Since 2006 and every five years, CWI presents the Van Wijngaarden Awards to a mathematician and computer scientist of special significance during a festive Soirée.
Van Wijngaarden was director of Mathematisch Centrum (1961-1980), now known as CWI. He has been of invaluable importance for CWI and the evolution of computer science. Van Wijngaarden also laid the foundation for all contemporary mainstream computer languages.
In 2016 CWI celebrated Van Wijngaarden's 100th birthday. In ERCIM News appeared this article on Van Wijngaarden and his role in informatics (copy on CWI's website).
On 2 November 2016, the Van Wijngaarden Awards were awarded to mathematician Sara van de Geer and computer scientist Xavier Leroy. Previous awards went to Nancy Lynch and Persi Diaconis (2006), and Éva Tardos and John Butcher (2011). Each winner receives a bronze sculpture by Hanneke van den Bergh.
The 2021 presentation of the Van Wijngaarden Awards to winners Marta Kwiatkowska and Susan Murphy was cancelled due to corona measures and took place on 3 November 2022.