Nine scientists who have promoted advances in cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, image processing and the Internet of Things have been awarded in the VI edition of the Research Awards granted by the Computer Science Society of Spain (SCIE) and the BBVA Foundation. In addition, the work of code.organ NGO dedicated to promoting computer education on a global scale, whose goal is for students from all over the planet to learn to program at school, just as they study other core subjects such as mathematics, physics or biology.
These awards were created in 2017 by the SCIE and the BBVA Foundation to recognize the creativity, originality and excellence of Spanish scientists who are promoting research in this fundamental field of our time. This alliance with the SCIE –which brings together 10 associations and scientific societies in the field of Computer Science– that arises to recognize and make visible the talent of researchers in this discipline, joins the other three families of awards that the BBVA Foundation grants , also annually, in collaboration with many other Spanish scientific societies: the Vicent Caselles Mathematical Research Awards with the Royal Spanish Mathematical Society (RSME), the Physics Awards with the Royal Spanish Society of Physics (RSEF) and the Statistics Awards with the Spanish Society of Statistics and Operational Research (SEIO).
The SCIE-BBVA Foundation Research Awards comprise two modalities. The modality Young Computer Researchers recognizes the authors of the most innovative and relevant doctoral theses: up to six prizes are awarded, each endowed with 5,000 euros, to researchers under 30 years of age who work in Spain. The other mode is National Computer Awardswhich the SCIE has been granting since 2005 and were incorporated into the awards given jointly with the BBVA Foundation in 2018. These awards recognize researchers, public and private entities that have dedicated their work to the study, strengthening and dissemination of computing.
Computer Young Researchers Awards
Saul Alonso Monsalve, senior software engineer at the Federal Polytechnic School of Zurich, Switzerland (ETH Zürich), has been awarded for his international career “in highly relevant research centers, and for his collaborations with companies, as well as for his contributions in the area of deep learning published in highly prestigious journals”, according to the jury. He did his PhD in collaboration with CERN, with research focused on the application of computer science to experimental neutrino physics.
Luis Costero Valero, PhD assistant professor in the Department of Computer Architecture and Automation at the Complutense University of Madrid, has been awarded “for his excellent research in the field of high-performance computing”. He developed his doctoral thesis in the ArTeCS research group (Architecture and Technology of Computing Systems) of the UCM, where he proposed innovative ideas to combine the management of different resources in multiple contexts with reinforcement learning techniques, achieving progress in the field of resource planning and management.
Aurora Gonzalez Vidalpostdoctoral researcher Margarita Salas at the Center for Research & Technology, Hellas – CERTH (Greece), has been awarded “for its contributions in the area of the Internet of Things, recognized through publications in high-impact magazines”. Her research has promoted the creation of novel algorithms and methodologies that have multiple application contexts: from smart agriculture and water management, mobility, security, prediction of energy consumption or the study of data quality in medicine. .
Paul Morales Alvarez, Margarita Salas postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Computer Languages and Systems at the University of Granada, has been awarded “for his excellent contributions in the field of deep machine learning and its applications to image analysis, published in top-level forums and journals ”. Among his achievements are his advanced work in the techniques of machine learning to improve the detection of gravitational waves in the LIGO project during his stay at Northwestern University (United States).
Mercedes Eugenia Paoletti Avila, PhD assistant professor in the Department of Computer Architecture and Automation at the Complutense University of Madrid, has been awarded “for the impact of her contributions in the field of accelerating image processing, using high-performance architectures, as well as for its international projection. Since her Ph.D., she has focused her research in the field of automatic processing applied to remote sensing data analysis and has carried out work on processing and classification of images of the Earth’s surface using high-performance architectures.
Savins Martin Doors, postdoctoral researcher at the Chemoinformatics Research Group at the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom), “for his excellent contributions in the field of high-performance computing, which have led to the development of innovative techniques that facilitate the design of new drugs , as well as for its high level of internationalization”, highlights the jury. His research has focused on virtual screening, a technique that allows the selection of the most similar compounds to a reference molecule within a database that may contain millions of them, with the aim of accelerating drug discovery and development.
National Computer Awards
Francisco Casacuberta Nolla, Professor of Information Systems and Computing at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, has received the José García Santesmases Award “for his long career in research and teaching in the field of computer engineering, which makes him one of the pioneers of Spanish computing ”, according to the jury. His fields of work have been focused on pattern recognition, machine learning, machine translation, and human-machine interaction.
Antonio Ruiz Cortes, professor of Computer Languages and Systems at the University of Seville, has received the Aritmel Award “for his contributions in the area of software engineering, particularly in software product lines, business process management and service engineering.” The jury also affects his intense management and management work, as well as the transfer of research results.
Edmundo Tovar Caro, professor of Computer Languages and Systems at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, has won the Ramón Llull Award “for his career in research and promotion of open education through multiple national and international projects”. The jury highlights his commitment and dedication to international organizations related to computer engineering education such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
code.orgnon-profit organization, has obtained the Ángela Ruiz Robles Award “for her activities to promote computer education for minors and young people, as well as for her determined commitment so that programming reaches every school in the world”, according to the jury. Born in the USA in 2013, code.org is a free and universal access platform that offers educational content on computing in more than 60 languages, and has already trained more than 150,000 teachers to bring computer science to classrooms around the planet. Its mission is that computer science becomes a core subject in primary and secondary education.
The jury was chaired by Paloma Díaz Pérez, Professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the Carlos III University of Madrid; and made up of nine other professors whose field is related to computing and technology, such as José Antonio Gámez Martín, María Ángeles González Navarro or Arantza Illarramendi Etxabe, among others. In addition, two of the members, Inmaculada García Fernández and Antonio Vallecillo Moreno, are also part of the leadership of the SCIE.