I'm thrilled to announce my PhD thesis, Derivation of a General Purpose Architecture for Automatic User Interface Generation has won the John Makepeace Bennett Award (formerly known as the Best PhD Thesis Award) for the most Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation in Australia and New Zealand. My thesis details the research behind the Open Source project Metawidget.
The award is presented annually to the best PhD thesis in Australasia.
At my acceptance speech, I said "this thesis had a strong emphasis on applying novel and emerging technologies to resolve long-standing problems. But it had an even stronger emphasis on doing so in a way that was applicable to industry. We used practitioner interviews, case studies and adoption studies to gather observations. We also ran an Open Source project with a full technical, social and political infrastructure to encourage feedback. This created cycles of reflection and iterative development that guided our Action Research".
David Abramson, Professor of Computer Science at Monash University and Chair of the John Makepeace Bennett Award Selection Committee explained why my thesis was selected as the winner: "The committee was impressed that the research made both fundamental contributions to computer science and practice in industry".
My thanks to UTS Faculty for their support, my supervisor John Leaney for his guidance, and all the industry practitioners who posted forum messages, blogged, tweeted, wrote magazine articles and published papers about my work. Without this feedback, Metawidget could never have been a success. Also thanks to my wife and children for putting up with me during this process!
You can download the full thesis here (for free!). You can also read 'behind the scenes' of how the thesis was structured.