From my childhood I have been interested in organizing information—in computers and on paper. In fact, my earliest algorithms and data structures were designed for pen and paper. In my role as mentor of the Arnhems Interscholair Orkest, a youth orchestra with a non-trivial cash flow managed by teenagers, I set up an accounting system based on paper forms designed to be filled out by children. With these forms they could calculate all the numbers they needed for their financial reports. From 1999 to 2004 I worked as a researcher at the University of Utrecht, while completing basic courses (propedeuse) in law and developing, manufacturing, and selling board games as one of the partner-founders of Splotter Games. In 2004 I obtained my PhD for my research on spatial data structures. After that I worked as a researcher at the Karlsuhe Institute of Technology (Germany) and Aarhus University (Denmark), where I gained experience with designing and implementing robust and efficient algorithms for massive data.
Since 2005 I have been working as a scientist at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Through the years I have been teaching and organizing several courses, seminars, lab projects and research projects on algorithms, ranging from the basics to advanced topics such as external-memory algorithms, computations on terrain models, and route planning. I tend to pay particular attention to the benefits and limitations of theoretical models for the analysis of algorithms, that is, how they relate to performance in practice. Currently I am extending my efforts towards new hardware-aware models of computation and to the development of a course on research methods and skills. Occasionally I give guest lectures on external-memory algorithms in other universities. In 2011 and 2014 I was a jury member of the Benelux Algorithm Programming Contest, creating programming challenges and developing test data to evaluate the contestants' solutions.
I have supervised PhD students' and Master students' projects on various topics in space-filling curves, external-memory algorithms, GPU algorithms, automated cartography, computations on terrain models, computer vision, speech recognition, geometric combinatorial optimization, spatial index structures, and more. Since 2011 I have been a member of the computer science department's quality assurance committee, which monitors the contents and procedures of examinations throughout our Bachelor and Master programmes.
Currently I do research into the theory and applications of recursive tilings and space-filling curves, cache-efficient algorithms for mesh traversals in computational science and geographic information science, and schematization in automated cartography. I serve or have served on the programme committees of several workshops and conferences, most recently the 32nd IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE 2016), the 9th International Conference on Algorithms and Complexity (CIAC 2015) and the Schematic Mapping Workshop 2014. I am an editor for the Journal of Computational Geometry and Springer's Encyclopedia of Algorithms.