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Program recognizes patterns without prior knowledge

Identifying unknown composers, automatically recognizing languages, finding the origin of new strains of viruses. These are just a few examples of the many possibilities of the CompLearn Toolkit, a compression based pattern recognition program made by CWI researcher Rudi Cilibrasi, available since October.

BSIK funding for CWI projects

The Dutch government has allocated 12 million euros to the BRICKS project as a part of the BSIK investment program. The Ministry of Economic Affairs announced this on November 28, 2003. BRICKS is coordinated by CWI. Furthermore, the institute participates in two other ICT projects selected for BSIK funding, MultimediaN and Virtual Lab e-Science.

Successful editions CWI in Bedrijf & Open Day Sciencepark Amsterdam

The 2003 edition of CWI's business day CWI in Bedrijf on October, 17 featured a novelty: Erik Huizer of NOB Cross Media Facilities demonstrated the set top box that will be used in several Dutch internet video pilot projects. This device shows DVD quality web broadcasts like NOB's First Mile TV on an ordinary television screen. The demonstration was part of Huizer's presentation on the current state of affairs of internet video broadcasting.

CWI identifies causes of congestion in communication networks

CWI's Ph.D. student Miranda van Uitert has identified a number of causes of congestion in Generalized Processor Sharing (GPS) communication networks. GPS is a technique to schedule incoming network traffic at switches. Bandwidth is assigned to different types of traffic according to pre-defined weights. GPS allows the network operator to prioritize traffic types that require small delays like voice data over less demanding types like e-mail.

Fifteen years Internet in Europe

On Monday, November 17 2003, it is exactly fifteen years ago that Europe was connected to the Internet. This connection was established at CWI, the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science in the Netherlands. The institute was the first non-American organization to gain access to the American science network NSFnet, which was the equivalent of Internet at the time. The connection was a result of extensive negotiations with the American Internet administrators, in particular by CWI's network manager Piet Beertema and his colleagues.

Image processing reveals both large objects and details

PhD student Gemma Piella has developed a technique that shows large objects and small details in the same image. Normally, the amount of detail in a picture depends on its scale. For example, from a distance a forest looks like a green surface. When approaching, more details like trees, branches or even individual leaves appear, but you lose sight of the bigger picture. To solve this problem, Piella modified the wavelet transformation image processing technique. The resulting transformation retains both small and large elements by utilizing geometric information.

VIDI grant for Mark Peletier

The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a VIDI grant to CWI researcher Mark Peletier for his mathematical research of the aggregation of molecules. Particular molecules form flat or stringlike structures, instead of shapeless lumps. Lipid molecules for example, aggregate in this way to form cell membranes. These structures are essential to the way living cells function.

Ronald de Wolf first Dutch winner Cor Baayen Award

Ronald de Wolf first Dutch winner Cor Baayen AwardCWI-researcher Ronald de Wolf has won the 2003 Cor Baayen Award. He is the first Dutch scientist to win this ERCIM award for the most promising European researcher in computer science or applied mathematics. The award ceremony took place on November 5, 2003 during the ERCIM Meeting in Luxemburg. The prize, EUR 5000, was introduced in 1995. It is named after former CWI-director Cor Baayen who was the first ERCIM president.

CWI builds new supercomputer

CWI has started the construction of a new supercomputer cluster in the beginning of October 2003. The cluster, consisting of 48 dual and quad AMD Opteron systems, is the first quad Opteron cluster in the Benelux. The new supercomputer, funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO, is expected to be operational in two months.

CWI contributes to next generation web forms

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released a new Recommendation for online forms called XForms 1.0. Surfers can use these forms to submit information on websites. CWI-researcher Steven Pemberton presided the W3C Working Group that developed the worldwide standard.

Members of Parliament visit CWI

Three Dutch Members of Parliament were shown around at CWI as part of the Parlementaire Amsterdam Dag on September 26, 2003. Management Team member Jan Verwer gave the delegation an overview of CWI activities. Subsequently, CWI scientists Han La Poutré and Herman te Riele informed the visitors on some of the research highlights like ICT and health care and data security. Robert van Liere gave a demonstration in Virtual Reality.

INRIA and CWI launch VLTS benchmark website

Together with the VASY group of CWI's French sister institute INRIA, Stefan Blom (SEN2) has set up the first VLTS Benchmark Suite. This online database contains several very large transition systems (VLTS), systematic descriptions of complex processes like railway safety systems. These descriptions, also referred to as state space graphs, include all possible states of the system and the way these states are related to each other. The benchmarks can be used to the evaluate algorithms operating on state space graphs, like model checkers and visualisation tools.

CWI graduate Jeroen Wackers receives award

The faculty of Aerospace Engineering of Delft University of Technology has elected Jeroen Wackers as the best graduate student of the year 2002-2003. Wackers completed his graduation work in cooperation with the Computing and Control group (MAS2) of CWI. His grade average exceeded 9 of 10. With his thesis on the solution of 2D unsteady Euler equations he graduated with honour. Wackers will continue to work at CWI as an OIO studying the simulation of water-air flows. It is not the first time a MAS2-graduate receives praise.

Science, games and theory at CWI

Crude graphics and a simple idea were enough to create the first computer games like Pong and Space Invaders. Thirty years later, the consumers' desire for life-like graphics and challenging game play make increasingly high demands upon the technology involved. CWI's annual business day CWI in Bedrijf on October 17, 2003 is dedicated to the role of research and science in game design and theory. Experts from the industry and universities will elaborate on topics like virtual reality and intelligent computer opponents.

