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Starting 1 January 2020 Alfons Hoekstra will be the new director of the Informatics Institute (IvI) of the University of Amsterdam. Hoekstra, professor Computational Science and Engineering, succeeds Marcel Worring, professor Data Science for Business Analytics.

New director Alfons Hoekstra. Photo: Dirk Gillissen

Alfons Hoekstra has been affiliated with the UvA since 1994 and in 2019 he was appointed full professor Computational Science and Engineering. Hoekstra leads the Computational Science Lab of IvI. His research interests are multiscale modelling and computing, uncertainty quantification, and the Virtual Physiological Human.

IvI

IvI delivers education on the highest level to a large and growing number of students in the Information Sciences. Without exception these students find challenging positions in various profit and non-profit sectors. The institute is also on the forefront of fundamental scientific research and innovation in Information Sciences, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Systems and Security, and Computational and Complexity Sciences. The nine renowned research groups participate in a growing number of public-private-partnerships, mainly in the form of research labs in the Innovation Centre for AI (ICAI).

IvI experienced a turbulent growth under Marcel Worring’s leadership. As it stands now, this growth will continue. Alfons Hoekstra looks forward to keep IvI on its course, and he wants to pay particular attention to further strengthening and professionalizing the current education portfolio; the starting tenure trackers and ample opportunities for growth and development of all scientific and support staff; always aiming at top quality scientific research and; further developing public-private partnerships with a focus on innovation with true societal impact. That is why IvI will continue to invest in strong partnerships at an international, national and regional level such as with the city of Amsterdam and of course within the UvA. In addition, IvI is preparing for the move to the new building Lab42, which will become a hotspot of Information Sciences and co-creation for students, scientists and entrepreneurs

Departing IvI director Marcel Worring. Photo: Dirk Gillissen

Looking back, Marcel Worring concludes that the institute has gone through an exciting, eventful, but also wonderful time in recent years. His directorship should have been entirely devoted to cooperation with the VU in a new building on the Zuidas. After half a year everything turned 180 degrees. A new strategic plan laid the foundation for his further directorship at the time, where the growth in the number of students a non matching growth in staff led to major efforts for everyone in the institute and some less pleasant decisions. It is wonderful to see how resilient the institute has been. Three years later, there is still good cooperation with VU University Amsterdam, the call for cooperation from other parts of the UvA is greater than ever, and we are slowly getting control of the big educational challenge. And in 2022 we are going to a beautiful new building for the Information Sciences.

IvI is doing well and I am confident that with Alfons Hoekstra as director this will be further expanded. He has the drive and good plans. I wish him a lot of success and wisdom for the coming years.