Ágnes Cseh, BMS alumna and doctoral graduate of TU Berlin, was one of six recipients of the 2016 Klaus Tschira Award for Achievements in Public Understanding of Science (Klaus Tschira Preis für verständliche Wissenschaft).
The Klaus Tschira Foundation (Klaus Tschira Stiftung) established this nationwide competition in 2006 with the aim of fostering public appreciation of natural sciences, mathematics and information technology. The challenge presented to young scientists is to write an article about their research and PhD thesis in a way that is understandable to the scientifically interested, but non-specialist person. This year, the jury chose the six prizewinners from 168 applicants in a three-phase evaluation procedure.
For her PhD thesis entitled “Complexity and Algorithms in Matching Problems under Preferences”, Ágnes studied the 'stable marriage problem', which has been in the research spotlight for over 50 years. She succeeded in broadening the scope of this well-known problem in graph theory, which is traditionally illustrated by a mathematical modeling of partner finding. In her winning article, “Marriages are made in calculation” (Heiraten nach Plan), Ágnes describes this model, which has been frequently applied in the business world for decades for the purpose of bringing together different stakeholders in the most optimal way. The wide range of possible applications of this theory includes sports fixtures, living kidney donations, online auctions and the distribution of student dormitories. Ágnes illustrated the existing mathematical model using human partner selection, but her enhanced model is universally applicable.
Ágnes was presented with the Klaus Tschira Award on 6 October 2016 at the University of Heidelberg's historical Alte Aula and is the fourth member of the BMS alumni to receive this prize. Tim Conrad was a recipient in 2009, Jannik Matuschke in 2014 and Timo Berthold in 2015. The award came with prize money in the sum of 5000 euros. In addition, all winning articles will be published in their original form in the popular science magazine “bild der wissenschaft”.
As a BMS student, Ágnes won the “First Berlin Science Slam” in Cairo in April 2012 and, in November of the same year, she won the first prize in the “Best Master/Diplom Degree” category at the TU Berlin's Dies Mathematicus. In 2013, she was awarded the Clara von Simson Prize for her outstanding master's thesis entitled “Stable Flows”. Ágnes completed her PhD at TU Berlin in 2015 under the supervision of BMS faculty member Prof. Dr. Martin Skutella, and graduated with the honor of summa cum laude. After a research stay at the ICE-TCS (Icelandic Centre of Excellence in Theoretical Computer Science) in Reykjavík, she is now a post-doc at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest.
Ágnes, congratulations on your success!