2006

Amsterdam scientists in Nature: Global warming could destabilize plankton

Global warming of the surface layers of the oceans reduces the upward transport of nutrients. This generates chaos among the plankton, according to researchers of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI), and the University of Hawaii (USA). In Nature of 19 January 2006 they present advanced computer simulations, which predict that plankton growth will show strong fluctuations when the supply of nutrients is reduced. This prediction was rather unexpected: It contradicts the idea that deep plankton would represent a very stable system.

First Van Wijngaarden Awards for Lynch and Diaconis

Computer scientist Nancy Lynch and mathematician-magician Persi Diaconis were awarded the first two Van Wijngaarden Awards during the celebration of CWI's 60th anniversary on February 9, 2006. Some 250 guests - scientists, alumni and other relations of CWI - enjoyed the evening in the Oude Lutherse Kerk in Amsterdam.

Jan Karel Lenstra: 'We need a Minister for Science and Technology'

Jan Karel Lenstra, general director of CWI, pleaded for a Minister of Science and Technology in his speech during the festivities of the 60th anniversary of the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica, on February 9, 2006, in Amsterdam. Lenstra: "Simply put: The country needs innovation, so it sets out to turn the brains of today into the money of tomorrow, on a 24-hour basis. True innovation comes from curiosity, serendipity and good conditions, not from pressure or from a law that the Netherlands will be number 1 in five years from now.

CWI rated 'excellent' in evaluation

The Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI) is rated 'excellent' by an international evaluation committee. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO announced this in a press release on March 15, 2006. "The combination of mathematics and computer science and fundamental and applied research gives the institute a strong and unique position in the international research landscape," NWO said. NWO subjected six institutes to an external evaluation: ASTRON, CWI, ING, NIOZ, NSCR and SRON.

Peter Boncz nominated for ICTRegie Award 2006

On Monday 10 April 2006, during the opening of the Kennismarkt of the ICT Kennis Congress in Amsterdam, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science Maria van der Hoeven, announced the three nominees for the ICTRegie Award 2006. Amongst them is dr. P.A. (Peter) Boncz, researcher at the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica in the Information Systems research group. The Award will be presented on 16 May 2006.

Better train planning with mathematical models

Better planning for trains with mathematical models - this is the subject of the dissertation of Gabor Maroti of the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI). Maroti studied several optimization models for tactical and operational planning and maintenance routing. He looked at efficiency, robustness (immunity for failures) and service level for clients - their chances to have a seat. With the models, NS can compare these aspects quantitatively and choose a good balance between them.

First .nl domain cwi.nl celebrates 20th anniversary

The first .nl domain in the Netherlands, 'cwi.nl' of the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, celebrates its 20th anniversary on May 1, 2006. On April 25, 1986, CWI took care of registering the NL top level domain in the framework of its international and national networking activities. This first country domain was registered by Piet Beertema (CWI), who played a central role within EUnet - the predecessor of the European Internet. The first domain he registered was cwi.nl.

Krzysztof Apt elected as Member of the Academia Europaea

Prof. dr. Krzysztof Apt (CWI and Universiteit van Amsterdam) has been elected as Member of the Academia Europaea in the Informatics Section on April 26, 2006. This section has 66 members of whom seven scientists come from the Netherlands. Other new members of this section are Prof. dr. Jan Bergstra (Universiteit van Amsterdam and Utrecht University) and Prof. dr.

Fokker F27 Friendship wins 2006 Best Dutch Design Election

The Fokker F27 Friendship won the Best Dutch Design Election on May 5 2006, organized by the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad together with the Premsela Stichting. At the time, the Mathematisch Centrum - now CWI - made so-called flutter computations for the wings on one of the first computers in the Netherlands. Flutter is a vibration which can vary from a light 'buzz' to serious damage or destruction of the aircraft. With the computations the form of the wing could be adapted to minimize flutter. Over five thousand people chose the F27 design from 25 nominees.

