Since I was little, I have always been interested in exploring and testing personal ideas. As a child, for example, I built LEGO castles with traps and I designed board games to play with friends. An important part of this passion comes from the ability to combine ideas from different applications. Problem-solving is often limited to how our brains are able to classify the problem. That is why Applied Mathematics appeals to me; you can solve many different types of problems with a handful of powerful techniques.
At TNO I work at the department of Cyber Security and Robustness. I work together with mathematical and computer science colleagues. This collaboration with colleagues with diverse backgrounds and specializations enhances the projects I do for many costumers in our research. An example research topic is anomaly detection on computer network traffic. The study Applied Mathematics really helped me to approach this on a system-level, by developing models for regular network behavior and then finding statistical outliers. These so-called anomalies in the data might be indications for an advanced cyber-attack.
Next to cyber security research, I also analyze other large complex networks such as logistic or telecom networks. Although these networks differ on many aspects, similar mathematical techniques can be applied from a model-based perspective. Think of network robustness analyses or stochastic optimization studies. One exemplary project I did was creating optimal roll-out strategies for the fixed access internet network in order to satisfy increasing bandwidth demands. Our proposed plans have been used for the whole Netherlands.
During Applied Mathematics I developed a unique combination of model-based and data-driven problem-solving. And a strong basis of mathematics tool that are useful in several applications. Good luck with pursuing your passion!