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Alumnus Artificial Intelligence Oliviero Nardi and alumnus Medicine Jelmer Savelkoel are the winners of the UvA Thesis Prize 2022. The two alumni received the coveted prizes on Tuesday 28 June. This year, as a very special exception, the jury chose two UvA Thesis Prize winners.

Oliviero Nardi (l) and Jelmer Savelkoel


This year, seven faculties nomitated students. Most exceptionally, this year two master students have been chosen as winners: Oliviero Nardi and Jelmer Savelkoel. Oliviero was nominated by the Faculty of Science and Jelmer by the Faculty of Medicine (Amsterdam UMC).

Oliviero Nardi

Oliviero's winning thesis

Oliviero conquered the title with his thesis 'A Graph-Based -Algorithm for the Automated Justification of Collective Decisions'. In short, his thesis focuses on improving the transparency of decision making in groups. For this purpose, he has developed an algorithm using artificial intelligence (AI) methods that generates explanations for why a certain outcome is the right choice based on a number of fundamental normative principles. The jury was very impressed by the complexity and scope of Oliviero's thesis and also by his writing skills.

Jelmer Savelkoel

Jelmer's winning thesis

In his winning thesis, 'A call to action: time to recognise melioidosis as a neglected tropical disease', Jelmer argues that more attention should be paid to melioidosis by giving it the status of a 'neglected tropical disease' (NTD). Melioidosis is caused by the Burkholderia pseudomallei, a bacterium found in soil and polluted water. Jelmer's thesis demonstrates that melioidosis is associated with an enormous disease burden and that the disease should be recognized as an NTD. The jury believes that the thesis has the potential to be of great social importance.

Award ceremony

Prof. dr. Agneta Fischer, dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, was the jury chairman and awarded the UvA thesis prizes. Anna Gimbrère presented the festive ceremony.

About the UvA Thesis Prize

The UvA Development & Alumni Relations Office organises the annual UvA Thesis Prize. Every year, hundreds of talented students compete for the prize. The faculty deans choose the faculty winners. Of all the finalists, one student (in this case two students) wins the coveted prize.