UTFacultiesEEMCSNewsThree new professors appointed at EEMCS

Three new professors appointed at EEMCS

The Executive Board has appointed three new professors for the EEMCS faculty. Dr Nicolette Schipper-Van Veldhoven, Dr Thijs Veugen and Dr Wouter Koolen have all been appointed as of 1 June 2022 and they will assume their positions on a part-time basis.

Chair Sports Risks & Safety
Nicolette Schipper-Van Veldhoven will fill the Sports Risks & Safety chair. The chair aligns with UT's mission to make society stronger with sustainable technologies. Sport makes people stronger, gives them self-confidence and contributes to (pro)social behavior. Unfortunately, bullying or (sexual) harassment also occur in sport. To increase the value of youth sport and reduce problem behaviour, we want to create a pedagogical and safe sport climate that is child-centred and focuses on fun, positive guidance and social safety. Nicolette: "I think it is important to get the theme of pedagogical and safe sport climate high on the agenda of (organised) sport. A chair on this theme gives an extra boost to the 'Kids First' movement. And of course, it is personally a nice appreciation for all the work done so far."

The chair belongs to the faculty of EEMCS and the faculty of BMS, and focuses on research, education and activities that ensure that people can play sports safely, under the supervision of competent people. To this end, it works closely with the education and research group Psychology of Conflict, Risk and Safety (BMS) and with the Human Media Interaction lab (EEMCS). In this way, a multidisciplinary group is created in which computer science and social sciences come together to research, design and evaluate new forms of human-computer interaction. Nicolette is also lecturer Sports Pedagogy at Windesheim University and strategic advisor Youth Sport at NOC*NSF.

Chair of Applied Cryptography
Thijs Veugen will join the EEMCS faculty for the chair of Applied Cryptography. Cryptography is traditionally known for the security of communications between two parties, but recent scientific developments have led to new applications that meet current needs in society. The first recent technique is secure multi-party computation (MPC), which allows parties to jointly compute with sensitive data without disclosing it to each other. Due to the increased availability of data, which is often stored in a fragmented manner, and the rise of AI and machine learning, there is a growing need for the secure sharing of data, which this technique addresses. The second development is the arrival of the quantum computer, which will be able to crack a significant part of current crypto systems. This means that new systems are needed that are quantum-safe (PQC), and that organisations must be helped with the migration of their infrastructure. Thijs' chair will strengthen the cooperation between the University of Twente and TNO, as he has done in recent years at CWI with MPC and PQC, and ties in well with the recently launched public-private partnership TUCCR in the field of cyber security. Thijs: "My goal is to show society the beauty of cryptography and all its fantastic applications."

Chair of Mathematical Machine Learning
Wouter Koolen has been appointed to the Mathematical Machine Learning chair. Wouter develops the theory of interactive learning systems, at the intersection of statistical learning and game theory. His research focuses on 'Pure Exploration': sequential hypothesis testing where learning speeds up significantly if the system can actively determine which experiments it performs to collect data. "The challenge is to capture optimal curiosity in mathematics," Wouter says of the research.

Wouter is a senior researcher in the Machine Learning group at 'Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica' (Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science), and a lecturer in Machine Learning Theory for Mastermath. After earning his PhD at the UvA, Koolen was a postdoc at Royal Holloway and QUT Brisbane, and a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley.