July 3, 2018

IST Austria celebrates 18 graduates

Number of PhD alumni rises to 50

Photo credit: IST Austria/Roland Ferrigato (click to enlarge)

On Friday, June 29, the Institute of Science and Technology (IST Austria) celebrated 18 new graduates of the Institute’s PhD program. This is the largest class yet, and brings the total number of PhD alumni to 50—a large number for a young institute. After years of dedication, learning, and independent research, these new alumni will go on to pursue careers in academia, industry, and education.

“This is the most important day of the year in the life of a graduate institution.”

With these words, Tom Henzinger, president of IST Austria, welcomed the graduating class and their friends and family, who filled the Raiffeisen Lecture Hall. Educating PhD students is a core mission of IST Austria, and these new graduates represent future leaders not only in academia, but in any careers they choose to pursue. This year’s class is diverse in background—comprising 11 different nationalities—and area of research—focusing on areas from insect social immunity to topology. Many have already started in their first post-graduate jobs, which have taken them all over the world and include teaching, industry research, and postdoc positions at top universities. Wherever they go next, and whatever their focus, IST Austria looks forward to watching their progress and following their successes as they make their marks on the world.

The keynote speaker, Chris E. Golde, a consultant and career coach for PhD students and postdocs at Stanford University and recognized expert on graduate education, talked about her own storied career as she urged the new graduates to think about their own careers in chapters—chapters that they have the chance to write. As she finished her address, she wished the graduates “confidence, openness to opportunity, and faithfulness to their values” in their next steps, and the many that follow. The graduate students then crossed the stage one by one, and the crowd cheered as they received their sashes and shook hands with their supervisors and the dean. Professor Vladimir Kolmogorov announced the Outstanding Thesis Award—a difficult decision, given the quality of the students’ work: Anton Nikitenko for his dissertation Discrete Morse theory for random complexes, completed under the supervision of Professor Herbert Edelsbrunner.

Harald Ringbauer, the representative of the 2018 class, added his thoughts, recalling the many changes on campus and thanking everyone at the Institute for their help and support. He had a few words for his fellow graduates as well, advising them to work hard, but to make careful decisions about on what, and when, they worked. “The edge of human knowledge is a rough place, and it is often hard to see the way forward,” he concluded, “but the view—it’s perfect.”

 

The graduating class of 2018 comprises:

Maciej Adamowski (Friml Group)

Andreas Pavlogiannis (Chatterjee Group)

Michal Rybár (Pietrzak Group)

David Hahn (Wojtan Group)

Fabienne Jesse (Bollback Group)

Christopher Douglas Pull (Cremer Group)

Karin Maria Mitosch (Bollenbach Group)

Haibing Xu (Csicsvari Group)

Anton Nikitenko (Edelsbrunner Group)

Eva Gschaider-Reichhart (Janovjak Group)

Maroš Pleška (Guet Group)

Harald Ringbauer (Barton Group)

Andrej Hurný (Benková Group)

Alexander Kolesnikov (Lampert Group)

Dora-Clara Tărlungeanu (Novarino Group)

Chong Chen (Jonas Group)

Alexander Leithner (Sixt Group)

Mabel Iglesias Ham (Edelsbrunner Group)