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The Civilization of Bytes

8 April 2016

De Nieuwe Liefde, Da Costakade 102, Amsterdam

What does the future hold for us and for our society? What amazing new technologies will emerge and how will they disrupt our daily lives? What kind of impact will they have on our privacy, safety, security and rights? This year’s Awesome IT turns its eye towards the future and focuses on state-of-the-art technologies and their social and technical implications for the future.

On April 8th the 6th edition of Awesome IT, themed 'The Civilization of Bytes', will take place in Amsterdam.

During the conference, distinguished speakers from different fields will give their views on the theme. Do we have the right to be forgotten on the Internet? Will our current cryptographical methods pass the test of time? How will technologies like Virtual Reality and the Internet of Things change our daily lives in the future? The day will be all about new IT solutions for the problems of the future. Subjects like the Singularity, privacy, digital rights will be covered. A day packed with lectures, discussion and -of course- free lunch will be held in De Nieuwe Liefde.

Watch the aftermovie here!


Click on a name on the left for more information about a speaker

Dr. Coen van Gulijk

Dr. Coen van Gulijk

Coen van Gulijk is a Reader in Railway Safety and risk. The main focus of his work is on next-generation risk models where networked information systems are developed for on-demand risk modeling in Rail Systems. This work combines academic skills for research with practical demands in the railway industry. Coen was an Assistant Professor in the Safety Science Group in the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology. In 2013 and 2014 he worked as a visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Antwerp supporting the newly developed Master of Safety Sciences at that university. From 2001 to 2007, Coen worked as a researcher at TNO on Aerosol Filtration for Personal Protection Equipment. Coen was trained as a Chemical Engineer in the University of Twente and went to TU Delft for his PhD studies on Diesel Particulate Filters for Diesel Engines.

Talk: IT safety and security: the good, the bad and the ugly.

This talk takes a closer look to IT in from a safety and security perspective. In particular it focuses on the up- and downside uses of IT for safety and security. We shall treat a classification based on Sergio Leone’s film classic The good, the bad and the ugly. The talk elucidates on these classes of IT applications with examples, use cases, requirements and legal viewpoints. The talk demonstrates that IT can bring incredible safety and security gains but also grind down basic justice principles.

Dennis Andriesse MSc

Dennis Andriesse MSc

Dennis Andriesse is a Ph.D. candidate in the System and Network Security Group at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research focuses on binary code (de)obfuscation and reverse engineering techniques. Next to that, he is also interested in binary (anti-)exploitation techniques and advanced malware; particularly in targeted malware and in the resilience of botnet C2 channels.

Talk: Anatomy of a Massive Peer-to-Peer Botnet Takedown.

This talk is about the downfall of GameOver Zeus, one of the most advanced botnets to date. GameOver Zeus used a peer-to-peer architecture to make takedowns much more challenging than for traditional (centralized) botnets. We dive into the details of Operation Tovar, the collaboration between academia, industry and law enforcement that exposed critical vulnerabilities in GameOver Zeus and used these in a massive coordinated attack.

Hans de Zwart

Hans de Zwart

Hans de Zwart is directeur van de digitale burgerrechtenorganisatie Bits of Freedom en komt daarmee op voor vrijheid van communicatie en privacy op het internet. In het verleden was hij Senior Innovation Adviser for Global HR and Learning Technologies bij Shell, daarvoor Moodle consultant bij Stoas Learning en hij begon zijn carrière als docent bewegingsonderwijs op een middelbare school in Amsterdam Zuidoost. Zijn werkveld is het raakvlak tussen technologie (die hij het liefste "open" ziet) en maatschappelijke ontwikkelingen, vaak bekeken vanuit het perspectief van de rechten van burgers. Hij weet dat technologie altijd óók politiek is en gelooft in de kracht van design.

