The Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award

supported by Chapman and Hall/CRC

The Award will be for the best PhD (or approximately equivalent doctoral) dissertation nomimated by an annual deadline. The theme is clustering, classification, related areas of data analysis, encompassing both associated theory and/or applications.

The Award is administered by CSNA. An evaluation committee is set up by CSNA to evaluate the nominated theses. This committee should have between 3 and 5 members. The chair of the committee is appointed by the CSNA President. The committee is selected by the committee chair, in conjunction with the CSNA President, and is approved by the CSNA Board.

In 2007-2008, the evaluation committee is: Fionn Murtagh (chair, Dept. of Computer Science, Royal Holloway, University of London), Samantha Prins (Dept. of Mathematics & Statistics, James Madison University), Douglas Steinley (Dept. of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia) and Willem Heiser (Dept. of Psychology, University of Leiden).

Members of the evaluation committee must declare any potential conflict of interest. A member of the evaluation committee cannot play any role in regard to evaluating his/her own PhDs, nor also in regard to nominations where there has been a direct collaborative link (e.g. through joint publications).

Nominations will be through the evaluation committee chair. It may be useful to have printed copies sent to committee members, but in any case web-accessible versions have to be made available. The evaluation panel may seek one or two external referee reports for each nominated dissertation.

Typical criteria for nomination for the Award include: (i) the most innovative or impressive work in theory/methodology, or the most innovatative or well developed application(s); and (ii) the literature review has to be thorough.

Nominations are to be received by 1 February each year, from the author (PhD), their advisor/supervisor, or other related person. Nomination includes the name and contact points, an online copy of the dissertation, and a short description of why the dissertation merits the award (see above). A decision is made by the evaluation committee by 1 May. The evaluation committee can recommend one award; an award and a runner-up; two joint winners; or other combinations if they think it appropriate.

For the next submission deadline, 1 February 2008, nominated PhDs have to have been successfully completed in the calendar years 2005, 2006 or 2007.

Awards are ratified by the CSNA Board. Publicity is made in the CSNA and other newsletters, and on relevant websites. The short-list of nominated dissertations will also be openly published.

For non-English language theses, it is requested to provide an extended abstract, and (where relevant) pointers to papers associated with the thesis that have been published.

In 2008 the Award totals US$ 500 in book vouchers from Chapman and Hall/CRC. The winner will be invited to make a presentation in a special plenary session at the CSNA Annual Meeting. Up to $500 of the Award winner's travel expenses to the Annual Meeting will be covered by CSNA.

Contact for information and nominations: fmurtagh at acm . org