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Student prize

The NWO-Research cluster Geometry and Quantum Theory will award a prize of 1000 euro for the best M.Sc.-thesis in a field related to Geometry and Quantum Theory. The objective of this prize is to attract students to this interesting field of mathematics and to stimulate them to produce high level work in preparation for Ph.D. research in Geometry and Quantum Theory within the cluster or elsewhere.

Requirements for application

2013-2014: Ruben Stienstra

Title: Complete motion in classical and quantum mechanics

written under the supervision of Klaas Landsman (RU).

 The jury report reads as follows:

Out of the three entries, which were all of high quality, the jury has decided to award the GQT student prize to Ruben Strienstra.

In his thesis Ruben Stienstra looks at the problem that in Classical mechanics one can find solutions that are only determined for a finite time interval while in quantum mechanics all solutions are always defined for all times. Ruben solves this problem by doubling the classical phase space, which makes the classical incomplete motions complete again. He also shows that these new complete motions become the correct classical limit of the quantum mechanical solutions.

 The jury was impressed by the originality of the work and the techniques developed to tackle the problem. The thesis is written in a clear and understandable way and ties together many different aspects of mathematics. Finally, the work opens new directions of further research about the connection between classical and quantum mechanics.

2012-2013: Joost Nuiten

Title: Cohomological quantization of local prequantum boundary field theory

written under the supervision of André Henriques and Urs Schreiber.

The jury report reads as follows:

The jury was of the opinion that all of the entries were of high quality. They were, however, unanimous in their opinion that the paper "Cohomological quantization of local prequantum boundary field theory" by Joost Nuiten was the best. Joost showed deep insight in a difficult subject. The contents of the paper were not easily accessible but Joost did everything possible to aid the reader's understanding. His text is punctuated by enlightening comments and good examples.

 Previous winners of the prize were:

2011-2012: Björn de Rijk

Title:  The Order Bicommutant

written under the supervision of Marcel de Jeu (Leiden).

The jury report reads as follows:

In this thesis de Rijk developed an analogue for Riesz spaces from the bicommutant theorem of Von Neumann. The thesis has a clear design. De Rijk explains clearly where he wants to go and chooses a level of exposition which he is able to sustain. He reaches new ground very quickly.

2010-2011: Christiaan van Dorp

Title: Vector-valued Siegel modular forms of genus 2 (explicit constructions of Siegel modular forms using differential operators of Rankin-Cohen type)

written under the supervision of Gerard van der Geer (UvA).

The jury report reads as follows:

In this thesis, Christiaan van Dorp constructs new Rankin-Cohen brackets
with the aim to determine the space of Siegel modular forms with values
in the sixth symmetric power of the defining representation of the group GL(2),
twisted with arbitrary odd powers of the determinant representation.

The jury was impressed by the depth of this work, the
demonstrated independence, and the originality of the results.
De exposition is efficient, but occasionally very brief.
The "summary for the first year student" is an example that deserves to be

2009-2010: Sebastian Arne Klein

Title: Reconstructive Geometry in certain Triangulated Categories

written under the supervision of Gunther Cornelissen (UU).

The jury report reads as follows:

The author first explains the theorem of Bondal and Orlov on the reconstruction of an algebraic variety from its bounded derived category of coherent sheaves. Then he moves on to Balmer's ringed space construction, defines Chow groups in that context and considers what would be needed for introducing an intersection theory. The thesis is well focused and seems understandable to fellow students. The author makes very clear what he has done and what problems remain.

2008-2009: Bas Fagginger-Auer

Title: Spatially Homogeneous Universes

This thesis, written under the supervision of Renate Loll (UU, Theoretical Physics) is a study of cosmological models with spatial homogeneity.

The exposition of spatially homogeneous universes is outstanding by its coherence. The explanations and proofs are of great clarity.

The material is placed in a clear mathematical context and it is carefully explained under which restrictions the cosmological models are studied. Bas explains the purpose of this enterprise in a very convincing manner.

2007-2008: Martijn Caspers

Title: Gelfand spectra of C*-algebras in topos theory

The jury for the GQT-prize for the best M.Sc. thesis for the year 2007-2008 has decided to award the prize to Martijn Caspers for his thesis "Gelfand spectra of C*-algebras in topos theory" written under supervision of Klaas Landsman. In this thesis several subjects such as category theory, topos theory and C*-algebras come together.

Martijn has made an effort to make all this accessible. The explanations are well organized and to the point. The jury is particularly impressed by the fact that Martijn Caspers was able to solve a problem in the interaction of topos theory and C*-algebras that had haunted his supervisor and his research associates. This shows that the originality of the work is very high.

2006-2007: Ronald van der Veen

Title:          The Volume Conjecture for Whitehead Chains

The jury was impressed by the nice introduction, the helpful comments throughout, the pictures and the originality of the work. The thesis, written under the supervision of Eric Opdam, will lead to a publication in the proceedings of the International Conference on Quantum Topology, Hanoi 2007.