Lex Schrijver, prominent researcher at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) and Professor of Discrete Mathematics and Optimization at the University of Amsterdam, receives an honorary doctorate from the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest on 13 May 2011. This university has a long tradition of excellent research in mathematics and in particular in discrete mathematics, the research area of Schrijver.
Although most research in discrete mathematics is fundamental, it has several practical applications. An example is scheduling and optimizing the Dutch railway system. In 2007, a completely new railway timetable was introduced in the Netherlands, originating from Schrijver’s research together with Adri Steenbeek. Their work was given the Franz Edelman Award in 2008.
In 2002, Schrijver was awarded with an honorary doctorate from the University of Waterloo in Canada. Next to several international prizes, he received the prestigious Spinoza Prize in 2005, the most distinguished award in science in the Netherlands. In the same year, Schrijver was named Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion.
Schrijver obtained his doctorate at the VU University in Amsterdam in 1977. Before he joined CWI, he was Professor at Tilburg University from 1983 to 1989. Since 1990 he is also Professor of Mathematics at the University of Amsterdam. Schrijver published four books and a large number of articles. He was visiting professor at several universities and is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and of three foreign academies.
The connections of Schrijver with Hungarian mathematicians have been very strong since many years. In 1979-1980, he stayed in Szeged to work with the eminent mathematician László Lovász.