Prof. Maarten de Rijke has been University Professor of AI and Information Retrieval at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) since 1 September 2018.
The last decade has witnessed an exponential growth in the amount of information. As University Professor, De Rijke will focus on developing new algorithms for connecting people to information. By using artificial intelligence, the interaction between information systems and users can be used both to dynamically adapt information to the user and to improve systems. The underlying algorithms learn from interactions with users and the users’ behaviour in response to system actions, giving rise to ‘self-learning search engines, recommender systems, and conversational agents’. The aim is to use AI techniques to develop algorithms that can be applied across domains.
Maarten de Rijke (1961) has been affiliated with the UvA since 1998. In 2004, he was appointed professor of Information Retrieval at the UvA’s Informatics Institute. In early 2018, he was named director of the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI), which focuses on the joint development of AI technology through industry labs with the business sector, government and knowledge institutes. De Rijke is also scientific programme leader of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands’ (VSNU) Digital Society programme. In 2017, he received the Tony Kent Strix Award in recognition of his special contributions to the field of Information Retrieval. De Rijke is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and a member of the Executive Committee of eHumanitiesNL, a national platform that brings together expertise and research on the development and use of digital technologies in the humanities and social sciences.
From 2014 to 2017, De Rijke was director of Amsterdam Data Science, a collaborative partnership in the field of Data Science between the UvA, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI). Between 2011 and 2016, he headed a national research team in the area of Information Retrieval as part of the public-private research programme COMMIT. De Rijke is the recipient of, among other things, a Pionier Personal Innovation Grant, a Warwick Research Fellowship, and a large number of grants from NWO and industrial partners.
By establishing the four new chairs in the area of Artificial Intelligence, the UvA aims to give an extra boost to its AI research and teaching. In addition to their university-wide assignment, the new University Professors will also have a faculty assignment. They will be expected to give an impetus to academic developments that transcend the traditional disciplines and thereby make an important contribution to the profiling of the university.