David Maxwell wins the 2020 BCS/CPHC Distinguished Dissertation award

The BCS in collaboration with the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) gives an annual award for the best thesis in computer science. David (at that time at the University of Glasgow) was recognised for his thesis: ‘Modelling search and stopping in interactive information retrieval.’ David is now undertaking post-graduate research at the University of Delft.

(The notes below are taken verbatim from the BCS Press Release. Somewhat strangely there was no link to the thesis, which can be downloaded from here)

Due to the substantial number of high-quality dissertation entries, the committee had to extend their examining time to ensure that they found the one dissertation that stood above the others.

Referees for David Maxwell’s thesis stated: “The thesis is outstanding in every single respect – both in terms of content and presentation. If it had not been written as a PhD thesis, one could think it is the work of a well-established IR (Information Retrieval) researcher” – and – “The work has already resulted in the publication of a number of highly cited papers, and I am certain that the thesis will catalyse a substantial amount of further research on these topics.”

The Chair of CPHC/BCS Distinguished Dissertation Competition Committee, Dr Iain Phillips from Loughborough University, said: “The selection this year was incredibly difficult due to the addition loads caused by COVID-19 on everyone – reviewers and committee alike. However, this remains a tribute to the quality of all the submissions. The prestige of this award brings attention to the high-quality research of the winner and runners-up and indeed all the nominated dissertations. In what will be my last year chairing the competition, I would like to thank all nominators for selecting the best dissertations, the reviewers for all their hard work providing reviews and especially the members of the committee for their support over the past few years.”

About Martin White
Martin White

Martin is an information scientist and the author of Making Search Work and Enterprise Search. He has been involved with optimising search applications since the mid-1970s and has worked on search projects in both Europe and North America. Since 2002 he has been a Visiting Professor at the Information School, University of Sheffield and is currently working on developing new approaches to search evaluation.

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