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Information Studies: Information Systems (track)
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Alumni views

Bouke Huurnink

‘After having attended a whole series of open days, I finally decided to take a Bachelor's in Information Studies at the University of Amsterdam, which seemed like an exciting and challenging environment. After my Bachelor's, I went on to do a Master's in Human Centred Multimedia (HCM), now known as Information Systems, which allowed me to keep doing research. I'm also fascinated by the psychological aspects of this study programme, and multimedia is becoming an increasingly important social issue.'

'Both my parents are Dutch, but I grew up in New Zealand. As a result, my English is better than my Dutch. That's why I've always appreciated the University of Amsterdam's international outlook, and the fact that they've allowed me to submit my work in English.'

'This international dimension is an integral part of the HCM Master's programme: researchers in some of the disciplines are amongst the cream of the international crop. This includes video and text analysis and retrieval, my personal area of interest. As part of my thesis, I developed a system that can search video images without human intervention.'

'I entered the system in an international competition, with participants including major players such as IBM. Out of a total of 15 systems, mine came fourth. Not bad for a lone student, although I must admit the expertise offered by my research group was a great help.'

'At my thesis defense ceremony, the research group offered me the opportunity to pursue a PhD. I wasn't planning on going down that route, as the prospect of another four years on a student salary didn't seem all that appealing. As we talked about the position, however, it turned out that the research project was an exact match with my own personal areas of interest. The collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision clinched the deal: it was simply an offer I couldn't refuse.'

'I'm currently working to develop search technology for video images. Later on, I plan to apply this sort of state-of-the-art research in the business sector. That's exactly what we are trained to do at Information Studies: translate new technology into widely used applications.'