Center for Science & Informatica

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The Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam is the national Dutch research institute for mathematics and computer science . It was founded in 1946 as the Mathematisch Centrum (MC) by Jurjen Koksma , David van Dantzig , Hendrik Anthony Kramers , Johannes van der Corput , Jan Schouten and Marcel Minnaert . At the time, the MC was particularly dedicated to applied mathematics and, for example, dealt with extreme value statistics in order to determine the height of the dykes to avoid the catastrophic effects of a storm surge like the flood disaster of 1953 . In 1983 the name was changed to CWI after the Dutch government wanted to promote IT more.

The center has been located in Science Park 123 in east Amsterdam since 2009, next to the NIKHEF (the Dutch national institute for nuclear and high energy physics) and the SARA data center. Before that, it was at 413 Kruislaan.

Currently (2009) 55 scientists are permanently employed there, with about twice as many post-docs and doctoral students. The scientists employed there included Adriaan van Wijngaarden (head of IT from 1947), Edsger W. Dijkstra (1952 to 1962), Jaco de Bakker , Jan Hemelrijk , Andries Brouwer , Cornelis Johannes van Duijn and Herman te Riele . Van Wijngaarden and Dijkstra played an important role in the ALGOL development during their time at the MC . Other well-known mathematicians at the CWI are or were Alexander Schrijver (combinatorial optimization, for example with the Dutch railways), Michiel Hazewinkel , Arjeh Cohen and Monique Laurent . Immediately after it was founded, Bartel Leendert van der Waerden also worked there for a few years while he was officially at Shell.

The first publicly accessible computers in the Netherlands were installed in the MC in the 1950s. There Carel Scholten and Bram Loopstra (who worked together with Dijkstra) developed the ARRA I (1952) and II computer (the latter with Gerrit Blaauw ) and later the Electrologica X1 , which was produced from 1958 by the Electrologica company founded by the Mathematisch Centrum and the insurance company Nillmij became the first computer company in the Netherlands. The Python programming language was developed by Guido van Rossum at the Mathematisch Centrum in the early 1990s . In the early days of the Internet, e-mail traffic between Europe and the USA ran via the MC's VAX computer under the direction of Piet Beertema and was the first national domain name ever to be assigned.

The research fields of the CWI are interdisciplinary with four main departments: Modeling, Analysis and Simulation (MAS), Probability, Networks and Algorithms (PNA), Information Systems (INS), Software Engineering (SEN). In 2007 around two thirds of the budget, which in 2006 amounted to around 16 million euros, came from the Dutch state research organization ( NWO ).

In 2015, a quantum computer group (QuSoft) was set up with the two Amsterdam universities under Harry Buhrman , which investigates the software aspect, while the hardware is researched at the TU Delft. Ronald de Wolf is also in the quantum computer group .

The directors of the CWI included Pieter Cornelis Baayen from 1980 to 1994 and Jan Karel Lenstra from 2003 to 2011 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Algol 60 and Van Wijngaarden especially in Algol 68
  2. Bennie Mols on the CWI, EMS Newsletter September 2007