute sequences of actions that will achieve a certain desired goal.Her contribution expanded the understandingof how to aid the search for a solution in planning problems.

Abdul Sattar, NICTA Research Leader and Professor and Director of the Institutefor Integrated and Intelligent Systems (IIS) was Dr Richter’s Principal Supervisor.

Charles Gretton (NICTA) and Malte Helmert (external) were associate supervisors.