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Spinoza Prize for Leiden statistician Aad van der Vaart - published on (18-6-2015)

image Aad van der Vaart, professor of Statistics at Leiden University, has been awarded the NWO Spinoza Prize for his groundbreaking research in statistics. Van der Vaart conducts fundamental research on models that can help, for instance, to identify genes that play a role in cancer.

Four Spinoza laureates

NWO announced the Spinoza laureates during the Bessensap scientific event in The Hague on 12 June. The other three laureates are Prof. René Janssen, professor of molecular materials and nanosystems at Eindhoven University of Technology, Prof. Birgit Meyer, professor of religious studies at Utrecht University, and Prof. Cisca Wijmenga, professor of human genetics at the University of Groningen.

Laudation of Aad van der Vaart

Aad van der Vaart (1959) deserves this most prestigious scientific prize in the Netherlands because he is an international leading authority in the research field of mathematical statistics, says the NWO in its laudation. His books on estimation theories are highly influential works, while his applied statistics make an important contribution to areas such as medical imaging and statistical genetics. Fifteen years ago, he drew wide attention in the Netherlands to nonparametric Bayesian statistics, and it is partly thanks to his efforts that this branch of statistics has now developed into a key research field, continues the laudation.

About the Spinoza Prize

The NWO Spinoza Prize is the highest Dutch award in science. NWO awards the prize to Dutch researchers who rank among the absolute top of science. NWO awards the NWO Spinoza Prizes each year to researchers working in the Netherlands and who according to international standards belong to the absolute top of science. The Spinoza Laureates perform outstanding and ground-breaking research, which has a large impact. They inspire young researchers. They receive 2.5 million euro each for scientific research. (source: www.nwo.nl)

The NWO Spinoza Prizes will be presented at an award ceremony on Monday 14 September 2015 in the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague.


Death of Mathematics student Willem Obbens - published on (18-6-2015)

With dismay we took note of the sudden death of

Willem Obbens

Student and student assistant in Mathematics, Leiden University

Willem obtained a double bachelor degree in Mathematics and Computer Sciences at Leiden University. Since September, Willem was a Master student in Mathematics. He also worked as a student assistant at the Mathematical Institute. We know Willem as a cheerful, intelligent and involved student with his study and study association.

We are very sad to his untimely death, but grateful that Willem's talent and passion for mathematics could flourish with us.

Our sincere condolences go out to Willem's mother, brother, sisters, grandparents, family and friends.

The management and staff of the Mathematical Institute, Leiden University

Leiden, 6 May 2015


Richard Gill member of FQXi - published on (18-6-2015)

Prof. Dr. Richard Gill has recently joined as a member of the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi). FQXi is an international association of scientists who explore the foundations of physics and cosmology. Among others, Roger Penrose (University of Oxford), Gerard ‘t Hooft (Utrecht University), Anton Zeilinger (Austrian Academy of Sciences) and Nicolas Gisin (University of Geneva) are currently members of FQXi.


Membership KHMW Jacqueline Meulman - published on (18-6-2015)

The ‘Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen’, Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities, has nominated Prof. Dr. Jaqueline Meulman as a member. This society was established in 1752 and is therewith the oldest “scientific society” of The Netherlands. For more than 250 years it actively contributes to bridge the gap between science and society.


Djordjo Milovic wins KWG award - published on (13-5-2015)

image Djordjo Milovic has won the KWG award for PhD students during the 51st Dutch Mathematical Congress, which took place on 14 and 15 April 2015 in Leiden. Six PhD students were able to present their work during a minisymposium on April 15th. The jury consisted of prof. dr. Hendrik Lenstra (chair, retired professor Leiden University), Prof. dr. Mark Peletier (Technical University Eindhoven) and Prof. dr. Harry van Zanten (University of Amsterdam). Important criteria were that the presentations had to be interesting for the general mathematical audience, but also to the none-mathematical spectators. Djordjo Milovic is PhD student at the Mathematical Institute of Leiden University, supervised by Prof. dr. Peter Stevenhaven (Leiden University) and Prof. Étienne Fouvry (Université Paris-Sud). With his presentation “On the 2-part of class groups of Z[√−2p] for p ≡ 3 mod 4” Djordjo convinced the jury and he went home with a trophy and a cash prize.


Public lecture complex networks by Frank den Hollander - published on (13-5-2015)

On Thursday 12 March 2015, prof. dr. Frank den Hollander gave a public lecture at Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris with the title “Comment mieux compendre le comportement des réseaux complexes?”, (“How to understand the behavior of complex networks better?”). The lecture was organized as part of a semester concerning “Disordered Systems, Percolation and Interacting Particle Systems” at the institute. Around 100 spectators attended the lecture of Prof. Frank den Hollander. The full lecture can be watched here.


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