Talk: Bits of Freedom

Technologische ontwikkelingen zorgen ervoor dat sommige dingen makkelijker worden (afspreken met je vrienden, in de gaten houden waar iemand is) en andere dingen juist moeilijker (burgerlijk verzet of een dagje geconcentreerd aan je scriptie werken). Steeds meer van onze interacties worden ge-'man-in-the-middled' door internetgiganten uit Silicon Valley. Dat betekent dat er tegenwoordig altijd een derde partij is die weet waar wij zijn en waar we mee bezig zijn. Wat betekent dat voor onze grondrechten en voor onze autonomie? Hoe vrij kun je zijn als je weet dat je in de gaten wordt gehouden? Hans de Zwart legt uit waarom het zo belangrijk is dat we voor onze rechten op blijven komen en hoe Bits of Freedom dit als digitale burgerrechtenorganisatie probeert te doen.

Dr. Christian Schaffner

Dr. Christian Schaffner

Dr. Christian Schaffner studied pure mathematics at ETH Zurich, Switzerland and obtained his PhD in 2007 from the University of Aarhus in Denmark under the supervision of prof.dr. Ivan Damgaard en prof.dr. Louis Salvail. After three years of postdoc at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, he joined the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) at the University of Amsterdam, since 2013 as assistant professor. He is also affiliated with CWI and QuSoft ( ), the recently founded national research center for quantum software. Christian's research interests are the development and understanding of cryptographic protocols based on quantum mechanics.

Talk: Quantum cryptography

The most well-known application of quantum cryptography is Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) which was invented in 1984 by Bennett and Brassard. QKD allows two players Alice and Bob to securely communicate over an insecure line which is overheard by an eavesdropper Eve. Security can be proven in an information-theoretic sense against an unrestricted Eve. Such a high level of security is impossible to achieve with classical communication. In the first part of the talk, I will introduce some basic concepts of quantum information theory in order to understand and appreciate the security of QKD. However, quantum cryptography offers a wide range of other applications that go beyond the task of key distribution. For instance, the goal of “position-based cryptography” is to use a player’s physical position as cryptographic credential. The combination of relativistic constraints (assuring that information cannot travel faster than the speed of light) and quantum mechanical effects (such as the impossibility to perfectly copy a quantum state) enables entirely new cryptographic applications like sending a message in such a way that it can only be read at a particular geographic position. In the second part, I will introduce the audience to this intriguing new branch of quantum cryptography.

Prof. Dr. Henri Bal

Prof. Dr. Henri Bal Henri Bal heads a group on High Performance Distributed Computing at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. His work focuses on underlying fundamental problems of parallel and distributed programming in combination with real-world applications. His current research focuses on both distributed applications and systems. He works on several high-performance parallel applications in computer science, such as reasoning, machine learning, and model checking.. His current research on systems covers programming environments for GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) and distributed smartphone-based sensor systems.

Talk: DAS

The Distributed ASCI Supercomputer (DAS) is a dedicated distributed infrastructure for Dutch Computer Science research. During its 19 year history, DAS witnessed and supported many waves in distributed computing, including wide-area computing (DAS-1), grids and peer-to-peer (DAS-2), e-Science and optical grids (DAS-3), heterogeneous computing (DAS- 4) and big data (DAS-5). his presentation first looks back at the impact DAS has had. Despite its relatively modest size and cost, DAS has been used for over 100 PhD theses and for numerous award winning experiments. It enabled large amounts of research funding and it played a key role in huge projects like VL-e and (currently) COMMIT/. It also served as a stepping stone for applications like astronomy, multimedia analysis, web-scale reasoning, and climate modelling, each of which won competitions with DAS. Next, the presentation will discuss a few ongoing projects in more detail, focusing on accelerators and big data.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Jack van Wijk

Prof. Dr. Ir. Jack van Wijk

Jack van Wijk is full professor in visualization at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). He received a MSc degree in industrial design engineering in 1982 and a PhD degree in computer science in 1986, both from Delft University of Technology, both with honors. After a short period in the software industry, he has worked for ten years at the Netherlands Energy Research Foundation ECN. He joined Eindhoven University of Technology in 1998, where he became a full professor of visualization in 2001. His main research interests are information visualization, visual analytics, and mathematical visualization. He is cofounder and VP Scientific Affairs of MagnaView BV. Since 2016 he is scientific director of the new Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) Data Science program. He has (co-)authored more than 150 papers in visualization and computer graphics.

