As of 1 February 2018 the Executive Board has appointed Professor Joost Kok Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS). He will succeed Prof. Peter Apers, whose term of office as Dean expires at 1 February 2018.
As Professor of Computer Science, Joost Kok is conducting research on data science. He develops computer software for various applications, such as making data analysis as efficient as possible. Over the last twenty years, Prof. Kok’s research interests have included children’s behaviour in school playgrounds, detecting irregularities in healthcare insurance claims, and improving the performance of Dutch top athletes.
In addition to his role as Professor of Computer Science, Joost Kok is Professor of Medicine. He is also the man behind the Leiden Centre of Data Science and the Sport Data Center, of which he is the director. For eight years, Joost Kok was the scientific director of the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). For a period of ten years prior to his appointment as scientific director, Professor Kok was programme director for all Computer Science educational programmes at Leiden University.
In addition to his professorial work, Joost Kok performs various ancillary activities. For instance, he is a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW). He is chairman of the Council for Intelligent Data Analysis (IDA) and a member of the board of the Institute for Programming and Algorithms research school. Prof. Kok also represents the Netherlands in the International Federation for Information Processing, where he sits on the Artificial Intelligence Technical Committee.
He is also a board member of the Dutch Foundation of Neural Networks and the Nederlandse Haendelvereniging. In addition, he holds the post of lecturer at the Abo Akademi University in Finland.
Joost Kok is also actively involved in various scientific journals. For instance, he serves as the editor-in-chief of Natural Computing, a Springer Verlag journal. The other journals he edits include Fundamenta Informaticae, Elsevier Science’s Theoretical Computer Science, the Journal of Universal Computer Science and the book series Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications.
The Executive Board is particularly delighted with the appointment of Joost Kok. Executive Board President Victor van der Chijs notes that: “Joost Kok is an outstanding scientist with a formidable track record. He has an excellent external network and a wealth of new ideas for setting up multidisciplinary education and research. He gets right to the heart of issues, and the way in which he operates and forms partnerships is characterized by a cooperative style. These are the elements that we were seeking. We have great confidence in the way he gets things done, and very much look forward to working with Joost.” The Rector Magnificus, Thom Palstra, adds: "Joost Kok brings a fresh sound and perspective to the faculty. He has demonstrated a creative and innovation-oriented ability to make education and research blossom. He is very effective in bringing different disciplines together and has initiated innovative programmes in various areas including health, sport and traffic. In addition, the planned new-style Digital Society institute will enable him to coordinate effectively with those working in the field."
Prof. Kok had this to say about his appointment: "The University of Twente and, in particular, the faculty of EEMCS suits me. EEMCS faculty has excellent fundamental research with impact in society and education has been developed in an innovative way. That combination is very attractive to me. I expect to play a binding role within the faculty, between the faculties and in the university's relationship with the outside world. It is an honor to take on the role of Dean for this faculty.”