On Thursday 15 December, Frank den Hollander was appointed Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion. The adornments were pinned on Den Hollander by Mayor Emile Jaensch of Oegstgeest, where Den Hollander resides. The ceremony occurred during a congress at TU/e honouring the 60th birthday of Den Hollander.
Den Hollander received the distinction due to his career-long commitment to improve mathematics both nationally and internationally. The formalities took place in Eindhoven, where Den Hollander was second scientific director of the research institute Eurandom from 2000 until 2005. Den Hollander told Cursor – the independent news site of TU/e – that: “It was a very warm moment. Disseminating science is wonderful and you meet splendid people.”
The Royal distinction was presented on recommendation of the current scientific director of Eurandom, Remco van de Hofstad, and his predecessors Willem van Zwet and Onno Boxma. They describe Den Hollander as an eminent Dutch scientist who has done pioneering work internationally, in particular on the theory of large deviations. Furthermore, they praise Den Hollander as an “excellent director” who has “the respect needed to act as a leader and the vision needed to decide the proper course of action. In doing so, he takes mathematics and the mathematical community as the central focus.”
They also praise him for his warm character and energy, his positive and constructive attitude and his often-yearlong personal commitment to colleagues – from their first steps in research up until potentially their professorship.
Frank den Hollander, Professor of probability and statistical mechanics, is currently at Leiden University and one of the principal investigators of NETWORKS. He previously worked at TU/e and Radboud University Nijmegen.