2015 News

Cooperative behaviour is not instinctive, but learnt

Cooperative behaviour is not an instinctive impulse or deliberate choice, but a learning process. Researchers of CWI and LUISS Guido Carli in Rome showed in an experiment that people living in a low-trust society intuitively choose non-cooperation in games. However, after playing several times their intuitive choices become more cooperative.

Rare events in sustainable energy grids simulated

The transition to renewable energy sources poses new challenges to the reliability of power grids. As renewable energy is very variable, rare combinations of factors might lead to instabilities and even black-outs. Wander Wadman of Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) developed new simulation methods that can determine the probability of such rare events.

Bayesian statistics not as robust as commonly thought

The widely used method of Bayesian statistics is not as robust as commonly thought. Researcher Thijs van Ommen of Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) discovered that for certain types of problems, Bayesian statistics finds non-existing patterns in the data. Van Ommen defends his thesis on this topic on Wednesday 10 June at Leiden University.

Workshop Joy of Coding

Last Friday, CWI researchers Jouke Stoel and Tijs van der Storm (from the research group Software Analysis and Transformation) organized the workshop "Hack your Language with Rascal" at the third Joy of Coding, the conference celebrating the art, craft, science and joy of software development.

Christian Schaffner receives Vidi grant for quantum cryptography

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Vidi grant to Christian Schaffner (UvA/CWI) for his research on quantum cryptography. Schaffner is affiliated with the University of Amsterdam's Institute of Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) and also has a part-time agreement at the Algorithms & Complexity research group at CWI.

Big Data at High Performance

Computer hardware systems have evolved from monolithic machines in which each component performed one specific task, to complex systems with a wide range of heterogeneous components such as spinning disks, SSDs, RAM, and CPUs.

Simulations for nuclear fusion

The plasma inside a nuclear fusion reactor is prone to instabilities due to the extreme temperatures and high magnetic fields necessary for nuclear fusion. The future of nuclear fusion as an energy source depends on a large extent on methods to control these instabilities.

Exploding stars help to understand thunderclouds on Earth

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer – how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was discovered, more or less by coincidence, that cosmic rays provide suitable probes to measure electric fields within thunderclouds. This surprising finding will be published in Physical Review Letters on April 24nd.

W3C presentations on WebRTC and HTML5 Webapps online

On 2 April Dominique Hazaël-Massieux from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) gave two inspiring lectures in Amsterdam on WebRTC and HTML5 Web Apps. The afternoon programme was held at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), the national centre for mathematics and computer science in the Netherlands, where the W3C Benelux Office is hosted.

Efficient Abstractions for Visualization and Interaction

Interactive systems with appealing visualizations are the hallmark of todays, mostly web-based, systems. Under the hood, the implementation of such systems leaves much to be desired which makes them hard to extend and maintain. Atze van der Ploeg, PhD student at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam,

AMC, KiKa and CWI join forces in new research project

The Foundation Children Cancer free (Stichting Kinderen Kankervrij), the Department of Radiation Oncology of the Academic Medical Center (AMC) and the research group Life Sciences of Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) join forces in a new research project to survey radiation-related long-term effects  more accurately than ever before.

Candidate Highly-Versatile Crypto-Systems Less Secure

A handful of recent cryptographic proposals rely on the conjectured hardness of the following problem in the ring of integers of a cyclotomic number field: given a basis of an ideal that is guaranteed to have a “rather short” generator, find such a generator. In the past year, Bernstein and Campbell-Groves-Shepherd have sketched potential attacks against this problem.

Researchers develop neural model for working memory

Neuroscientists of Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) and the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) have developed a biologically plausible neural network model that can learn to remember past events in order to use them in the future. The researchers developed their model by combining theoretical principles from machine learning with insights from neuroscience.

European consortium starts research on financial risk models

A European consortium of partners in academia and industry from the Netherlands, Italy and Spain has been granted 1,5 million euro for the Horizon 2020 research project WAKEUPCALL. The project, which  is coordinated by the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, combines academic expertise in financial mathematics with experience from partners in the finance and insurance industries.