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Leiden/Huygens prize Fellowships for Ph.D. students with ambitious research plans
51st Dutch Mathematical Congress: 14 and 15 April 2015 at the Science Campus in Leiden
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Ionica Smeets in Dutch television show ‘Zomergasten’ - published on (18-7-2014)

As from 20 July, six people are being interviewed for over three hours for the Dutch television show ‘Zomergasten’ at the VPRO. Ionica Smeets is one of the six guests and obtained her doctorate degree from the Mathematical Institute of Leiden University in 2010. She will be interviewed on 17 August 20h15 on channel Nederland 2. Smeets: "I want to make a tribute to the cleverness. Or rather, an ode to the nerds. I want to show people that give you an idea that you did not have before, of people make it very difficult for themselves. The film I chose is Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson, a man who makes things hard for himself. I will further show Vi Hart math videos from YouTube. In one of the videos, she writes a letter to Nickelodeon, where she complains that the pineapple where SpongeBob lives in, is no real pineapple, because the mathematical pattern it is not correct. "

Michelle Sweering (17) best math girl in the world - published on (18-7-2014)

The Dutch Michelle Sweering became the best math girl in the world at the International Mathematical Olympiad in South Africa. She is the only girl who won a golden medal. The Dutch team was supervised by Birgit van Dalen, who in 2011, received her doctorate degree at the Mathematical Institute of Leiden University, ever since a partner of the Mathematical Olympiad.

The International Mathematical Olympiad took place from 6 to 13 July in Cape Town, South Africa. The Dutch team was exceptionally strong this year: all 6 students achieved a medal. On each of the two competition days, the students were given three tasks of high mathematical level where they could work on for four and a half hours. Michelle was one of only 15 participants who knew how to solve the most difficult task.

Frank den Hollander interviewed by CIRM - published on (19-6-2014)

From 2 to 6 June 2014, Prof. dr. Frank den Hollander has provided 2 lectures during the workshop ‘Recent Models in Random Media’ at the Centre International de Rencontres Mathematique in Marseille (CIRM). This center facilitates workshops for mathematicians throughout the year. During his visit, Prof. den Hollander was interviewed by CIRM about his own mathematical research, the theme of the workshop and his lectures and about the state of mathematics in the Netherlands. The interview is published and can be watched here.

NETWORKS is recruiting researchers and PhD students - published on (24-4-2014)

NETWORKS, a new consortium of 11 researchers from the University of Amsterdam, Technical University Eindhoven, Leiden University and CWI aims to address the pressing challenges posed by large-scale networks using stochastics and algorithms. The focus is on modelling, understanding, controlling and optimizing networks that are complex and highly volatile. For this research, NETWORKS is currently recruiting 14 PhD's 7 PostDoc's and 7 Tenure Track assistant professors. Those who are interested are invited to apply, using the following website: www.thenetworkcenter.nl

The application deadline is 15 May 2015.

Professor Richard Gill at TEDxFlanders “Statistical Errors in Court” - published on (22-4-2014)

In a recent TEDx Flanders event “Statistical Errors in Court”, Statistical Scientist Richard Gill speaks about the case of Lucia de Berk, a nurse found guilty of several murders based largely on statistics. Prof. Gill is widely-known for showing the flawed statistical analysis used to convict her, which ultimately led to her conviction being revoked. During his talk Prof. Gill uses a slide show ‘murder by numbers’, to explain how statistical analysis was used to convict Lucia de Berk and what went wrong with this analysis. Investigation into what happened in this case is essential to prevent it from ever happening again.

You can watch the video here .

Stéphanie van der Pas wins the Leiden University Thesis Awards 2014 - published on (13-2-2014)

image Stéphanie van der Pas won the Leiden University Thesis Awards 2014 with her thesis "Almost the Best of Three Worlds: The Switch Model Selection Criterion for Single Parameter Exponential Families."

She proved that a new method to choose a research model works better than the usual standard method. The most commonly used selection method, the hypothesis test, has some disadvantages. She proved mathematically that the switch criterion, a Bayesian selection method, is more flexible than the known standard method. She looked at consistency, robustness against optional stopping and risk- optimality. After many calculations and formulating a proof of twelve pages the new method appeared to be good in multiple areas.

Van der Pas received the prize, a check for € 3000 , during the Dies Natalis for alumni on February 8, 2014 from Professor Carel Stolker, Rector Magnificus and Chairman of the Executive Board of Leiden University .

The jury described the thesis of Van der Pas, who completed the Master of Applied Mathematics with honors, as "brilliant, humorous and of broad significance for scientific practice ".

Stephanie is currently PhD student at the Mathematical Institute.