A robotics Ph.D. student was awarded for her outstanding thesis on Generalized Routing Problems with Continuous Neighborhoods.

1300 students, 13 universities, 1 winner – one of the most prestigious student competition in the field of IT in the Czech Republic and Slovakia announced the results. A professional jury composed of academics and business professionals selected the best diploma theses of the past academic year and we couldn’t be more proudthat the main prize went to Jindřiška Deckerová, a graduate of the Open Informatics program at FEE CTU and the Ph.D. student in our center. She now works in the robotics laboratory led by Jan Faigl, who was Jindřiška's supervisor.

The awarded thesis titled Generalized Routing Problems with Continuous Neighborhoods focuses on the development of a unique algorithm for finding the optimal path, which Jindřiška demonstrated on autonomous drones and robots.

In her diploma thesis, Jindřiška worked on aerial data collection by drones. The typical task is to photograph given areas of interest (circles show the reach of the camera). To do that efficiently, she was looking for the best solution to this task, where you must find the optimal order of visits to these areas and at the same time the most suitable point of the visit so that the journey is as short as possible.

Competing with the best IT graduates in the Czech Republic and Slovakia was far from easy. "The balanced evaluation of the jury confirms the high level of all the theses. The awarded one combines high theory with practical use in robotics. It revolves around a complex theoretical optimization problem, but also excels in a very well-processed practical part. The whole jury was impressed by the depth and precision of the solution and also the applicability to various problems. The author successfully combined software, AI and the real world through robots," evaluates the chairman of the jury Jiří Vokřínek.

Competition flyer describing the thesis.

The fact that a woman became the winner of IT SPY for the first time in the competition’s 12-year history is a big milestone. "It can help to popularize science and increase interest in IT and it further dispels the myth that informatics is the domain of men. IT is an extremelyfast-growing field and keeping up requires not only knowledge, but also desire to learn new things. One of the places where such people are concentrated on a largescale is universities. We believe that connecting top science and its application to solving specific social and business problems is the right wayto go," says Bohumír Zoubek, judge of the IT SPY competition from Profinit.

The prize for the winner was not only a financial reward of 1 000 EUR, but also a professional course worth 10 000 CZK from the GOPAS computer school and a subscription to the IT Systems magazine.

Jindřiška introduced her project on the national television (Station ČT24).