Jesper Cockx (KU Leuven) wins EAPLS PhD Dissertation Award 2016/17

by Andreas Wortmann, Dec. 18, 2018

The EAPLS Best Ph.D. Dissertation Award 2016/17 has been won by Jesper Cockx, Ph.D. (KU Leuven), for his dissertation on "Dependent Pattern Matching and Proof-Relevant Unification".

It is the great pleasure of the European Association on Programming Languages and Systems to announce the outcome of the EAPLS Best Dissertation Award 2016/17.

This award is given to the PhD student who has made the most original and influential contribution to the area of Programming Languages and Systems, and has graduated in 2016/17 at a European academic institute. The purpose of the award is to draw attention to excellent work, to help the career of the student in question, and to promote the research field as a whole.

The winner of this edition of the EAPLS Dissertation Award is

Jesper Cockx, Ph.D (KU Leuven, Belgium)

for his dissertation on

Dependent Pattern Matching and Proof-Relevant Unification

supervised by Prof. Frank Piessens and Dr. Dominique Devriese. The winner was selected by a committee of international experts. Details on the procedure can be found at The candidate theses were judged on originality, impact, relevance, and quality of writing.

The jury concluded that Jesper's dissertation is an outstanding piece of work; it received the best marks amidst some very strong contenders. A summary of the jury's findings:

  • The thesis addresses a very complex problem on a high-level of formality and presents an important step in dependent type theory.
  • It puts the topic of dependent pattern matching on a more general and solid mathematical grounding.
  • It is considered one of the best and most accessible theses on dependent types.
  • The results have been published at venues of high impact in the programming language community.
  • The work already has a high degree of influence through having its concepts being adopted by longstanding proof assistants.

We offer Jesper our heartfelt congratulations on his achievement. We are confident that it will be a sign of a long and distinguished scientific career.