Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Nanda Piersma appointed professor of Responsible IT

18 Sep 2020 11:22 | Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries

The Executive Board of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) appointed Nanda Piersma Professor of Responsible IT on 8 September 2020. This recently established research group of the City of Amsterdam and the AUAS conducts applied research into the responsible development of digital technology for the city. In her new position, Piersma brings together research groups in the field of AI, Quantum Computing, Cyber Security and Urban Analytics and builds a bridge to other research groups, degree programmes and partners.

Nanda Piersma will take up her new position on 1 November. She already has a long service record within the AUAS. Since joining the AUAS in 2002, she has been a programme manager of various degree programmes. In 2017, she was appointed Professor of Urban Analytics for the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the ‘National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science’ (Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, CWI). Piersma will continue the Urban Analytics research theme from the CWI. Since 1 January 2020, she has also been the Scientific Director of the AUAS Expertise Centre for Applied Artificial Intelligence.

Frank Kresin, Dean of the Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries “Technology is not neutral and requires a holistic approach from various disciplines and a strong value proposition. Nanda combines the development of groundbreaking technology, critical reflection on this technology and application thereof in one individual. She is an experienced researcher with an extensive network, who can build and inspire an authoritative research group. In addition, she has contributed to the responsible application of information technology in the city and the business community in a large number of projects. She will have more room for this in her new role, and I have great expectations in this respect.”

Alderperson Touria Meliani (Digital City) is pleased with the appointment of the Professor of Responsible IT. Meliani: “In Amsterdam we are working towards a free and inclusive digital city. One of the conditions is that the technology serves the people rather than the other way around. We all need to be able to understand technology in order to use it as responsibly as possible. This research group is therefore good news for our city.”

Working together on Responsible IT

With the Responsible IT research group, the City of Amsterdam and the AUAS have entered into a partnership based on their shared values and vision on the responsible development and deployment of IT. Social values and the human dimension are the underlying principles. Nanda Piersma: “I think responsible IT is an urgent issue and I increasingly encountered the theme in my previous position as Professor of Urban Analytics. I look forward to working with the City of Amsterdam to shape this.”

The responsible use and development of digital technology for the city are crucial. Conversely, for the Responsible IT research group, the city is an important platform for innovation in direct contact with inhabitants. Research and development are based on and take place in the practical field, together with citizens, professionals, civil servants, students, lecturers and researchers. For example, the City and the AUAS are working with Waag to organise the MozFest art, tech and makers festival in 2021; and the AUAS is conducting research into diversity and inclusion in AI for recruitment and selection for the City of Amsterdam’s Economic Affairs department.

About Nanda Piersma

After earning a Master’s degree in Mathematics in 1988, Nanda Piersma received her PhD in Econometrics from the University of Amsterdam in 1993, after which she joined the Econometrics Institute of Erasmus University as an Assistant Professor. She joined the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences as a programme manager in 2002, subsequently becoming a senior lecturer-researcher responsible for the Data Science specialisation within the Bachelor’s programme in Applied Mathematics in 2014. She has been a Professor of Urban Analytics since September 2017. Since 1 January 2020, she has also been the Scientific Director of the AUAS Expertise Centre for Applied Artificial Intelligence. Piersma is a popular speaker and gives presentations for government institutions and business networks. She is involved in several data science networks, including Amsterdam Data Science, AI Technology for People, NLAIC and IPN.