I feel like I just levelled-up as a scientist! Yesterday, the wonderful Daniël Fokkinga graduated with a very nice grade!
He contacted me in 2018, because he was interested in working on a project that I had proposed to help me integrate in the ADA research group, after they had ‘adopted’ me as a PhD student. The plan was to apply the paradigm of Programming by Optimisation (PbO) to an algorithm that my co-authors and I had developed for solving Stochastic Constraint Optimisation problems. Marie Anastacio would be my co-supervisor for this project, which was ultimately overseen by Holger Hoos and Siegfried Nijssen. Thus, I would have an opportunity to get acquainted with PbO, and with Marie and Holger, while at the same time helping a student graduate and do some cool, new science.
And that’s exactly what Daniël did! His work was accepted at the Data Science meets Optimisation workshop held in conjunction with IJCAI 2019 in Macau, and I had the pleasure of seeing him present his work there.
After a successful presentation and defence of his work in November 2019, he had completed all the work that he needed to get his MSc degree in Computer Science. Yesterday, we attended his graduation ceremony, after which we had drinks in the pub opposite of the Academic building in Leiden: Barrera.
I’m very proud of Daniël (and of myself) for achieving this milestone, and hope his next job will bring him a lot of fulfilment and adventure!