From my childhood I have been interested in organizing information—in computers and on paper. In fact, my earliest algorithms and data structures were designed for pen and paper. In my role as mentor of the Arnhems Interscholair Orkest, a youth orchestra with a non-trivial cash flow managed by teenagers, I set up an accounting system based on paper forms designed to be filled out by children. With these forms they could calculate all the numbers they needed for their financial reports. From 1999 to 2004 I worked as a researcher at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, while completing basic courses (propedeuse) in law and developing, manufacturing, and selling board games as one of the partner-founders of Splotter Games. In 2004 I obtained my PhD for my research on spatial data structures. After that I worked as a researcher at the Karlsuhe Institute of Technology in Germany and Aarhus University in Denmark, where I gained experience with designing and implementing robust and efficient algorithms for massive data. From 2005 until 2018 I worked as a lecturer and researcher at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. Since September 2018, I have been working at the University of Bonn in Germany.
Through the years I have been teaching and organizing several courses, seminars, lab projects and research projects on algorithms, ranging from the basics to advanced topics such as external-memory algorithms, computations on terrain models, clustering, and route planning. The focus of my latest research has been on the theory and applications of recursive tilings and space-filling curves, cache-efficient algorithms for mesh traversals in computational science and geographic information science, schematization in automated cartography, and the combinatorics of distances under various distance functions. I have supervised PhD students' and Master students' projects on various topics related to space-filling curves, external-memory algorithms, GPU algorithms, automated cartography, computations on terrain models, computer vision (for cars), speech recognition, geometric combinatorial optimization, spatial index structures, and more.
I have served on the programme committees of several workshops and conferences, including the 32nd IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE 2016), the 9th International Conference on Algorithms and Complexity (CIAC 2015) and the Schematic Mapping Workshops 2014 and 2022. I was an editor for the Journal of Computational Geometry and Springer's Encyclopedia of Algorithms. In 2022, Rolf Klein, Anne Driemel and I published the third edition of Algorithmische Geometrie. Since 2023, I am responsible for managing the Bachelor's and Master's programmes of the computer science institute of the University of Bonn.
I live in the outskirts of Bonn with my wife and our two children Emma (2011) and Frida (2015).