Martijn Anthonissen


I am a mathematician and work at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands.

Many things in the world around us can be described with mathematical models. These equations are usually too difficult to solve exactly, but it is possible to solve them numerically. This field is called numerical mathematics or scientific computing. Computer simulations offer a new way to approach science in addition to theory and experiments.

I work in the Computational Illumination Optics group at TU/e. The basic goal in illumination optics is to design an optical system that turns a given light source and into a desired light output. Typical applications are LED lighting, road lights and car headlights.

The industry standard is to design an optical system, use ray tracing to test it, change the design, ray trace and so on. This is quite a slow process.

Our group develops inverse methods that directly compute the required optical system. Our methods are based on advanced physical models describing the interaction of light with lenses and reflectors. The ultimate goal is to develop advanced simulation tools that can be used for virtual prototyping.

For more info see the research section of our group's website.

Our group is a part of the Center for Analysis, Scientific Computing and Applications.

For a list of publications, see my profile at TU/e.


I teach many courses at TU/e, both for maths students and students from other departments. The videos I made for Numerical Linear Algebra are available on YouTube. Some nice applications are shown in Maths can teach a computer to recognize faces, Making sound visible and Recognizing digits written by hand.

I also teach an introductory course on Numerical Methods for students who aim to become a maths teacher at a Dutch high school. These videos (in Dutch) are also available on YouTube.

Making videos for online teaching costs quite a bit of time but it is fun too. I mirror my iPad screen to my computer and use the excellent free OBS Studio software for recording. I can easily switch between slides and webcam or show both at the same time. I import slides in GoodNotes on iPad to present and use my pencil as both a pointer and for writing by hand.

OBS not only features recording videos. It can also be used to live stream on YouTube.

More about me

I love reading books. My favorite authors include David Mitchell, Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Kazuo Ishiguro, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Louise Penny and Robert Harris. Most of the reading I do these days, is actually listening. I have an Audible subscription which is great, because you can listen to audiobooks during travel, loading the dishwasher and many more chores.

I spend many hours cycling around Utrecht on my Cube road bike. To plan nice tours I use the fantastic app Komoot. It features recommendations for nice paths and places by other cyclists and allows for turn-by-turn navigation. For the latter I use my iPhone mounted on my bike with a Quad Lock mount.

I like to use Apple products and have a small collection of old Apple computers: the Macintosh Classic on the photo to the left, the orange iBook that Reese Witherspoon uses in Legally Blonde, the G4 Cube that has even made it to the MoMA in New York, the iMac G4 nicknamed lamp or sunflower and a few more.
I lived in Japan and fell in love with the country and the people living there. Luckily my wife, Lara, shares this fascination and we have been traveling in Japan many times. Lara is really into origami and she posts her foldings on Instagram as @origamitraces.

How to reach me