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Sophie Huiberts wins Gijs de Leve Prize

The Dutch national network for operational research, LNMB, has awarded the prestigious Gijs de Leve Prize to Sophie Huiberts, the award’s first female winner. The prize is given to the best PhD thesis in Mathematics of Operations Research over the period of consideration.

“I feel honoured to receive this prize,” she said. “The previous winners are some of the biggest names in Dutch operations research.”

Huiberts did her PhD research from 2017 to 2022 in the Networks and Optimisation group of Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI). She defended her thesis, ‘Geometric aspects of linear programming: shadow paths, central paths, and a cutting plane method’, at Utrecht University on 16 May 2022, within the period of consideration for the Gijs de Leve Prize.

In her PhD research, Huiberts made useful innovations on popular optimisation methods. She said, “These have many applications, from planning baseball tournaments to managing flight plans, from factory processes to collecting garbage.”

Describing the award committee’s reasons for recognising Huiberts, spokesperson Floske Spieksma said, “The committee is enormously impressed that Sophie managed to make breakthrough progress on so-called smooth analysis of the simplex method. She improved her master results in her thesis, thereby beating various recent bounds from the literature proved by eminent scientists”.

Everlasting fame

The Gijs de Leve Prize consists of ‘everlasting fame’ and 1000 euros. It is named after mathematician Gijs de Leve (1926-2009), who is considered the founder of operations research in the Netherlands. De Leve started working at the Mathematisch Centrum (now called CWI) in 1954 and stood at the base of, among other things, the annual MOR conferences and the foundation of the LNMB. In 1997 the LNMB honoured his ‘godfather role’ by installing the Gijs de Leve prize.

Read more at the CWI website


Image from CWI