Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Salje Medal for outstanding PhD dissertations, Dr Hayane Dahmen and Dr Zhaozhi Qian.
Two medals are awarded by the College each year to the most outstanding PhD (1) in the Arts and Humanities and (2) in the Sciences. Learn about their research here:
Dr Hayane Dahmen, Department of Politics and International Studies
My dissertation explores how the rise of digital platforms and the development of new political tensions will change the way we view competition policy. For many decades, the field has operated in a technocratic silo that believed itself impervious to political pressures. My thesis examines the ways in which this belief will be challenged. In my ongoing research, I focus on how the rise of AI will change the way we think about competition. I am forever grateful to my supervisor, Dr Diane Coyle, and to Clare Hall for these years of learning and growth.
Dr Zhaozhi Qian, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
My research project aims to understand how biological systems change over time in healthcare applications. I developed a structured machine learning approach that combines expert-driven equations with datadriven methods to create comprehensive and transparent models. I applied these methods to determine optimal treatment durations for individual patients and to control epidemics. Additionally, I developed automated algorithms to extract structural characteristics from data, supporting scientific discovery and enabling the modelling of various applications, such as cancer relapse and temporal comorbidity networks.