The winners have been announced for the 12th annual competition for the best Master’s thesis in IT, involving nearly 1300 students from 13 leading Czech and Slovak educational institutions. On Wednesday, 8 December 2021, an expert jury of 19 academics and IT business professionals selected the three best Master’s theses of the previous academic year in the online finals. The grand prize winner was Jindřiška Deckerová, a graduate of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague. The silver went to Patrik Goldschmidt from the Faculty of Information Technology at the Brno University of Technology (BUT). His thesis also won the People’s Choice Award. Third place was awarded to Matúš Goliaš from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University.
The winner of the competition, Jindřiška Deckerová (Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague), in her thesis entitled “Generalized routing problems with continuous neighbourhoods”, focused on a unique algorithm for finding the optimal path, which she demonstrated on autonomous drones and robots while scanning building interiors and photographing objects. “The final very balanced evaluation of the jury serves to confirm the high level of the final theses. The difference in the scoring of individual theses was really negligible, so it was not clear until the last moment who the figurative medals would belong to. What impressed me about the winning entry was that it combines high theoretical content with practical application in robotics. It is a complex theoretical optimization problem, but the project also stands out for its well-developed practical part. The thesis impressed the whole jury with the depth of the solution, the precision of the processing and the applicability to different problems. It combines the software world and artificial intelligence with the real world through robots,” said the jury chairman Jiří Vokřínek from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague.
Both second place and the People’s Choice Award went to Patrik Goldschmidt (Faculty of Information Technology, Brno University of Technology) for the thesis “Mitigation of DoS Attacks Using Machine Learning”. The author focused on faster detection of frequent and very dangerous cyber attacks. The application uses machine learning methods to help protect internet infrastructure. The thesis impressed the judges with its complex use of several theoretical principles that are already being applied in practice.
The bronze medal went to Matúš Goliaš (Charles University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics) for his thesis “Gradient boosted segmentation of retinal fundus images”. It is a method of evaluating the so-called blind spot of the optic nerve to diagnose eye diseases more accurately. The method aims to aid the early detection of eye diseases, especially glaucoma, which is the most common cause of blindness worldwide. The author plans to collaborate with doctors to develop the project further.
“This year, we had to do the IT SPY finals online again. However, that did not keep us from fulfilling one of the basic goals of the competition, which is to present the best Czech and Slovak IT theses to the wider public. I believe that this year’s broadcast of the finals on the news portals iDNES.cz, Tyden.cz and Ceskenoviny.cz helped us a lot. Popularisation of science and increased interest in IT can also be helped by the fact that a woman won IT SPY for the first time, which further disproves the myth that computer science is the domain of men. Computer science is an extremely fast-growing field, and keeping up here requires knowledge and drive and a desire to learn new things. And one place where such people are concentrated in large numbers is at universities. And that’s exactly why we at Profinit collaborate so broadly with universities, not only in this competition but also in teaching, Master’s theses and research grants. We believe that linking cutting-edge science and its application to solving specific social and business problems is the right way to go,” says Bohumír Zoubek, IT SPY judge for Profinit, which co-organizes the competition.
The winners not only received a financial reward of 1000 euros from Profinit, but the authors of the three best theses received professional courses worth a total of 30,000 CZK from the GOPAS IT training centre and a subscription to IT Systems magazine from the media partner.