We conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generate new knowledge and convey it to industry and society. Our focus is on four areas of fundamental research.

Research within CWI is organized in 15 research groups. They focus on four areas of fundamental research:

  • Algorithms: The digitalization of society and the omnipresence of computers bring new challenges and opportunities for algorithms.
  • Data and Intelligent Systems: The growth of data and increasingly complex processes require advances in data management and intelligent autonomous systems.
  • Cryptography and Security: The more society digitalizes, the more important it becomes to guarantee the security and privacy of all digital information and its processing.
  • Quantum Computing: The development of quantum computer hardware simultaneously requires the development of quantum computing algorithms and software.

Below you will find an overview of our research groups. Click on a specific group for more information.

Algorithms and Complexity

Designing quantum software for future quantum computers, using fundamentally different techniques and approaches based on superposition, interference and entanglement.

Computational Imaging

Developing the next generation of 3D imaging – enabling scientists to look further into objects of all kinds.

Computer Security

By using a fundamental approach for security engineering, we build trust. We study how to secure computational environments in the presence of strong adversaries where we formally model security guarantees such as privacy, integrity, correctness, and more.


Investigating how cryptologic methods can contribute to solving security issues, for example through encryption, digital signatures and secure computation.

Database Architectures

A leading data systems research group, active in the broad area of data (management) systems and infrastructure for supporting data science.

Distributed and Interactive Systems

Facilitating and improving the way people access media and communicate with others and the environment, in areas such as wearable technology and smart textiles, immersive media, languages and infrastructures.
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Evolutionary Intelligence

We design and apply biologically inspired, self-learning systems to solve complex real-world problems.

Human-Centered Data Analytics

The HCDA group focuses on exploring human-centered, responsible AI in culture and media to ensure inclusive digital systems that promote diversity and combat misinformation.

Intelligent and Autonomous Systems

Studying generic and fundamental mechanisms that enable the emergence of various degrees of organization, intelligence and autonomy in complex systems, and apply them to concrete problems of societal relevance.

Machine Learning

Focusing on how computer programs can learn from and understand data, and then make useful predictions based on it, using insights from statistics and neuroscience.

Multiscale Dynamics

Combining scientific computing with model reduction and machine learning, with particular focus on plasma dynamics in lightning and space weather, and in high voltage and plasma technology.

Networks and Optimization

Developing algorithms to tackle complex optimization and large scale data-analysis problems by combining techniques from mathematics and computer science.

Scientific Computing

Investigating and developing mathematical methods to simulate and predict real-world phenomena with inherent uncertainties, targeting applications in climate and energy.

Software Analysis and Transformation

SWAT studies software systems: their design, their construction, and their inevitable evolution. Our mission is to learn to understand software systems and to improve their quality. We focus on complexity as the primary quality attribute of software systems.


Developing and studying probabilistic, operational and statistical models to model, describe, and improve communication, energy, information, logistics, and transportation systems.

Research focus areas

CWI focuses on four areas of fundamental research.
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