Talk: Data Visualization

Data Visualization concerns the use of interactive computer graphics to obtain insight in large amounts of data. The aim is to exploit the unique capabilities of the human visual system to detect patterns, structures, and irregularities, and to enable experts to formulate new hypotheses, confirm the expected, and to discover the unexpected. The research group Visualization of the Eindhoven University of Technology aims to develop new methods and techniques for this. The focus is on information visualization and visual analytics. We study how large amounts of abstract data, such as tables, hierarchies, and networks can be respresented and interacted with. In many cases, combinations of such data have to be dealt with, and also, the data is often dynamic, which brings another big challenge. Typical use cases are how to get an overview of a hard disk, how to analyze thousands of medicine prescriptions, and how to see patterns in huge telecom datasets. In visual analytics, the aim is to integrate methods from statistics, machine learning, and data mining, as well as to support data types such as text and multimedia, and to support the full process from data acquisition to presentation. In the presentation an overview of the field is given, illustrated with examples of work from Eindhoven, covering a variety of different data and application domains. All aspects have their own challenges. Data comes in many different flavors and can be transformed to other types. We will show how one simple data set can be viewed as a table, a network, a hierarchy, and as intersecting sets, leading to very different visualizations. Our visual system is very powerful, but also has limitations. A good understanding of human perception is essential to obtain visualizations that are understandable without effort. Large data sets can often not be shown in a single image, interaction is crucial to enable users to focus on what they are interested in. Supporting users in their navigation through the data is a challenge, but often a key success factor.

Prof. Dr. Guszti Eiben

Prof. Dr. Guszti Eiben

Guszti Eiben is professor in Artificial Intelligence at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is one of the European pioneers of evolutionary computing, co-author of the book Introduction to Evolutionary Computing (Springer, 2003, 2007, 2015), editorial board member of several related journals, and Specialty Chief Editor of Evolutionary Robotics for Frontiers in Robotics and AI. His has done research on different evolutionary operators, evolutionary art, optimization of evolutionary algorithm parameters, and evolutionary robotics. His most recent work addresses physically embodied evolutionary robot systems. Currently he is studying robots with fixed morphologies that become smarter over time by evolving their brains. In the meanwhile he is working novel systems on self-reproducing robots where also the bodies are evolvable.

Talk: Evolutionary Robotics in Real Hardware

The field of evolutionary computing is entering a new phase as evolutionary algorithms that take place in hardware are developed. This is opening up new avenues towards autonomous machines that can adapt to their environment. In this talk I discuss a vision and a research programme about artificial evolution in physical, rather than digital, spaces. I outline the concept of EvoSphere, a robotic ecosystem that evolves in real space and real time and review on-going activities towards the first proof-of-concept implementation. I argue that constructing systems of self-reproducing machines will lead to a new, exciting mix of evolutionary computing, robotics, and artificial life with new challenges and opportunities

Prof. Dr. Cyriel Pennartz

Prof. Dr. Cyriel Pennartz

After his studies in Biology and Neurobiology at the University of Nijmegen and University of Amsterdam, Cyriel Pennartz obtained his PhD degree in Neuroscience cum laude at the University of Amsterdam (1992). He continued his career as postdoctoral fellow at the department Physics of Computation of the California Institute of Technology, working with Prof. Dr. John Hopfield on neural network models of Reinforcement Learning. From 1993 to 2003 he worked on the brain´s circadian clock and developed single-neuron recordings from memory and emotion-related brain circuits engaged in cognitive tasks. He acquired ensemble recording techniques, using tetrode-arrays, at the University of Arizona at Tucson in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Carol Barnes and Prof. Dr. Bruce McNaughton. In 2002, he was appointed Special Professor in Cognitive Neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam. In 2003 he was promoted at the same institution to Full Professor in Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience where he is leading a group of ~16-20 people. Chief characteristics of his work are its multidisciplinarity and integrative approach to neuroscience, combined with a theory- and model-driven basis for in-depth experimentation. He acquired numerous grants, included a VICI grant from NWO and several EU grants working with Neuroinformatics and Robotics groups. Recently he acquired a grant in the EU Human Brain Project and functions as member on the Board of Directors, leading the Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience Subproject. In September 2015, Pennartz published the book 'The Brain’s Representational Power – On Consciousness and the Integration of Modalities' at MIT Press (ISBN: 9780262029315).

