The CWI Best Thesis in Applied Math Award

The Innovation Committee awards the annual CWI Best Thesis in Applied Math Award for BSc and MSc theses that use mathematics to find innovative solutions for companies, government agencies or non-educational institutes. With this award, the Innovation Committee draws attention to the value of mathematics for society.

The 2023 edition is sponsored by the Research Institute for Mathematics & Computer Science in the Netherlands (CWI) and by Chipsoft, a company that develops software for healthcare.

Call for submission for the CWI Best Thesis in Applied Math Award 2023

Does your thesis comply with the following criteria?

  1. The thesis was written as part of a master program at a Dutch university (WO) or a bachelor program at a university of applied sciences (HBO).
  2. The thesis has been written in close cooperation with an external, non-educational party, like a company, a government agency, or a hospital.
  3. The thesis has a clear applied mathematical focus and must contain original theoretical and/or empirical work.
  4. The thesis was finalised (submitted and graded) in the period between May 1st, 2022, and August 30th, 2023, and not submitted before.

If your thesis meets these criteria, it is eligible for submission for the CWI Best Thesis in Applied Math Award 2023.

The deadline for submission is August 30th, 2023 (extended from the initial deadline of July 31st). Candidates should submit their thesis by emailing a PDF version of the thesis to the Dutch Platform for Mathematics (, together with the names of the external party and university/HBO involved and the name of the supervisor on behalf of the university/HBO. Please indicate:

  • Whether you submit for the HBO/BSc category or the WO/MSc category.
  • Whether some form of confidentiality applies to the thesis. Please not that at least part of the work must be open for publication: if you are a finalist, you are expected to present the work and a summary of your work will be published.

The jury, consisting of members with a track record in applied mathematics will assess the theses and select three finalists for the MSc-prize and three finalists for the BSc-prize. The three finalists in each category will pitch their thesis during the Math Community Event in October 2023. During this event, the winner will be chosen by a jury of three top level mathematical professionals.

The author of the winning thesis in each of the two categories will receive an award and €350. The runners-up in each category will both receive €200. Expenses for the Math Community Event will be reimbursed for all three candidates.

The award is organized by the Innovation Committee of the Dutch Platform for Mathematics. For additional information please contact Mark Roest, the chairman of the Innovation Committee (

Best Thesis in Applied Math Award 2022 goes to Gaby Hageman and Teun Druijf

4 november 2022

The finale for the Best Thesis in Applied Math Award took place during the Math4NL Community Event in Utrecht. The three finalists in both the MSc category and the BSc category presented their thesis in a brief pitch of only a few minutes. A jury, consisting of PWN director Wil Schilders, Behrouz Raftari Tangabi from ING, and Corine Laan from Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, made the final decision on the winner in each category.

In the BSc cateogory, the winner was Gaby Hageman. For Erasmus MC, Gaby investigated whether machine learning models could help to better predict whether patients with the Guillain-Barré syndrome are not able to walk independently six months. This thesis was not only selected because the data preparation and model selection were done very thoroughly, but also because Gaby kept the clinical applicability in mind during her research. This results in useful recommendations that are practically applicable.

The other two finalists in the BSc category were Meggie Wijen, who investigated the potential of machine vision to determine a specific characteristic of pork for Vision Partners, and Thomas van Houdt, who developed a planning model for the transport of equipment from each of the locations of Loxam Nederland to their customers and vice versa.

The winner in the MSc category was Teun Druijff. Teun has investigated methods to improve the planning of shunting at the Kijfhoek shunting yard for DB Cargo Nederland. This became an issue now that the operator of the yard has started to provide shunting services to third parties. Teuns work was notable for bridging the gap between practice and mathematics: he nicely translates the shunting operations into a mathematical description and, reversely, gives very practical recommendations for the Kijfhoek shunting yard.

The other two finalists in the MSc category were Shravan Chipli, who developed a method for solving year-round AC power flow simulations for Tennet, and Yanna van der Vlugt, who improved the planning process for patients at Sint Maartenskliniek.

Overall, the quality of the submissions for this award was very high and even selecting the finalists was hard, as was the selection of the winners. This speaks of the very high-quality mathematics research that is done for Dutch companies and institutes.

Best Thesis in Applied Math Award 2021 for Daniel Gomon

2 september 2021

At the first Dutch Mathematics Community Event the Best Thesis in Applied Math Award 2021 was awarded to Daniel Gomon for his thesis “Continuous time control charts: generalizations and an application to the Dutch Arthroplasty Register (LROI)”. Daniels research was aimed at early identification of quality problems in transplantation surgery for the LROI (Landelijke Registratie Orthopedische Implantaten). According to the jury his presentation was clear, also for (relative) layman. The jury especially liked how Daniel showed the pros and cons for each of the methods he had analysed. The Dutch Arthroplasty Register will implement the result of Daniels work, faster detection of problems in the health care around hip prostheses, as soon as possible in order to improve the quality of care.

Maaike Vollebergh and Irene Kuin, the other finalists, also received praise from the jury for their work and presentation. The research of Irene took place in the challenging environment of the judiciary, where mathematics is not commonly used and data availability is limited. She did however develop a method within an Approximate Dynamic Programming framework for the optimal scheduling of law cases. The success of this work is clear as the judiciary is going to fund two PhD-students for follow-up.

Maaike Vollebergh showed with a simple pictogram why the current planning model of the Netherlands Railways doesn’t work optimally. She introduced a new methodology which she tested on the rail network of Noord Holland. The results are promising and the Netherlands Railways already had another master student performing follow-up research.

We congratulate all three finalists for their excellent work and presentation.



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