The Award will be for the best PhD (or approximately equivalent doctoral) dissertation nominated by an annual deadline. The theme is clustering, classification, related areas of data analysis, encompassing both associated theory and/or applications.
The Award is administered by the Classification Society (CS). An evaluation committee is set up by CS to evaluate the nominated theses. This committee should have between 3 and 5 members. The chair of the committee is appointed by the CS President. The committee is selected by the committee chair, in conjunction with the CS President, and is approved by the CS Board.
In 2009-2010, the evaluation committee is: Samantha Prins (chair, Dept. of Mathematics & Statistics, James Madison University), Fionn Murtagh (Science Foundation Ireland; and Dept. of Computer Science, Royal Holloway, University of London), Douglas Steinley (Dept. of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia), Rebecca Nugent (Dept. of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University), Nema Dean (Dept. of Statistics, University of Glasgow) and special invited member: Innar Liiv (Dept. of Informatics, Tallinn University of Technology; 2008-2009 Award winner).
Members of the evaluation committee must declare any potential conflict of interest. A member of the evaluation committee cannot play any role in regard to evaluating his/her own PhDs, nor also in regard to nominations where there has been a direct collaborative link (e.g. through joint publications).
Typical criteria for nomination for the Award include: (i) the most innovative or impressive work in theory/methodology, or the most innovative or well developed application(s); and (ii) the literature review has to be thorough. For the next submission deadline, 1 February 2010, nominated PhDs have to have been successfully completed in the 2009 calendar year.
Nominations are to be made through the evaluation committee chair and will be received from the author (PhD), their advisor/supervisor, or other related person. Nomination includes the name and contact points, an online copy of the dissertation, and a short description of why the dissertation merits the award (see above). Web-accessible versions of the nomination and dissertation must be made available. Printed copies may be requested.
After the nomination has been received, the evaluation committee chair will request that the nominator obtain two external referee reports. It is suggested that these reports be completed by knowledgeable persons other than the author, their advisor/supervisor or similarly related person.
A decision is made by the evaluation committee by 1 May. The evaluation committee can recommend one award; an award and a runner-up; two joint winners; or other combinations if they think it appropriate.
Awards are ratified by the CS Board. Publicity is made in the CS and other newsletters, and on relevant websites. The short-list of nominated dissertations will also be openly published.
For non-English language theses, it is requested to provide an extended abstract, and (where relevant) pointers to papers associated with the thesis that have been published.
In 2010 the Award totals US$500 in book vouchers from Chapman and Hall/CRC. The winner will be invited to make a presentation in a special plenary session at the CS Annual Meeting. Up to $500 of the Award winner's travel expenses to the Annual Meeting will be covered by CS.
Contact for information and nominations: prinssc (at) jmu (.) edu