Three NWO TOP grants for computer science and mathematics

Three Faculty of Science researchers have received an NWO TOP grant. The grants allow computer scientists Marc van Kreveld and Ronald Poppe and mathematician Carel Faber to do innovative research in the coming years.

More Content with Geometric Content

Marc van Kreveld receives a TOP C1 grant for the project “More Content with Geometric Content”. With two PhD candidates and one Postdoc, he will study two main themes: geometric measure design and algorithms, and geometric content generation with provable properties. The link between these two topics is that properties of generated content can be specified using geometric measures. Geometric content is necessary in for example virtual world generation and in benchmark development for testing geometric models.

ARBITER: Automated Recognition of Bodily Interactions

The automated understanding of human behaviour is a scientific challenge with many applications in society, such as in social surveillance and health care. However, videos of social encounters cannot yet be automatically analysed in sufficient detail, for example to distinguish a drug hand-over from a friendly handshake. In his NWO TOP C2 project, Ronald Poppe will study quantitative representations of bodily interactions, and the automated recognition of such interactions from video. He will develop computational models to describe these interactions that allows for a robust and detailed classification of interactions in both space and time.

The cohomology of the moduli space of curves

With his TOP C1 grant, Carel Faber will investigate the cohomology of the moduli space of n-pointed curves, i.e. curves of a given genus g with n selected points (two by two distinct). The moduli space of curves is not only important in algebraic geometry, but also in complex geometry, differential geometry and theoretical physics (via string theory). For g less than or equal to 2, there is already a satisfactory answer. Faber wants to find an answer for genus 3 and start on higher genera. For half the cases in genus 3, there is already a concrete conjecture. Everything indicates that this conjecture is correct, but it is not yet proven. For the other half, which seems to be much more difficult, such a conjecture does not yet exist; finding an explicit conjecture would already be great progress.