Talk: Neuroinformatics and the Human Brain Project: from Neuron to Consciousness

The brain is the most complex organ known to humans, and its functioning has baffled scientists for many centuries. How may Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics contribute to the unravelling of neural mechanisms that give rise to cognitive processes such as memory, attention, voluntary motion, thought processes and - eventually - consciousness? To address this question, we first have to dig into what we understand by phenomena such as 'cognition' and 'consciousness'. I will then ask what the achievements of computer simulations of brain processes have been so far, and what the EU FET Flagship ' Human Brain Project' is undertaking to enhance our understanding of the brain. Next to outlining the realm of possibilities for simulating the brain in silico¸ it is equally important to identify theoretical limitations of current approaches. Especially when confronted with questions on the core phenomena of consciousness, I will argue we must seek solutions playing out not only at the level of individual brain cells as processing elements, but at higher levels of systems organization. This will be illustrated by the view that experiences are constructs or models, forged by the brain, in which multimodal streams of information are integrated into unified representations.

Dr. Ir. Willem-Paul Brinkman

Dr. Ir. Willem-Paul Brinkman

Willem-Paul Brinkman is an assistant professor at Delft University of Technology, working in the Interactive Intelligence group. With a background in human-computer interaction, his current research focuses on behaviour change support systems, specifically in the mental health domain. He studies virtual reality therapy systems and virtual health agents.

Talk: Virtual health agents for behavior change support

With the changing demography in the western world, health-care costs are expected to increase. Furthermore, less health care professionals will be available for more “care needy persons”. Virtual health agents could play several roles to address part of the increasing care needs, for example, to act as coaches as part of self-therapy system at home. This talk will look at the progress made in two projects that uses such virtual coaches in context of virtual reality. One focuses on home-based therapy for social anxiety patients, the other project focuses on home-based therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder patients.

Paulan Korenhof

Paulan Korenhof is a PhD student at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT, Tilburg University) and at Privacy & Identity Lab. In these institutes Paulan works together with legal scholars, computer scientists, philosophers and social scientists. Both the interdisciplinary character of these institutes as the interdisciplinary scientific roots of Paulan herself (she holds a masters degree in both Philosophy as well as Public Law) shape her PhD research in which she explores the problems caused for individuals by the collective and hybrid ‘memory’ of the World Wide Web. She approaches this topic from an applied philosophy of technology-perspective with an eye on the mutual shaping of law, technology and society.

Talk: The right to be forgotten: vice or virtue?

Technology has changed and still is changing our internal and external memory processes. The World Wide Web can function as a ‘’tertiary memory” and can store and provide access to personal information for a very long time. The “right to be forgotten or erasure”, article 17 of the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation, aims at helping individuals to control the availability of online accessible personal information. However, the right to be forgotten has given and still gives rise to heated debates between privacy and freedom of speech advocates. My claim is that the manner in which technologies affect our interaction with information has been given insufficient attention in this debate. In this presentation I will highlight how online technologies influence the manner in which we interact with and perceive personal information. This will give us a broader perspective to evaluate the right to be forgotten and will help out with deciding on the merits of introducing a form of ‘forgetting’ into our information flows.

