16 July 2018

Five Veni subsidies for UU Faculty of Science

Five promising researchers from the Faculty of Science have been awarded Veni subsidies. The young scientists will each receive a maximum of 250,000 euros that will enable them to realise their own research plans over the next three years. These grants from NWO encourage innovative and curiosity-driven research.

Veni researchers must have earned their PhDs within the last three years, and are free to choose the subject of their research. Although the Veni researchers are just beginning their scientific careers, they have already proven to have considerable talent for conducting scientific research. The subsidies will provide the researchers with an important step forward in their scientific careers. They will mainly use the Veni grants to pay their salaries during the three-year research period, and to acquire equipment needed for their research.

This year, a total of 22 Veni subsidies were awarded to researchers at Utrecht University.

The Veni laureates at the Faculty of Science:

Lie algebras and periodic spaces in homotopy theory
Dr. G.S.K.S. (Gijs) Heuts (m), UU - Mathematics
Homotopy theory deals with distortions between geometrical objects, called ‘spaces’. These spaces can be divided into pieces associated with various frequencies, similar to the way a prism divides a beam of light into separate colours. This study will use new algebraic models to understand these monochromatic pieces and to combine them back together again.

Understanding algorithmic performance gaps
Dr. T. (Tillmann) Miltzow (m), UU - Computer Science
Many algorithmic problems, such as the travelling salesman problem, can be solved optimally in the real world, but other computational problems, such as Motion Planning or Sensor Networks, cannot be solved even for minor examples. We aim to explain this gap in performance.

The topology of angle-generating differentials
Dr. Á. (Álvaro) del Pino (m), UU - Mathematics
Many physical systems, like a robot arm or a satellite, can be described by a particle which is subject to a set of constraints. These restrictions can be modelled using a mathematical object known as a tangent distribution. The goal of this project is to classify these distributions and to study their properties using techniques from Differential Geometry and Topology.

Quantum Gravity constraints in the visible universe
Dr. I. (Irene) Valenzuela (v), UU - Physics
Any model that describes our universe must satisfy certain conditions in order to be consistent with a quantum description of gravity. The goal of this project is to prove these conditions in string theory, as well as analyse their phenomenological implications in particle accelerators and cosmology.

Finding solutions for diophantine equations using modern number theory
Dr. S. (Shuntaro) Yamagishi (m), UU - Mathematics
Prime numbers and the theory of diophantine equations have fascinated mathematicians since the ancient Greeks. The Veni researcher aims to use number theory to study these subjects in order to find solutions to certain equations.