The Antonín Svoboda Award for the Best Doctoral Dissertation 2023 goes to the FEE CTU

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This year's Antonín Svoboda Award for the best dissertation in computer science and cybernetics has its winner. The highest award went to Yash Patel, Ph.D. from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague for his dissertation entitled "Neural Network Training and Non-Differentiable Objective Functions" prepared under the mentoring of Prof. Ing. Jiří Matas, Ph.D.

"The committee mostly appreciated the great contribution of this dissertation in the area of deep neural network learning, including the originality of the suggested solutions", said Ing. Stanislava Šimberová, CSc., Chair of the Antonín Svoboda Award Committee.

The winner, Yash Patel, Ph.D. commented: “Receiving the Antonín Svoboda Award is profoundly meaningful to me. It not only acknowledges the published research but also validates the utility and acceptance of my work within the broader research community. I am deeply honored by this recognition, and it is exhilarating to see ideas that once existed only in my mind now being embraced and applied in the real world. I would like to thank Prof. Matas for allowing me to explore high-risk ideas and for providing me with the freedom to innovate in my work. This support was crucial in pursuing the novel avenues of research that we explored.”

"The journey to my dissertation began with genuine curiosity, sparked through several discussions with my advisor, Prof. Jiri Matas, and colleagues at the Visual Recognition Group. I have always been fascinated by the ability of neural networks to learn complex underlying patterns. This fascination led me to ponder: if neural networks can recognize or segment objects in images, why can’t they also learn to approximate non-differentiable objective functions? Since neural networks are inherently differentiable, they could potentially mimic these functions, enabling one neural network to train another,”  Yash Patel, Ph.D., who now works at Amazon Web Services AI in San Francisco, California, added to his dissertation. 

The national competition for the Antonín Svoboda Award for the best doctoral dissertation is organized annually by the Czech Society for Cybernetics and Informatics (CSCI). Its mission is to develop cybernetics and computer science in the Czech Republic and to support teaching activities in related disciplines.

This year was the 16th running of the event, which culminated on Tuesday 11 June 2024 with the awarding of diplomas at the CTU. On behalf of the winner, Yash Patel, the award was received by Prof. Ing. Jiří Matas, Ph.D., head of the Visual Recognition Group, which operates at the Department of Cybernetics of the CTU Faculty of Science.

Responsible person Ing. Mgr. Radovan Suk