Remco van Wijk

Remco van Wijk (1980) is a board member and one of the founders of Thauris. Thauris is specialised in delivering solutions for qualified information exchange. Remco has a background in business administration, management and IT auditing. From the start, he was involved in the Standard Business Reporting (SBR) Programme. As a result of this programme, government agencies such as the Tax and Customs Administration and the Chamber of Commerce have started to use standardised electronic channels for qualified information exchange. More than a million businesses, twelve thousand intermediaries and hundreds of software providers currently benefit from SBR. The standards used by government agencies can also be used for information exchange in the private sector. A public-private governance body coordinates the more widespread adoption of SBR standards. As part of the SBR programme, Remco was involved in demonstrating the credible use of the SBR concept, setting up a shared service centre for government agencies, promoting the exclusive use of SBR and further adoption of SBR standards across various reporting domains. Remco is the main author of ‘Challenging the Chain’ (open access dowload via

Talk: The effectiveness of e-government

Governments and Information Technology (IT) are often perceived as an unhappy marriage. But is this really true? Many high impact technologies – such as the Internet Protocol Suite – originated in the public domain. Does the private sector actually achieve better results with IT (e-business) when compared to governments (e-government)? Or are we comparing apples with oranges? By performing a systematic analysis on the challenges faced by governments during large-scale IT initiatives, we can develop a more comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of e-government. This allows us to consider the underlying challenges that are always part of major transitions in the public domain as well as opportunities for improvement.

Brigade-generaal prof. dr. Paul Ducheine

Brigade-generaal prof. dr. Paul Ducheine

Brigade-generaal prof. dr. Paul Ducheine (1965) is militair jurist. Hij is Hoogleraar Cyber Warfare aan de Faculteit Militaire Wetenschappen van de Nederlandse Defensie Academie (NLDA). Sinds november 2014 bekleedt hij de bijzondere leerstoel Military Law of Cyber Operations & Cyber Security aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA), waar hij eerder gedetacheerd was (2003-2007) en in 2008 zijn proefschrift "Krijgsmacht, Geweldgebruik en Terrorismebestrijding" verdedigde. Paul Ducheine’s expertise ligt op het vlak van militair recht in relatie tot geweldgebruik (in volkenrecht, oorlogsrecht en staatsrecht), nationale operaties, targeting en cyber operaties. Paul Ducheine begon zijn militaire carrière in 1983 aan de Koninklijke Militaire Academie en studeerde daar weg- en waterbouwkunde. Tot 1998 vervulde hij functies bij het regiment Genietroepen van de Koninklijke Landmacht. Hij studeerde Bestuurskunde aan de VU (1993) en Rechtsgeleerdheid aan de Universiteit Utrecht (1998). Sinds 1998 is hij ingedeeld bij de Militair Juridische Dienst. Met Eric Pouw publiceerde hij ISAF operaties in Afghanistan: oorlogsrecht, doelbestrijding in counterinsurgency, Rules of Engagement, mensenrechten & ius ad bellum (2010, Wolf Legal Publishers). Met Mike Schmitt (US Naval War College) en Frans Osinga (NLDA) is hij eindredacteur van Targeting: Challenges of Modern Warfare (2015, TMC Asser Press).

Talk: De rollen van defensie in het digitale domein

Paul Ducheine gaat in op enkele mythes rondom cyber security en cyber warfare. Als (gewelds)instrument van de rechtsstaat verzekert de krijgsmacht veiligheid waar dit wordt verlangd, en respecteert zij de rechtsstaat en haar beginselen. Hoeveel veiligheid en tegen welke prijs, is aan de wetgever. Voor alle militaire activiteiten, inclusief digitale, is het beginsel ‘legitimiteit’ cruciaal. Alle digitale rollen van defensie vereisen een rechtsbasis en volgen rechtsregimes, zelfs als de wetgever daarin nog geen volledige duidelijkheid heeft geschapen. In het digitale domein vervult Defensie vier rollen: bescherming van eigen systemen en data (o.a. DefensieCERT), rechtshandhaving (Marechaussee), inlichtingen (MIVD); en operaties (Defensie Cyber Commando). Van de vier rollen worden enkele kenmerken, inclusief het juridisch kader en ontwikkelingen daarin geschetst.

Johan Stokking

Johan Stokking is tech lead and co-founder of The Things Network. Together with a strong community, he is on a mission to build an open, crowd sourced and decentralized internet of things data network. The city of Amsterdam was covered in six weeks. Global coverage is next. He started programming at the age of 12 and published his first commercial product during high school. He studied Industrial Engineering and Management at the University of Groningen with a major in information engineering and did his internship at Accenture Strategy Consulting. With some corporate experience in his pocket, he focused on scalable, stable and event-driven systems design and implementation. Johan started The Things Network in the summer of 2015 with Wienke Giezeman. With over a 100 communities worldwide, impact on thousands of people and a reach in the millions, they are committed to build the global network together with the community.

