After working for almost 40 years at the University of Twente, Jan Willem Polderman held his farewell lecture on Friday afternoon, October 6th.
In his lecture, he looked back on his study of mathematics in Groningen and explained his lasting fascination for mathematics. His lecture was (deliberately) interrupted many times by friends and colleagues.
One of the interruptions was done by Henk Nijmeijer. As scientific director of DISC, he thanked Jan Willem Polderman for his work as Chairman of DISC and for his long and many contributions to the course program. For more than 20 years Jan Willem Polderman has been one of the lecturers of the introductory course in mathematical systems theory. Coming January he presents it for the last time. As a token of appreciation, Henk Nijmeijer handed over a gift on behalf of DISC.
From the Department of Applied Mathemaics, Stephan van Gils interrupted the lecture by singing a proof, and, another interruption was made by Hans Zwart to tell a small anecdote of their long time together at the Mathematical System Theory group. Jan Willem has been affiliated with the Mathematical System Theory group of the Department of Applied Mathematics for most of his career.
Hans handed over the gift from the DAMUT, which was appreciated by Jan Willem as he indicated in an e-mail to the DAMUT department stating: " A combination of mathematics and art is something that I like a lot, in particular, if when designed and made by Rinus Roelofs. Not only it looks very nice, but there is also a geometric idea behind it and the self-supporting construction without any glue or nails is really ingenious. This mathematical art piece is the perfect gift to remember the pleasant period that I worked at AM with such nice colleagues and students."
Jacqueline Scherpen who started her scientific career as PhD student within this group, reflected on these early years, and her friendship with Jan Willem growing from it.
Jan Willem ended his career as Programme Director Industrial Design Engineering, and so naturally the final part of his lecture was devoted to that.