Who will be the new rector? (5): Joost van der Loo chooses Klaas Landsman
Radboud University is looking for a new rector. Who should succeed Han van Krieken in the new academic year? In this section, employees or students nominate someone. Joost van der Loo, student of mathematical physics and student evaluator at the Faculty of Science, chooses Klaas Landsman.
Joost van der Loo: “Mathematical physics teacher Klaas Landsman thinks a lot about pedagogical innovation and has a broad pedagogical vision. I imagine a Rector Magnificus as guardian of scientific culture.
Klaas Landsman has been a professor at Radboud University for nearly two decades, where he conducts research in quantum mechanics. His scientific work was recognized last year in the form of the prestigious 2.5 million euro Spinoza Prize, which the NWO awards each year to researchers they believe “are among the best”.
Van der Loo is particularly pleased with Landsman’s broadly oriented educational vision, which emerges from lessons in the history and philosophy of mathematics: “I am impressed when he describes science so clearly from all sorts of perspectives. So it’s clear to me that he studied many different angles and weighed them carefully.
In these lectures, says the student assessor, there was a brief opportunity to discuss how education should be designed. Van der Loo described it as a fun and informal way to think about educational innovation with students: “Together we thought about what education needs to excel and how it can be important for society.
A central theme in Landsman’s activities is interdisciplinarity. With the money he received for the Spinoza Prize, Landsman wants to create a new center that erases the boundaries between mathematics, physics and philosophy. “I think it would be desirable for a Rector Magnificus to transcend faculty boundaries in his work, because in this way he connects more knowledge,” says Van der Loo.
Besides being a teacher, Landsman is also Van der Loo’s mentor. They talk to each other sometimes, often for no apparent reason. “Then the conversation quickly turns to our common passions: maths and physics.” In these conversations, the student assessor notices that Landsman takes him seriously. “Then he listens carefully and sees you as an equal sparring partner. That’s not how I see myself as a student at all, I really look up to him.
“Food expert. Unapologetic bacon maven. Beer enthusiast. Pop cultureaholic. General travel scholar. Total internet buff.”