In memoriam MC pioneers Blaauw, Kriens and Verhoeff

In March 2018 three former colleagues sadly passed away: Gerrit Blaauw, Koos Kriens and Koos Verhoeff. They did pioneering research at the Mathematisch Centrum (MC) in Amsterdam, currently called CWI.

Publication date: 28-03-2018

In March 2018 three former colleagues sadly passed away: Gerrit Blaauw, Koos Kriens and Koos Verhoeff. They did pioneering research at the Mathematisch Centrum (MC) in Amsterdam, currently called CWI.

Gerrit Blaauw (1924–2018) was a Dutch computer scientist. From 1952 until 1955 he worked at the MC, where he contributed to the design of the ARRA II, one of the first computers built in the Netherlands, under supervision of Aad van Wijngaarden. Blaauw was also involved in the design of the FERTA computer for Fokker. Later in his career he co-designed the architecture of the IBM System/360 mainframe computer. He became a professor at the University of Twente and a member of the KNAW. In 2015, he featured in the movie made by Google in cooperation with CWI, "Remembering ARRA: A pioneer in Dutch Computing". Gerrit Blaauw passed away on 21 March. 

Koos Kriens (1927-2018) was a Dutch mathematician. He was the assistant of mathematician David van Dantzig (one of the founders of the Mathematisch Centrum, the present-day CWI) when they introduced operations research in the Dutch academia, for which Van Dantzig invented the Dutch name ‘Besliskunde’. Together with Van Dantzig he worked on calculations for the optimal dike heights in the Delta works. Kriens worked from 1953 to 1964 at the MC. In 1959 he became here ‘sous-chef’ for mathematical operations research. Later he became a professor at Tilburg University. He passed away on 20 March. An In Memoriam text on Koos Kriens can be found at Tilburg University: https://universonline.nl/2018/03/28/memoriam-jacobus-kriens.

Koos Verhoeff (1927– 2018) was a Dutch mathematician, computer scientist and early computer artist, known for his work on error detection and correction and information retrieval. Verhoeff’s supervisor for his PhD research was Aad van Wijngaarden, former director of MC/CWI. Koos Verhoeff became a professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, as a successor of Max Euwe. He was involved in the Stichting Wiskunst and in Ars et Mathesis, and held exhibitions of his mathematically inspired sculptures. Verhoeff passed away on 19 March.