“My heart lies more with methodology than applications”

Gerard Barkema appointed Professor of Simulation of Complex Systems

Gerard Barkema

As of 1 June 2016, Gerard Barkema was appointed Professor of Simulation of Complex Systems at the Department of Computer Science. His previous post was at the Institute of Theoretical Physics. He will continue his duties as the Faculty of Science’s Vice-Dean of Education in addition to his professorial responsibilities.

Since he was an undergrad, Barkema has been fascinated by the combination of Physics and Computer Science. “Many people don’t know that I studied Computer Science in addition to Physics. Since my PhD, most of my work has been in the field of computational physics.” Barkema worked at the Institute of Theoretical Physics for almost 20 years.

There, I worked mainly with applications, but my heart actually lies closer to methodology. Now I can focus entirely on that.

Healthier balance

In addition to his professorial duties, Barkema also wants to serve the department on the policy level. “At the moment, Computer Science doesn’t have the optimal balance between the amount of research and education. I’d like to change that, in part by attracting more research funding for Computer Science. I’ll be very happy if we have a healthier balance in five years’ time.”

Complex Systems Studies

Complex Systems Studies is an interdisciplinary research focus from Utrecht University that approaches complex societal challenges with theories and models from the natural sciences. Its main focus is achieving a better understanding of climate change, spreading of infectious diseases, network dynamics and big data modeling. Complex Systems Studies is an open collaboration that brings together scientists and knowledge centers from a broad range of expertise, including biologists, computing scientists, economists, epidemiologists, geoscientists, mathematicians, physicists and sociologists.

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Complex Systems Studies