Professor Alexander Rinnooy Kan, university professor, Member of the Upper House, and former President of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands, was granted an honorary doctorate from Tilburg University on 16 November. The honorary doctorate was presented during the university's Dies Natalis marking its 90th anniversary.
Emile Aarts, Rector Magnificus of Tilburg University: “It is an honour for us to present this honorary doctorate to Prof. Alexander Rinnooy Kan in recognition of his achievements in the field of Data Science at a time when this field was not as prominent as it is now.’
In the university's laudation stated that Rinnooy Kan 'made a fundamental contribution to the development and analysis of efficient mathematical methods for important classes of planning issues. When he held various influential management positions he was also an advocate and a source of inspiration for using data and analyses in decision-making. In the Netherlands, he is the standard bearer for Data Science.’
Marc Salomon, Dean of the UvA’s Amsterdam Business School and board member of the Amsterdam School of Data Science: ‘We are very proud that Alexander Rinnooy Kan, one of our professors, received an honorary doctorate in Tilburg for his leading role in Data Science.’
Alexander Rinnooy Kan (1949) studied mathematics in Leiden and econometrics in Amsterdam. He has held academic positions at a number of universities including Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam. At Erasmus University Rotterdam, he was appointed professor of Operational Research in 1980, before becoming director of the Econometrics Institute in 1983, and Rector Magnificus in 1986. In addition, he was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. In 2007, he was appointed honorary professor of Policy Analysis in the Private and Public Sectors at the UvA. He has been a Professor of Economics and Business at the University of Amsterdam (with a specific focus on change processes at the micro and macro level) since his appointment in September 2012.
Following a period as president of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), he joined the executive board of bank and insurer ING, where he remained a member until June 2006. From 2006 until 2012, he was a Crown-appointed member and President of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands. Since 2016 he has been a Member of the Upper House for the D66 political party.