The Classification Society

The Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

Each year, the Classification Society offers a Distinguished Dissertation Award for an outstanding PhD dissertation on the theme of clustering, classification, or related areas of data analysis, encompassing associated theory and/or applications. The Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award is supported by Springer.

The 2022 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

The 2022 Award totals 500 USD in book vouchers from Springer and the winner will be invited to make a presentation in a special session at the 2022 Classification Society Annual Meeting. The Classification Society will cover travel expenses to the 2022 Annual Meeting of at most 1,000 USD for a North American-based Award winner or at most 1,500 USD for an Award winner based elsewhere.

Criteria for nomination for the Award include: 

  • the main topic of the dissertation is in classification, clustering or a closely related area; 
  • the dissertation contains innovative work in theory/methodology and/or or innovative or well developed application(s); and 
  • the literature review is thorough. 

Eligibility/ Nomination

To be eligible for nomination, a Ph.D. dissertation must have been successfully completed – including successful defense – within the calendar year 2021. Nominations may be made by the dissertation author, supervisor, or related person, and must be sent by email. A nomination must include contact information for the nominator and nominee (if different), a URL where an online copy of the dissertation can be accessed by the members of the Award Committee, and an electronic (e.g., scanned) cover letter, written and signed by the nominator, stating the date of final completion of the Ph.D. dissertation and outlining why the dissertation merits the award. The nominator must also arrange for two external referee reports to be sent directly to the chair of the Award committee. If possible, the referees should be arms-length from the dissertation author and their supervisor. Cover letters should include full bibliographic details for any published papers, proceedings, book chapters, or similar scholarly material that have arisen from the dissertation. For non-English language dissertations, nominators are requested to provide an extended abstract in English and, where relevant, to highlight any papers, proceedings, book chapters, or similar scholarly material associated with the dissertation that have been published in English. 

Nominations

The 2022 Distinguished Dissertation Award Committee comprises:

  • Volodymyr Melnykov (Chair)
  • Xu (Sunny) Wang
  • Herbie Lee

Nominations and external referee reports must be submitted to the chair of the Award Committee. Volodymyr Melnykov, at < vmelnykov 'at' cba dot ua dot edu >, on or before 11:59pm (EST) on February 1, 2022. Results will be announced approximately two months after this deadline.

2021 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

  • Winner:
    Michael Gallaugher, Analysis of Three-Way Data and Other Topics in Clustering and Classification, McMaster University, 2020.
  • Honourable Mention: 
    Nicolas Jouvin, High-dimensional data and graph clustering with discrete latent variable models, Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, 2020.
    Salvatore Daniele Tomarchio, Advances in finite mixture models: new methodologies and application, University of Catania, 2020. 

2020 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

  • Winner:
    Keefe Murphy, Beyond the Standard Mixture Model: Novel Families of Parsimonious Model-Based Clustering Methods, University College Dublin, 2019.
  • Honorable Mention:
    Shuchismita Sarkar, On the use of Transformations for Modeling Multidimensional Heterogeneous Data, The University of Alabama, 2019.
    Xiang Lu, Model and Variable Selection for Mixtures of Factor Analyzers, University of Rochester, 2019.
2019 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award
  • Winner:
    Anjali Silva, Bayesian Clustering Approaches for Discrete Data, University of Guelph, 2018.

2018 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

  • Winners:
    Yang Tang, Dimensionality Reduction with Non-Gaussian Mixtures, McMaster University, 2017.
    Michael Fop, Advances in Model-Based Clustering and Classification, University College Dublin, 2017.

2017 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

  • Winner:
    Paula Murray, Detecting Non-Elliptical Clusters, McMaster University, 2016.

2016 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

  • Winner:
    Zsuzsa Bakk, Contributions to Bias Adjusted Stepwise Latent Class Modeling, Universiteit Leiden, 2015.
  • Honorable Mention:
    Samuel Ventura, Large-Scale Classification and Clustering Methods with Application in Record Linkage, Carnegie Mellon University, 2015.

2015 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

  • Winner:
    Irene Vrbik, Non-Elliptical and Fractionally Supervised Classification, University of Guelph, March 2014.
  • Honorable Mention:
    Hsin-Hsiung Huang, Information Extraction For Virus Classification And Robust Dimension Reduction, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2014.
2014 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award
  • Winner: 
    Kim de Roover, Clusterwise & Switching Component Models For Modeling Between-& Within-Block Structural Differences In Multivariate Multiblock Data, KU Leuven, 2013.
  • Honorable Mention:
    Kate MorrisDimension Reduction and Clustering using Non-Elliptical Mixtures, University of Guelph, December 2013.
2013 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award
  • Winner: 
    Jeffrey L. Andrews, Model-Based Learning: t-Families and Variable Selection, University of Guelph, June 2012.
  • Honorable Mention:
    Carel PeetersBayesian Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis, VU University Amsterdam, June 2012.
    Sanjeena Dang Subedi, Model Based Clustering Using Eigen-decomposed Covariance Structure in a Variational Bayes Framework, University of Guelph, June 2012.

2012 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

  • Winner: 
    Theodore Damoulas, Probabilistic Multiple Kernel Learning, Cornell University, 2011
  • Honorable Mention: 
    Ondrej Vencalek, Depth-based Classification, Palacky University, Olomouc, 2011

2011 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

  • Winner:
    Frank Busing, Advances in MultiDimensional Unfolding, Leiden University, The Netherlands, April 2010.
  • Travel Award Winners:
    David Casado de Lucas, Classification Techniques for Time Series and Functional Data, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain, July 2010.
    Pedro Contreras, Search and Retrieval in Massive Data Collections, University of London, May 2010.
    Jorge Tendeiro, Some Mathematical Results on Three-Way Component Analysis, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, October 2010.
    Hongxia Yang, Nonparametric Bayes Models for High-Dimensional and Sparse Data, Duke University, December 2010

2010 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

  • Winner:
    Daniel Aloise, Exact Algorithms for Minimum Sum-of-Squares Clustering, University of Montreal, June 2009.
  • Honorable mention:
    Petri Kontkanen, Computationally Efficient Methods for MDL-Optimal Density Estimation and Data Clustering, University of Helsinki, Finland, November 2009.
2009 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award
  • Winner:
    Innar Liiv, Pattern Discovery Using Seriation and Matrix Reordering: A Unified View, Extensions and an Application to Inventory Management, Tallinn University of Technology, August 2008.
  • Honorable mention:
    Georgi Nalbantov, Essays on Some Recent Penalization Methods with Applications in Finance and Marketing, Erasmus University Rotterdam, September 2008.
2008 Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award
  • Winner:
    Anita Van der Kooij, Prediction Accuracy and Stability of Regression with Optimal Scaling Transformations, Leiden University, June 2007. Link to homepage.
  • Runner-up:
    Jonathan Schler, Authorship Analysis in the Absence of a closed Candidate Set, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, January 2007.
  • Honorable mention: 
    Balazs Feil, Fuzzy Clustering in Process Data Mining, (University of Veszprem, Pannonia), Hungary, Sept. 2006, published as monograph Cluster Analysis for Data Mining and System Identification, by Birkhaeuser, 2007 
    Jorge Santos, Data Classification with Neural Networks and Entropic Criteria, (ISEP – Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Porto, Jan. 2007).

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