18 October 2017

UM research nominated for Klokhuis Science Award

Maastricht University research is on the shortlist for the Klokhuis Science Award 2017. The research is conducted by prof. dr. Gerhard Weiss and dr. Jerry Spanakis in collaboration with visual artist Marie van Vollenhoven. They developed The Infinity Games, a computer game that allows them to investigate if computers are capable of creating art. To achieve that goal they study composition and harmony by means of artificial (computer) intelligence. Out of 27 entries from universities and university hospitals in the Netherlands, 10 research projects were nominated. The Klokhuis Science Award will be presented during the Junior Opening of the science film festival InScience in Nijmegen, on Wednesday 8 November. Children can vote for the research they find the most interesting from 15 October through 7 November via the Klokhuis website.

Computer game
The researchers, both of the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering, and visual artist Marie van Vollenhoven created a computer game as the basis of The Infinity Games. Together with audience and players they investigate the universal rules of performing and musical compositions. The game functions as a research tool, among others in performances with movement, stories, music and audience. The interdisciplinary iQuartet combines theatre, images, music and artificial intelligence and thus reflects on the question: can computers create art?  While you play The Infinity Games the computer calculates when people like something to watch. What do you like? And what do others like? That way it teaches itself to create art. To help the computer, you make a digital painting together.

Nominations
The shortlist of nominations was made by Het Klokhuis. The winner will be chosen by children who can vote for one of the 10 nominated research projects from 15 October through 7 November via a voting tool on the Klokhuis website. Nominated are projects from Tilburg University (1), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (2), Maastricht University (1), Universiteit van Amsterdam (3), Universiteit Utrecht (1), UMC Radboud (1), Academisch Medisch Centrum (1).

The Klokhuis Science Award
The objective of the award is to familiarize a wide and young audience with scientific research in the Netherlands. 27 research projects were entered, all from various Dutch universities and academic hospitals. The award will be presented for the second time in 2017. With this science award Klokhuis rewards interesting and relevant scientific research for children between 9 and 12 years old. Klokhuis dedicates an entire episode on the research field of the winning project.

Click here for a short film about the nominated research projects.