Name: Dr Karst Koymans
Education: PhD degree in Mathematics and Logic (Utrecht University)
Position at UvA: Lecturer and Programme director
'I always felt the field of Security and Network Engineering lacked people with academic skills. For a long time this type of work was considered as something you could perfectly well perform with a practical educational background. I disagree with that completely. If you want to do it right, you need to really reflect on what you're doing, see the implications of your actions, design an architecture and a security system that is thought through. On a scale from very abstract to very concrete, Security and Network Engineering is right in the middle. We need abstraction to understand matters on a higher level, but we never loose sight of the practical applications. During this programme, you are constantly translating theory into practice and vice versa.'
'In the master's programme Security and Network Engineering we look for students who are not so much interested in hardcore programming, but more in its applications and implementations. How do you apply different software components in a complex architecture, in such a way that you get a complete working system? And how do you make a system that's not only logical and useful for technicians, but also for less technical users? In this field you have to deal with all sorts of users who have different expectations of what a system should do. That's why we look at various software systems and wonder how we connect them all in a way that works, is scalable and safe.'