Vladimír Balaš acknowledged our Ph.D. student Šimon Mandlík for extraordinary results and activities. The award ceremony took place in the Senate building.

Since 2014, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports awards outstanding students and graduates in Bachelor, Master and Doctoral study programs. The award is given for outstanding results in studies or in research, development, and creative activities related to studies.

The ceremony took place in the beautiful Waldstein Palace (home of Senate) where laureates in five categories received the awards from the hands of the Minister himself.

Vladimír Balaš, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Czech Republic

"I am very happy that we can honor excellent students and the educational and research activities of academic staff and highlight exceptional, motivated and talented figures from academia. This country and its future depend above all on creativity and motivation, on the ability to create added value and to be willing to make sacrifices for your mission. Without individuals of this quality, our society would hardly survive in global competition," said Minister Balaš in his speech.

This years laureates were awarded in several categories e.g. pedagogy, studies or life-long contribution to science.

It comes as no surprise to us, that Ph.D. student Šimon Mandlík was among the eight laureates from the whole country who received this prestigious acknowledgment. As a graduate of the Open Informatics study program at FEE CTU and a security expert, Šimon continued to explore his passion for science in our research center. Under the supervision of Tomáš Pevný and Václav Šmídl, he works on the intersection of machine learning and cybersecurity focusing on topics like multi-instance learning, unconventional data or heterogeneous networks.

Šimon Mandlík (in the middle) with the Minister of Education (right) and Deputy of the higher education, science and research section Radka Wildová (left)

With his diploma thesis Mapping the Internet: Modelling Entity Interactions in Complex Heterogeneous Networks, Šimon won the IT SPY 2020 competition for the best master thesis. He competed against the best 1 400 thesis defended in Czechia and Slovakia. In the same year, he won a similar yet smaller in scale competition organized by the tech company Qminers.

Šimon giving a speech at the Open Informatics graduation ceremony in Betlémská Chapel in Prague.

Šimon is also a winner of the prestigious UPE Award organized by the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society. He received this respected prize for his many achievements including his participation in ICPC, the oldest programming competition in the world organized by ACM.

Building on his significant academic results and also professional experience at Cisco and Gen (formerly Avast), Šimon landed first in the Qminers Quant Hackathon 2022 where he led the team against a virtual hockey bookmaker in sports betting match.

Šimon with his team that won the Qminers Quant Hackathon 2022.

Congratulations to Šimon. We are more than sure that this is not his last achievement and he will continue to impress us with his dedication, fresh ideas and responsible research.

Awards ceremony in Waldstein Palace was accompanied by a classical concert.