Leveling Up

On Thursday, December 12, 2017 Mladen overcame the final obstacle on his path to a PhD degree: the thesis defense. If you ask us, a perfect opportunity to take a day off!

We have finally witnessed Mladen ditching his old, worn-out academic title and replacing it with a new shiny one. On December 21, Mladen faced the committee and presented his 5-year long journey in mere 45 minutes. His thesis, titled “Computer-aided Construction and Semantic Search of Question and Answer Collections“, explored how natural language processing and information retrieval methods could be leveraged to create (and in turn use) quality question and answer collections with minimal human effort. A topic of such practical significance sparked a lot of questions from both the committee and the audience and ultimately brought Mladen a brand new PhD degree!

Mladen presenting his thesis.

The defense was followed by a Viking-like feast (perhaps that’s overselling it a bit 🙂 ) for all those people that Mladen holds dear. Besides his family and other TakeLab members, we were extremely glad to see the former members and some of our wonderful students.

Jan and Mladen in the middle (can’t miss the suits). And a whole bunch of (PhD-)students and ex-members.

Through passionate work and dedication, together with the support of his supervisor Jan, Mladen has shown that he is able to overcome any obstacle on his way to becoming a great natural language processing researcher. This long journey, although sometimes difficult, ended in the best way possible: with a PhD degree in hands and friends around him. Now, who knows what life’s got in store for him. 🙂