Descartes-Huygens Prize for François Hammer and Ieke Moerdijk

19 March 2012

François Hammer and Ieke Moerdijk will be awarded the Descartes-Huygens Prize on 3 April 2012. They are receiving the prize for their outstanding research and their contribution to Franco-Dutch relations. The Descartes-Huygens Prize (EUR 23,000) is intended to cover the cost of their research residence in the Netherlands and France respectively. The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded the first annual Descartes-Huygens Prize in 1995.

François Hammer (born in 1958) is currently the leading French researcher in optical/near-infrared instrumentation. He is famed for his knowledge of stellar formation. Hammer has worked at the Paris Observatory since 1987, where his scientific publications have made him one of most-cited researchers. The Descartes-Huygens Prize will enable him to pay a number of working visits to the Anton Pannekoek Astronomical Institute at the University of Amsterdam and to give lectures at the three other institutes associated with the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA).

    Francois Hammer© Pierre Maraval 1000 Checheurs

Ieke Moerdijk (born in 1958) is Professor of Algebra and Topology for the Faculty of Science, Mathematics and Information Science at Radboud University Nijmegen. A member of the Royal Academy, Moerdijk received his PhD in 1985 and is regarded as one of the founders of algebraic set theory. His research focus in recent years has been on algebraic and differential topology. He has authored various authoritative books and articles on this subject. The Descartes-Huygens Prize will enable Moerdijk to apply his knowledge of topology to the development of programming languages at Paris Diderot University. The prize will also make it possible for him to continue his successful research at the research institutes of the universities of Nice, Paris XIII and Toulouse.

Ieke Moerdijk© Universiteit Utrecht

The French and Dutch governments established the Descartes-Huygens Prize in 1995 to recognise researchers for their outstanding research and their contribution to Franco-Dutch relations. The prize is awarded on a rotating basis to researchers in the humanities and social sciences, the natural sciences, and the life sciences. The prize money, EUR 23,000, is intended to cover the cost of a French researcher’s research residence in the Netherlands, and a Dutch researcher’s research residence in France. The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences selects the French candidate for the prize. The Dutch candidate is selected either by the Académie des Sciences or (if the prize is being awarded in the humanities and social sciences) by the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques.