Lucas Slot, PhD student at CWI, won the annual KWG prize for PhD students for his research and presentation at the Dutch Mathematical Conference (NMC). The prize, consisting of a trophy and 1000 euro, was presented to him by the current president of the Royal Dutch Mathematical Society (KWG), Barry Koren, in April 2022. This year was the 17th edition of the prize, which was earlier called the Philips Mathematics Prize. It is sponsored by the Compositio Mathematica foundation. Slot is the third winner of the KWG prize at CWI, after Joost Batenburg in 2006 and Erik Jan van Leeuwen in 2008.
Slot studies optimization theory: mathematics that can be used to optimize all kinds of processes, for instance in energy networks, logistics, transportation and finance. His research focuses specifically on applying semidefinite programming to polynomial optimization. This technique has its roots in the work of Hilbert on sums of squares, which feature in his famous list of 23 problems for the 20th century. In modern times, it is used to efficiently compute approximate solutions to hard real-world problems. In his PhD research at CWI, Slot analyses the robustness of these solutions by establishing trade-offs between accuracy and computational effort. He combines methods from several areas in fundamental and applied mathematics to obtain his results.
About Lucas Slot
Slot did his research in the Networks & Optimization group at CWI, under the supervision of Monique Laurent. He previously studied mathematics and computer science at the University of Amsterdam, and mathematics at the University of Bonn. He will defend his PhD thesis 'Asymptotic Analysis of Semidefinite Bounds for Polynomial Optimization and Independent Sets in Geometric Hypergraphs' in September 2022.