"The jury had the pleasure to consider and discuss three excellent master theses. All addressing relevant topics, though very different in nature, showing how broad and diverse computer science and its related field Business&IT can be. The jury was genuinely impressed by the quality of the nominations. After assessing the theses on scientific approach, practical approach, level of difficulty, readability and relevance of research, the jury unanimously selected Tim Kemp as the winner of the ENIAC thesis award 2019-2020!
The title of the thesis, “An algorithmic approach to a conjecture of Chvátal on toughness and hamiltonicity of graphs”, might sound complex and difficult, but Tim managed to introduce and explain the mathematical jargon in an accessible way with clear examples and figures. He took up a complex and highly theoretical topic, and combined it with a novel algorithmic approach and evolutionary algorithms. He therefore used computer science in an original way. His approach was thorough, systematic and methodologically sound. He also critically reflected upon his own approach and suggested various promising directions for future work.
Tim developed three efficient pieces of software, which were used to validate known solutions from literature, but have also led to new theoretical insights. His thesis showed that the research to find a specific type of graph by hand “does not have to be continued”. This is a perfect example of the relevance of computer science when tasks get too complicated to do by hand and head. As his supervisor summarizes it: “The new approach developed by Tim can in principle lead to new breakthroughs and have potentially high impact in the Graph Theory community.