Thomas Neele, who obtained his PhD under the supervision of Tim Willemse and Jan Friso Groote, won the award for the best dissertation of 2020 of the Dutch Research School IPA for his dissertation “Reductions for Parity Games and Model Checking”. In his thesis, Thomas explores symbolic techniques for simplifying and solving parameterised Boolean equation systems, and studies partial-order reduction techniques for transition systems and parity games, unearthing (and fixing) a mistake in one of the central partial-order reduction theories that had gone unnoticed for over 30 years.
The award committee lauds Thomas’ dissertation: “The thesis was very readable, with a good writing style, providing intuition to the formal theory. Thomas’s results have been published in top international conferences and journals. He received multiple best paper awards: at FACS’2018 and the EATCS best paper award at FoSSaCS’2020, with his FoSSaCS’2020 paper even nominated for two awards.”