Talk: Building an internet of things network bottom-up

There are five constraints for internet of things to succeed: devices should have connectivity even on a long range, connectivity should be free and secure, devices consume very little power and the form factor is reduced to the size of the battery. LoRa enables this: long range, low power communication over free-to-use frequencies around the world. In this talk, I will introduce the open standard LoRaWAN: the wide area network protocol stack built on top of LoRa, maintained by telecom operators, chipmakers and IoT industry leaders. With a € 1.200 gateway in our hands, we imagined covering the city of Amsterdam with only ten gateways. Four weeks later, we crowd sourced the gateways and launched the first open LoRa covered city network in the world. The open source, open hardware initiative, The Things Network, spread like wildfire around the world. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign to enable producing affordable gateways, development kits and nodes, we started building the network with the community. LoRaWAN is at the core of this network, and in this talk I'll explain its role in our mission to build an open, decentralized and crowd sourced internet of things data network with global coverage.

Dr James Hughes

Dr James Hughes

James Hughes Ph.D. serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and as an applied sociologist at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he serves as Associate Provost for Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning. He holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago, where he also taught bioethics at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. Dr. Hughes is author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future, and editor of the 2014 special issue of the Journal of Evolution and Technology on technological unemployment.

Talk: Preparing for Potential Technological Unemployment

For two hundred years there have been predictions that technological innovation would lead to widespread unemployment. Instead, jobs in factories opened as farm work declined, and then jobs in offices and services grew as factory work declined. Today we are seeing the rapid transformation of work by robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet, 3D manufacturing, synthetic biology and nanotechnology. Most economists and policy makers believe that these new technologies will again create as many new jobs as they make obsolete. At most, they believe there will be a need for educational innovation and work re-training to make the transition less painful. But some have begun to argue that these innovations may finally create the long predicted decline of work. They point to the dwindling set of skills that humans can still do more cheaply and efficiently than machines, and are urging policy makers to take seriously the possibility of widespread technological unemployment in the coming decades.

MSc Marije de Vreeze

MSc Marije de Vreeze

Marije de Vreeze is Manager ITS Netherlands at Connekt. Previously Marije worked as a Project Manager within Connekt (2007 - 2011), with a focus on standardizing information exchange in public transport, traffic and travel information and safety applications. And as a business consultant at InTraffic (2011 - 2013), the company that advises on and develops, manages and maintains mi ssion critical information systems for mobility. Marije has a Master of Science degree with distinction at Utrecht University, with a specialization in Science and Innovation Management.

Talk: Self-driving vehicles

Connekt is a network of over 400 public and private organizations, we work on the improvement of mobility in The Netherlands in a sustainable manner. Together with TU Delft, TNO and RDW we started the Dutch Automated Vehicle Initiative (DAVI) in 2013. In my presentation I will discuss the developments of self-driving vehicles in The Netherlands: what does DAVI work on, what are the policy developments and what are the challenges we face.

Ir. Fred Hage

Ir. Fred Hage

Fred Hage started studying Biology in 1975 in Wageningen and specialized in Ecology. From 1983 he worked as a research assistant at the national ecological research institute (NIOO) until 1995. Next to fieldwork, he programmed field and lab computers in Basic and learned programming in Fortran77 for statistical and functional analysis in evolutionary biology. Meanwhile computers, Virtual Reality and the Internet were also embraced further. He had started a private hard- and software company in 1985 and in 1992 co-founded Green Dino, one of the earliest VR-companies in the Netherlands. From 2000 until 2012 Fred served as "Head of IT" for a Geo-information company, also actively promoting the 3D breakthrough in this domain. End 2014 he returned into virtual reality, helping the upcoming community of enthusiasts, developers and others in the Netherlands and Europe. He populated the website with information about VR and its growing community and became chairman of the Dutch Virtual Reality Foundation (VRNL) in december 2015.

