Herman te Riele, mathematician at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), was appointed Officer of the Order of Oranje-Nassau on Friday 2 December. He received the appointment for more than forty years of scientific research at CWI in Amsterdam. Mayor Pieter Broertjes of Hilversum, where Te Riele lives, presented the royal decoration to him at a symposium on the occasion of his departure at CWI.
Te Riele started his work at CWI in 1971, then still called Mathematisch Centrum. His research on prime numbers was world news in 1999 when a team led by Te Riele cracked the RSA-512 code. RSA-encryption is used by banks and stock exchanges for data protection in digital transactions. Among mathematicians, Te Riele is best known for disproving the Mertens conjecture. This conjecture was a supposed solution to the Riemann hypothesis, one of the seven Millennium Prize Problems in mathematics.
In his speech, mayor Broertjes called Te Riele ‘a pillar of the mathematical society, both nationally and internationally’, especially in his efforts for the Dutch Mathematical Society (KWG) and the European Congress of Mathematics (ECM). Herman te Riele has worked at CWI for the entire length of his career. After 41 years of employment, he will retire on January 1st,2012.
More information: Herman's personal homepage