Prestigious prizes awarded to Lex Schrijver and Bert Gerards

On Monday, 18 August 2003, Lex Schrijver received the Dantzig prize for his complete work in optimization. Furthermore, he and Bert Gerards both received the Fulkerson prize during ISMP 2003 in Copenhagen. Schrijver is one of CWI's top researchers and holds a part-time professorship at the University of Amsterdam. Bert Gerards is theme leader at CWI and is also a part-time professor at the Technical University Eindhoven.

Enabling more effective multimedia search queries

Ph.D. student Menzo Windhouwer has developed a method to enable semantic queries in multimedia databases. To provide access to stored multimedia objects, database systems use annotations, particular features describing the objects. When annotations are generated automatically, several difficulties occur. For example, the significance of annotations like cheerful or grim depends on the cultural context of the user. Windhouwer's feature grammar system can handle these ambiguities.

Willem Hundsdorfer wins Peterich Prize

Willem Hundsdorfer has submitted the best mathematical research proposal in the 2003 Open Competition of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). As a result his project receives the Peterich Prize. This was announced by NWO on July 21, 2003. The proposal was selected from a total of sixty submissions.

Appointment Rob van den Berg

Rob van den Berg has been appointed professor of spatial stochastics at the Faculty of Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam since July 1, 2003. Van de Berg leads CWI's Stochastics group (PNA3). Among his research interests are percolation, a branch of stochastics studying transitions in connectivity in random systems, and telecommunication networks. More information can be found at:

Jan Willem Klop new KNAW member

CWI's Prof. dr. Jan Willem Klop has been elected as a member of the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences). Klop is researcher at CWI and the Catholic University Nijmegen, and professor of Applied Logic at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. In 2002, he received a doctor honoris causa degree at the English University of East Anglia. He cooperated with Jan Bergstra and Jos Baeten on the development of process algebra (ACP). Currently he works in the area of term rewriting systems, amongst others as co-author of the impressive book 'Term Rewriting Systems'.

Farewell Gerard van Oortmerssen

On May 15, 2003, Gerard van Oortmerssen bade farewell to CWI, after many good years as its General Director. CWI paid honour to him with the symposium `Managing in Knowledge Land', where Peter Nijkamp (NWO) spoke, as well as Ben Veltman (AWT), Martin Kersten (CWI and UvA) and Pieter Adriaans (UvA, and chairman of CWI's Governing Board).

Sander Bohte receives NWO grants

The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO has granted a VENI subsidy to CWI researcher Sander Bohte. Bohte will use the grant, approved in March 2003, to further his research on spiking neural networks. These types of networks incorporate the latest insights in functional biological neurons. In theory they are much more powerful than traditional artificial neural networks. Bothe's work is aimed at using spiking neurons in large-scale networks that can learn to deal with symbolic structures like grammar in language or compact descriptions of objects in vision.

New Scientist: Software to unzip identity of unknown composers

New Scientist wrote the following text about recent research of Paul Vitányi and fellow researchers at CWI: "A standard PC file-compression program can tell the difference between classical music, jazz ad rock, all without playing a single note. This new-found ability could help scholars identify the composers of music that until now has remained anonymous."

Mathematics of influenza

CWI contributes to the largest influenza survey ever conducted in the Netherlands and Flanders. The Grote Griepmeting, organized by science website Kennislink, magazine Natuurwetenschap & Techniek and several research centres, maps the spread of influenza and common cold from November 1, 2003 until April 1, 2004. People are invited to contribute to the survey by signing up on the Grote Griepmeting website . On a regular basis they will be asked to report any symptoms like fever, a sore throat or a runny nose.

Lecture Edsger Dijkstra at CWI

Lecture Edsger Dijkstra On Tuesday, October 10, 2000, the famous Edsger Dijkstra will give a lecture at CWI, entitled: 'On avoiding avoidable case analyses'. Prof.dr. Dijkstra is Professor Emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin. In the list of most cited Dutch computer scientists on the Web, Dijkstra holds the second place.Abstract  On avoiding avoidable case analyses

Security of E-commerce threatened by 512-bit number factorization

On August 22 1999, a team of scientists from six different countries, led by  Herman te Riele of CWI (Amsterdam), found the prime factors of a 512-bit number,  whose size models 95% of the keys used for protection of electronic commerce  on the Internet. This result shows, much earlier than expected at the start  of E-commerce, that the popular key-size of 512 bits is no longer safe against  even a moderately powerful attacker. The amount of money protected by 512-bit keys is immense.

W3C accepts New Multimedia Standard for Web Presentations

The W3C consortium has accepted a new standard for multimediapresentations on the Internet. This was announced by Tim Berners-Lee, the consortium's director and inventor of the World Wide Web (WWW), in a press release on the Web ( on June 15. The world-wide W3C consortium was established in order to guide the Web's development.CWI hosts the local W3C office in The Netherlands. The new standard, SMIL (pronounced 'smile'), is a specification language for synchronized, interactive multimedia presentations on the Internet.

CWI Director Van Oortmerssen elected ERCIM President in 1998

At a meeting of the Board of Directors of ERCIM, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, in Bonn on 29 May 1998, CWI Director Gerard van Oortmerssen was elected ERCIM President for a period of two years. Jointly with INRIA (France) and GMD (Germany), CWI founded ERCIM in 1989. The consortium's aim is to foster cooperation within the European research community in informatics and applied mathematics, as well as with the European Trade & Industry sector.

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