In Memoriam Constance van Eeden (1927 - 2021)

Sadly, on 21 September Constance van Eeden passed away. She was one of the first female scientists at the Mathematisch Centrum (MC) in Amsterdam, currently called CWI, and a world-renowned researcher in statistics. In honour of her, CWI will set up a PhD Fellowship programme for talented female PhD students.

Publication date: 22-09-2021

Sadly, on 21 September Constance van Eeden passed away. She was one of the first female scientists at the Mathematisch Centrum (MC) in Amsterdam, currently called CWI, and a world-renowned researcher in statistics. Constance van Eeden won the Gold Medal from the Statistical Society of Canada in 1990 and many other prizes for her outstanding contributions and was, among others, honorary member of the Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research (VVSOR). CWI is planning to set up a PhD Fellowship programme for talented female PhD students in honour of Van Eeden in 2022.

Constance van Eeden's academic career spans over 50 years, starting in The Netherlands, continuing in the United States and then in Canada where she did most of her work. Van Eeden worked as a Research Associate at the Mathematical Centre, which is now called CWI, in Amsterdam from 1954-1960. She wrote a PhD thesis based on her MC/CWI research under supervision of David van Dantzig and (as an informal supervisor) Jan Hemelrijk, which she defended at the University of Amsterdam on 4 June 1958, graduating with honours (‘cum laude’). During her career, she played a leading role in the development of mathematical statistics in French-speaking Canada, Quebec. Eventually she returned to the Netherlands.

Van Eeden’s research
When Constance van Eeden received the Honorary Membership of the Statistical Society of Canada in 2011 for her exceptional contributions to the development of statistical sciences in Canada, the tribute read: “Professor van Eeden is a world-renowned researcher, recognized for her influential contributions in the areas of estimation in restricted parameter spaces, decision theory, nonparametrics and selection procedures. Her work reveals great intellectual courage, mathematical skill and originality.”

Constance van Eeden PhD Fellowship
As one of the first female PhD students ('avant la lettre') at CWI, Constance van Eeden was an inspiration to and an example for many women that aimed to pursue an academic career in mathematics and computer science. Nowadays, CWI is still very keen on attracting more talented female researchers. To give an extra boost to the recruitment of female PhDs, a PhD fellowship for talented female PhD in honour of Constance van Eeden will be set up in 2022. CWI will offer a PhD position in a scientific area (i.e. mathematics or computer science) of choice. The Constance van Eeden Fellowship will be awarded every two years. 

We remember Constance van Eeden in gratitude.

 

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