About

Maaike Zwart

I am a mathematician studying the foundations of computer science. My areas of research are category theory and type theory. I mainly study monads, and I especially love proving when and why monad compositions are impossible 😈

My research is on the boundary of maths, logic, and computer science, so you may also call me a logician or a computer scientist. Sometimes I even pose as a physicist.

Biography
I studied Physics and Mathematics at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and received a BSc. in both topics. I then studied at the University of Amsterdam, where I completed the Master of Logic. I moved to the UK for my PhD, doing a DPhil in Computer Science at the University of Oxford. I passed my viva on the 18th of December, 2020. I now work as a postdoc at the IT University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Upcoming events:

December 2021: I will be chairing the programme committee for the 8th Symposium on Compositional Structures (SYCO 8).
April 2022: I am in the programme committee of the 16th International Workshop on Coalgebraic Methods in Computer Science (CMCS2022).

Past events:

Overview of my past activities, including academic talks, public engagement, and PC memberships.

Academic Talks:
2020:
• I gave an invited talk at the Online Worldwide Seminar on Logic and Semantics (OWLS).
Title: “Distributive Laws in the Boom Hierarchy”. video slides

2019:
• I gave a talk at the 6th Symposium on Compositional Structures (SYCO6), at the University of Leicester.
Title: “Composite Theories: how to prove an open question from 1969 in ≤ 5 min”.
This talk won the Best Student Presentation Award.
• I gave an invited talk at the the Postgraduate Conference in Category Theory and its Applications, at the University of Leicester.
Title: “Composite Theories and how to use them in proofs of No-Go Theorems”.
• I presented my paper “No-Go Theorems for Distributive Laws” at the 34th Symposium on Logic in Computer Science (LICS2019), in Vancouver.
• I gave an invited talk at the seminar series of the Programming Principles, Logic, and Verification group at University College London.
Title: “Don’t try this at home: No-Go Theorems for Distributive Laws”.
• I gave a talk at the 3rd Symposium on Compositional Structures (SYCO3), at the University of Oxford. Title: “Don’t try this at home: No-Go Theorems for Distributive Laws”. video slides
This talk won the Best Student Presentation Award.

2018:
• I gave an invited talk at the category theory seminar series of the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, Cambridge University.
Title: “Don’t try this at home: No-Go Theorems for Distributive Laws” .
• I presented my preliminary results at the 7th Workshop on Mathematically Structured Functional Programming (MSFP2018), in Oxford.
Title: “Some No-Go Theorems for Distributive Laws (extended abstract)”.

Public Engagement:
2021
• I made a short Youtube video pointing out the counter-intuitive behaviour of logical implication, as part of a “one minute science video” contest organised by Veritasium. For all submissions and some amazing science communication, search the hashtag #VeritasiumContest on Youtube and Tiktok.

2020:
• I made a guest appearance on MAT livestream #017 with Dr. James Munro, where I explained some computer science questions from the MAT entrance exam. This exam is used by universities throughout the UK to gauge the mathematical level of incoming students.
• I was interviewed by Oxford Sparks, as part of their #scienceathome series during the pandemic. During this interview, I explained how my research is turning algebra upside down.

2019:
• I gave a talk at the Women in Science day for Welsh students, organised by Jesus College in Oxford on 12 June 2019.
• I was a volunteer at the Oxford Maths Festival, a two day extravaganza of mathematical curiosities for all ages and backgrounds, organised by the Department of Mathematics, University of Oxford in May 2019.
• I gave a talk at the Women in Sciences day at Jesus College in Oxford on 20 Feb 019.
• I gave a talk at “It All Adds Up”, a three day mathematics conference for girls aged 14-16, at the Department of Mathematics, University of Oxford in Jan 2019.

2018
• I was a volunteer at the Curiosity Carnival, a festival showcasing the human side of scientists as well as their scientific work. This was organised as part of the European Researcher’s Night on 29 Sept 2018.

2017
• I made a Youtube video explaining categorical distributional semantics, a mathematical framework to teach computers how to interpret sentences.

2015
• I gave a talk explaining the Oxford college system to a group of visiting students from Radboud University Nijmegen, 6 Nov 2015.

PC memberships (peer-reviewing papers):
2021
I was a PC member for the 9th Conference on Algebra and Coalgebra in Computer Science (CALCO 2021).
I was a PC member for the 4th International Conference on Applied Category Theory (ACT2021).

2020
I was a PC member for the 7th Symposium on Compositional Structures (SYCO7).
I was a PC member for the 3rd International Conference on Applied Category Theory (ACT2020).
I was a PC member for the 8th Workshop on Mathematically Structured Functional Programming (MSFP2020).

2019
I was a PC member for the 4th Symposium on Compositional Structures (SYCO4).