Talk: From data to insight with VR

Companies are struggling with a "Data Flood" or "Information Explosion" since computers were introduced to assist and "automate" the business processes. It is estimated that more than 70 percent of the data stored by companies is never touched or viewed for more than a year. Fifteen modern households with a broadband connection produce more digital data than the entire internet produced in 2008. And now Wienke & Johan are even pushing the Internet of Things to the next (public) level. Not only our smartphones and other wearables will generate more data, also our homes, cars, bikes, pets. The complete human environment becomes connected and collects more and more data. How can we transform all this data to meaningful information and beyond? What will you do with all this data? Running the business more efficiently, innovate it, or base your next disruptive startup on it? Can these processes also be automated, like the earlier business processes, with tools like Fuzzy Logic, Artificial Intelligence or Cognitive Computing? Or will human domain experts still be necessary and must we provide them with the right tools? In this talk we explore a technology for which the hype-curve is peaking again after twenty years: virtual reality. It will change the way we interact with computers and the digital data they produce, collect and reproduce by adding senses and letting us use other parts of the most complex and refined computers on earth, called "human brain".


Grote Zaal / Big Hall (250p)

The Big Room hosts talks covering the entire theme, from technical talks about quantum cryptography and evolutionary algorithms, to philosophical talks about the future and unemployment. The conference will be finished with a plenary debate in this room.

Kleine Zaal / Small Hall (80p)

The Small Room covers the technical aspects of the theme. How is the technology we have used in the present, and what will it hold for the future? Find out about this in talks about supercomputer clusters, virtual reality and more.

Koorzaal / Choir Hall (70p)

The Choir Room covers the social aspects of the theme. How do governments handle (and fail at) big IT projects? Where does virtual reality fit into society? And how about the laws and rights concerning IT? Find out in this room.

Small Hall

Big Hall

Choir Hall



9:30 - 10:00

Christian Schaffner

10:00 - 11:00

Quantum cryptography

Remco van Wijk

10:00 - 11:00

The effectiveness of e-government


Johan Stokking

10:15 - 11:15

Building an internet of things network bottom-up


Guszti Eiben

11:00 - 12:00

Evolutionary Robotics in Real Hardware

Marije Vreeze

11:00 - 11:30

Self-driving vehicles


Small break

11:15 - 11:30

Cyriel Pennartz

11:30 - 12:00

Neuroinformatics and the Human Brain Project:
from Neuron to Consciousness

Paulan Korenhof

11:30 - 12:00

The right to be forgotten:
vice or virtue?


Small break

12:00 - 12:15

Henri Bal

12:15 - 13:15

Distributed ASCI Supercomputer

Dennis Andriesse

12:15 - 13:15

Anatomy of a Massive Peer-to-Peer Botnet Takedown.

Willem-Paul Brinkman

12:15 - 13:15

Virtual health agents for behavior change support


Lunch break

13:15 - 14:15

Jack van Wijk

14:15 - 15:15

Data visualization

James Hughes

14:15 - 15:15

Preparing for Potential Technological Unemployment

Hans de Zwart

14:15 - 15:15

Bits of Freedom


Fred Hage

15:15 - 15:45

From data to insight with VR

Coen van Gulijk

15:15 - 15:45

IT safety and security:
the good, the bad and the ugly.


Small break

15:45 - 16:00


16:00 - 17:00

Freedom and Security in IT


Coen van Gulijk
Hans de Zwart
Bart van der Sloot



17:15 - 18:00

End of program

Awesome IT Impression 2015

For more information about Awesome IT, see:


Next to all the exciting speeches, there will be a chance to be heard and see what the future has in stake for you. In just 30 minutes of your time, you will get to “date” with several interesting companies, and talk about what you can do for them and what they can do for you. Even if you do not know yet what you want or simply want to get some more information about the companies, it's well worth your time. So don't forget to register for speeddating and get the full hormonal experience of Awesome IT!

Partners that will be speeddating are: Procam, TransIP, Copernica en Topicus.


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