Sophie Huiberts, former PhD student of CWI, has been awarded the Stieltjes Prize 2021-2022 for the best PhD thesis in mathematics in the Netherlands. In her research Huiberts gained new mathematical insights on popular optimization methods, which have many applications. Huiberts: “From planning baseball tournaments to managing flight plans, from military logistics to collecting garbage”. The other winner is Freek Witteveen, former PhD student at UvA and QuSoft, whose PhD research was also hosted at CWI, for his research on quantum information theory.
Stieltjes Prize 2021-2022 for Sophie Huiberts and Freek Witteveen
Sophie Huiberts, former PhD student of CWI, has been awarded the Stieltjes Prize 2021-2022 for the best PhD thesis in mathematics in the Netherlands. CWI also hosted the other winner, Freek Witteveen.
Astounding new insights
Sophie Huiberts did her research in the Networks & Optimization group of Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI). She defended her thesis ‘Geometric aspects of linear programming: shadow paths, central paths, and a cutting plane method’ at Utrecht University in May 2022. The jury wrote on Sophie’s dissertation: “It offers astounding new insights in several long-standing and highly relevant problems in combinatorial optimization”. Huiberts is currently a Simons Junior Fellow at Columbia University in New York City. In October 2022, an article on Sophie’s thesis work appeared in the French national newspaper Le Monde.
Freek Witteveen did his PhD research hosted at CWI’s Algorithms and Complexity group from 2018-2022. On his research the jury said it “introduces mathematical structures motivated by potential applications of quantum computing in the simulation of quantum many-body systems” and “leads to novel and profound results (that) (…) have drawn international attention. According to expert referees they instigate a new research domain in quantum information theory and are bound to have a long-lasting impact”. Freek is now a post-doc researcher at the University of Copenhagen.
Since 1996, the Stieltjes Prize has been annually awarded for the best PhD thesis in mathematics that is defended at a Dutch university. For this round, a total of 74 theses were submitted. The quality of these theses was so high that two Stieltjes Prizes will be handed out. Both prizes will be awarded during the Dutch Mathematical Congress, later this year. The prize consists of 2,500 euros and is sponsored by the foundation Compositio Mathematica.
The two prize winners will give lectures on 12 April, the second day of the Dutch Mathematical Congress (Nederlands Mathematisch Congres, NMC) 2023 in Utrecht, after a laudatio. Freek Witteveen will talk about 'The mathematics of tensor network quantum states' and Sophie Huiberts on ' Theoretical analysis of (integer) linear programming'. Highly recommended.
- More information on the Stieltjes Prize/Stieltjesprijs (in Dutch)
- Laudatio and Lectures during NMC in Utrecht on 12 April 2023
- The jury report on the Stieltjes Award 2021-2022 for Sophie Huiberts and Freek Witteveen
- CWI's Networks and Optimization group
- CWI's Algorithms and Complexity group
- Sophie Huiberts' research in Le Monde (behind a paywall)
- Sophie Huibert’s thesis ‘Geometric aspects of linear programming: shadow paths, central paths, and a cutting plane method’; promotor Prof. G.L.M. Cornelissen (UU) and co-promotor Daniel Dadush (CWI)
- Earlier news on Sophie Huiberts: New mathematical insights on popular optimization methods, Sophie Huibert’s experience at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, Rising Star Talk at STOC2021, Sophie Huiberts nominated for UU Graduate School of Natural Sciences Thesis Award 2018
- Freek Witteveen’s thesis 'Quantum Information Theory in Many-Body Physics' in the UvA repository; promotores Prof. M. Walter (Ruhr-Universität Bochem) and Prof. E.M. Opdam (UvA).