The cluster STAR (Stochastics: Theoretical and Applied Research) was launched on May 15, 2009. The cluster founding board consisted of leading Dutch researchers in the field of Stochastics: Onno Boxma (chair), Frank den Hollander, Chris Klaassen, Rob van der Mei, and Aad van der Vaart.
The vision of the founders was that the STAR cluster would unite and represent all researchers in the Netherlands working in the field of stochastics, where “stochastics” is understood in the broadest possible sense. Today, the three main areas of the research within STAR are Probability Theory, Mathematical Statistics, and Stochastic Operations Research. Moreover, researchers from other areas with a strong stochastic flavor (e.g., Ergodic Theory) have joined the cluster as well.
The cluster mission is
- to strengthen the nationwide collaboration between Dutch researchers in stochastics.
- to bring Dutch stochastics further to the international forefront, with the European research institute Eurandom in a coordinating role.
- to attract and train the most talented students and junior researchers worldwide, and to host top senior researchers for extended visits.
- to strengthen the leading position of Dutch stochastics in core areas, while giving an impulse to areas that have been under-represented.
- to stimulate the interaction with researchers from other disciplines.
STAR is a collaborative effort to unite the research activities in the stochastics community at the Dutch universities. Today, the STAR cluster has 10 nodes: CWI in Amsterdam; VU Amsterdam, Radboud University (Nijmegen), Groningen, Leiden and Utrecht, and the three universities of technology in Delft, Eindhoven, and Twente. Since the inception of the cluster, the stochastics community has grown significantly and rejuvenated: nearly 40% of the current cluster members have been appointed for the first time in the reporting period 2010-2018. STAR has contributed to the excellent research climate in Dutch stochastics by creating a lively and stimulating national atmosphere through regular national seminars, numerous international workshops, schools for PhD students and postdocs, as well as 4-5 advanced courses each semester in the national graduate program MasterMath.
In 2018, the STAR cluster had been evaluated by the international assessment committee. results
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