Tim Baarslag appointed as professor Mathematics of Cooperative AI at TU Eindhoven

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has appointed CWI group leader Tim Baarslag as professor Mathematics of Cooperative AI. From 1 June he has joined the Department of Mathematics of Computer Science.

Publication date
7 Jun 2024

Combining Artificial Intelligence and Mathematical Analysis

There is no need to argue the relevance of AI in today’s world. Indeed, over the last couple of years Artificial Intelligence (AI) has drawn an enormous amount of world‐wide attention throughout society. It has captured the public imagination, academic attention, and attracted large business investments. This attention is for a substantial part triggered by the success that several AI applications have obtained in recent years, amongst others in image recognition, natural language processing, game playing (computer games, Go), handwriting transcription, and image‐based medical diagnosis.

Mathematical analysis and decision-making on the other hand has had a tremendous amount of success over the past several decades in helping to understand and solve a broad range of fundamental and business problems, ranging from transportation problems to workforce scheduling problems, from manufacturing problems to radiology problems, and from investment portfolio problems to inventory problems.

The combination of these two fields leads to Mathematics of Cooperative AI, a relatively young research field with many important unanswered questions, where the goal is to develop a general theory for making effective and intelligent joint decisions. It is precisely this field that Baarslag will focus his efforts on. As he himself puts it: “In this appointment, my goal is to act as a bridge between Mathematics and Cooperative AI, by developing a foundational theory for making effective and intelligent joint decisions".


Baarslag's specialty lies in the study of intelligent and autonomous systems that can collaborate through the process of joint decision making. Practical applications include smart energy trading, the Internet of Things, trading platforms, autonomous vehicles, and digital privacy & security assistants. Tim Baarslag currently investigates how negotiation AI can coordinate multiple deals as part of an NWO Vidi grant, called COMBINE: Coordinating Multi-deal Bilateral Negotiations. His research is featured in Science Magazine, Artificial Intelligence, Wired, BBC Technology of Business, AI Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and New Scientist.

Biography and Background

In addition to his work for TU/e, Baarslag is a Senior Researcher and leader of the Intelligent and Autonomous Systems group at CWI (Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, the national research institute for Mathematics and Computer Science in the Netherlands) and an Associate Professor at Utrecht University. He is also a Visiting Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a Visiting Associate Professor at Nagoya University of Technology, and Visiting Fellow at the University of Southampton.

He graduated from Utrecht University with a MSc in Mathematics and a BSc in Computer Science (both cum laude). He obtained his PhD (cum laude) from Delft University of Technology in 2014 on the topic of intelligent decision support systems for automated negotiation. Between 2014 and 2016, he was a Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, where he worked on negotiation techniques for obtaining meaningful consent.

Awards and memberships

He is the leading developer of Genius, a negotiation environment for the design and evaluation of automated negotiators. He is also an organizer of the annual International Automated Negotiating Agent Competition. Tim is a member of The Young Academy and the Council for Natural Sciences and Technology of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a founder member of the Netherlands Academy of Engineering and the ACM Future of Computing Academy for outstanding early career researchers. He serves as a PC member in top-level conferences such as AAAI and IJCAI, and as a reviewer in high-ranking journals such as Artificial Intelligence and JAAMAS. He is a recipient of the Cor Baayen Young Researcher Award by The European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics and has been named an Academic Pioneer by Elsevier, Young Talent by The Financial Daily, and Science Talent by New Scientist.