Research at UM
Individualism is an obstacle to societal development. Living in society means sharing responsibilities. Maastricht University (UM) puts its knowledge in the service of society. UM's multidisciplinary team of researchers work on international issues. UM research focuses on a number of themes which are relevant for today's and tomorrow's society.
Whenever possible, UM research is translated into economic, financial or social value. The university participates in centres of excellence, both technological and social, to allow scientific discoveries to be swiftly converted into practical applications.
UM seeks young talented researchers from across Europe and the world to come and work in Maastricht. But high-quality research is not just about finding the best people – it's about getting the best out of people. To this end, UM offers a stimulating, innovative and dynamic work environment.
Collaborations tend to accomplish more than isolated projects. In line with Dutch government policy, each faculty at Maastricht University has a set of focused research themes. Collaborations on these themes are encouraged between faculties, universities and international organisations.
From our research community
"Maastricht University has made it possible for me to broaden my perspective to Brazil and China"
“Maastricht University has not only made it possible for me to expand my research in India, but also to broaden my perspective to Brazil and China, and to bring my own networks and experience in Africa to bear. These research and institutional collaborations have made teaching at Maastricht a more interesting and exciting experience than I could have hoped for.”
Dalindyebo Shabalala, J.D. (South Africa), Faculty of Law. Assistant professor of International Economic Law. Appointed with additional funding from the Maastricht University India Institute to research and assist with capacity building in India.
“We put swarm intelligence into computational algorithms”
“We try to build intelligent adaptive systems in both software and hardware, using Reinforcement Learning and swarm intelligence techniques. A bee itself is not so smart, but a swarm of bees is quite intelligent. They communicate with and learn from one another.
We put this swarm intelligence into computational algorithms, with which we can program a group of robots.
In the future this technology could be used, for example, in planetary exploration. Or a group of robots could locate victims of a major disaster when you’d prefer not to send people, take the nuclear situation in Fukushima, for instance.
In the beekeeper course I followed, I learned about the anatomy and brain of a bee, amongst other things. Now I have my own bees. The knowledge I gatherer this way may not be directly relevant to my research, but it does reinforce my knowledge. Our swarmlab still needs some time for the valorization step, but I expect something in nearer future with, for example, the telepresence robot we’ve built. People now travel the world for a short meeting. This robot is controlled remotely and allows you to go into an office on the other side of the world as if you were physically present.”
Dr Karl Tuyls (Belgium), Faculty of Humanities and Sciences. Associate professor of Artificial Intelligence and research director at the Swarmlab. The swarmlab is the robotics laboratory at the Department of Knowledge Engineering (DKE)