Van Wijngaarden Awards for Marta Kwiatkowska and Susan Murphy

Thursday 3 November, computer scientist Marta Kwiatkowska and mathematician Susan A. Murphy have been presented with the CWI Van Wijngaarden Award.

Publication date: 04-11-2022

Thursday 3 November, computer scientist Marta Kwiatkowska and mathematician Susan A. Murphy have been presented with the CWI Van Wijngaarden Award. They received the awards for the numerous and highly significant contributions they made to their respective research areas: preventing software faults and improving decision making in health. The five-yearly award is established by CWI, the national research institute for mathematics and computer science in the Netherlands, and is named after former CWI director Aad van Wijngaarden. The winners received the prize during a festive soirée on 3 November 2022 in the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of CWI. CWI’s Krzysztof Apt and Peter Grünwald gave the laudatio lecture about the winners.

About the award winners

Marta Kwiatkowska (University of Oxford) is a computer scientist who pioneered research on modelling, verification, and synthesis of probabilistic systems. She led the development of the highly influential PRISM probabilistic model checker, which is widely used for research and teaching and which has been downloaded over 80,000 times. In her research Kwiatkowska showed the relevance of PRISM by applying it in several areas, including ubiquitous computing, system biology, DNA computing, and most recently, safety for AI. Marta Kwiatkowska was awarded an honorary doctorate from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and is a recipient of the Milner Award and British Computer Society Lovelace Medal. In 2019 she became Fellow of the Royal Society.

Susan A. Murphy (Harvard University) is a professor of statistics and computer science. Her research focuses on improving sequential, individualized, decision making in health, in particular on clinical trial design and data analysis to inform the development of just-in-time adaptive interventions. She led the development of a new type of sequential trial which is now deployed across many medical areas including treatment of various chronic diseases and addiction disorders. She is the former president of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability, recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the Royal Statistical Society Guy Medal in Silver, as well as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Peter Grunwald, Susan Murphy, Marta Kwiatkowska, Marcel Levi (Chair of NWO), Krzysztof Apt and CWI director Ton de Kok during the award ceremony 3 November 2022.

About the Van Wijngaarden Awards

The five-yearly Van Wijngaarden Award is named after Adriaan van Wijngaarden (1916–1987). Van Wijngaarden was directly involved in the introduction of the computer in the Netherlands and has been of invaluable importance for CWI and the evolution of the computer in our country. He is also one of the founders of computer science in the Netherlands and laid the foundation for several mainstream computer languages. Van Wijngaarden was the director of the Mathematical Center from 1961-1980, currently known as Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI).

It is the fourth time the Van Wijngaarden Awards are presented. Previous awards went to Nancy Lynch and Persi Diaconis (2006), Éva Tardos and John Butcher (2011) and Sara van de Geer and Xavier Leroy (2016). The Van Wijngaarden Award consists of a bronze sculpture by Hanneke van den Bergh.

This year's jury consisted of: Karen Aardal, Peter Apers, Jos Baeten (chair), Sander Bohté (secretary), Remco van der Hofstad and Rineke Verbrugge.