Dr Cees Snoek of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) has won the Dutch Prize for ICT research 2012. The prizewinner also receives €50,000. Computer scientist Snoek leads a research team working on the development of a smart search engine for digital video: the Media Mill Semantic Video Search Engine.
The Dutch Prize for ICT research was established for scientists under 40, who are conducting innovative research or are responsible for a scientific breakthrough in the field of ICT. The award is an initiative of the ICT Research Platform Netherlands (IPN) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research’s (NWO) Physical Sciences division in cooperation with the Royal Holland Society of Sciences (KHMW).
Snoek is searching for ways to translate words into pixels: generic video is annotated on the basis of recognised persons, objects, scenes and their interaction. He has made enormous progress in trying to achieve this goal during the last decade. The jury was impressed by the quality and scope of Snoek’s work. ‘He is also able to convey his ideas convincingly. He is an enthusiastic and inspiring lecturer, and knows how to convey his research results to a wide audience using plain language,’ according to the jury. The judging was done by the KHMW.
‘Strengthen knowledge exchange with China’
Cees Snoek: ‘I'm pleasantly surprised. This has really been a fantastic year for me and the research team. There is so much happening in the field of video retrieval both nationally and internationallu. It is important to share this knowledge with each other. I therefore intend to use a portion of the prize money to invite leading researchers from the US, for example, to give lectures on developments in our field and multimedia developments. We also want to strengthen knowledge exchange with China and set up collaborative research projects. In addition, I want to offer my PhD students the opportunity to buy extra hardware, for example, or to go on working visits abroad and attend international conferences.’
The prize money of €50,000 can be spent on ICT research of the recipient’s choice. The NWO also produces a poster together with the winner, which contains an accessible explanation of the winning work. This poster will be distributed to schools and other knowledge institutions. On 30 October, Snoek will receive his award.