Mathematics of swimming bacteria - lecture Jens Timmer at CWI

How can bacteria find their way towards a source of sugar? This was the topic of the lecture 'Design Principals of a Bacterial Signalling Network' of Professor Jens Timmer of the University of Freiburg in Germany. He spoke at CWI during the first seminar in the Seminar Series Systems Biology of the Bio Centrum Amsterdam, on Monday 8 May 2006.

Peter Boncz wins ICTRegie Award 2006

Analyzing complex databases in record time - for his searching techniques Peter Boncz (CWI) won the ICTRegie Award 2006 on May 16. Martin Rem, chair of the jury said: "The challenges for Peter Boncz were not only scientific. The real art was coupling research results to a convincing business model. And he succeeded. With the developed knowledge CWI could launch a successful spin-off company: Data Distilleries, now taken over by SPSS. Boncz showed that the actual application of scientific knowledge in the field of computer science can lead to impressive results."

Ute Ebert member of Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities

Ute Ebert has been invited to become a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen) in Haarlem, the oldest academic society in the Netherlands. Established in 1752, the society aims at promoting science by awarding prizes and stipendia. Nowadays, it aspires to bridge the gap between science and society.

FOCUS and GLANCE subsidy for CWI

NWO granted two FOCUS subsidies to CWI researchers. FOCUS is the open part of the Bsik programme BRICKS, which has been developed by CWI and NWO Physical Sciences to stimulate fundamental computer science research. The programme will deliver important building blocks for the computer of the future.

Invited lecture Bert Gerards at ICM 2006

Bert Gerards will give an invited lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) 2006 on 28 August in Madrid. It is a great honour to speak at ICM, the most important conference for mathematicians in the world with thousands of participants. The conference is organized every four years by the International Mathematical Union. Bert Gerards is cluster leader at CWI and part-time professor at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven.

Dion Gijswijt nominated for prestigious Tucker Prize

Dion Gijswijt, former PhD student of Lex Schrijver, was nominated for the A.W. Tucker Prize by the Mathematical Programming Society. The jury announced this during the International Symposium on Mathematical Programming (ISMP) 2006 in Rio de Janeiro on 31 July. The Tucker Prize is awarded every three years for 'an outstanding paper or thesis solely authored by a student'. Gijswijt was one of the three international finalists for his thesis, called 'Matrix algebras and semidefinite programming techniques for codes'. He was seconded at CWI from 2002 until 2005.

Better internet connections possible by means of formal methods

A reliable internet connection − that is what users are looking for. Bahareh Badban, PhD student at CWI, studied methods to improve TCP, one of the most important protocols for Internet applications. She will defend her thesis 'Verification Techniques for Extensions of Equality' on 7 September 2006 at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Gödel Prize winner Saxena appointed at CWI

Computer scientist Nitin Saxena will start as a postdoc researcher at CWI on 1 September 2006. Saxena is well known as co-author of the article 'PRIMES is in P', which received a lot of media attention the last few years. Together with Manindra Agrawal and Neeraj Kayal he won the 2006 Gödel Prize for this 'outstanding journal article in theoretical computer science' in April and, by that, is the youngest Gödel Prize winner ever. He also won the 2006 Fulkerson Prize.

Jan van Eijck appointed NIAS Fellow

Jan van Eijck has been appointed NIAS fellow on 1 September 2006. For five months he will be engaged in research on Games, Action and Social Software at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) in Wassenaar. During this period, scientists from different disciplines - philosophy, logic, computer science, psychology, and economics - collaborate in an intensive interactive setting to find a more unified view of social mechanisms.

New BRICKS website online

During the BRICKS Project and Advisory Board meeting on 3 October 2006 the new BRICKS website www.bsik-bricks.nl has officially been launched. The website offers all sorts of background information on BRICKS, and provides an overview of the 33 research projects and its people involved. Also publications and research highlights can be found.