Changes at CAN

In this overview we describe the changes that were due at CAN in the end of 1995 and the beginning of 1996. Since the establishment of RIACA, several developments took place that are of prime importance for CAN. Changes are necessary to accommodate the situation of 1995 and the years to come. We list these developments:

So 1995 was a year of thinking and brainstorming at CAN, talking to policy makers and to directors of institutions to find a new place for the Expertise Centre and for RIACA. Finally we are now in a stage of implementing a new structure that reinforces CAN and that is simpler from an organisational point of view. Start will be the 1st of January 1996.

New Structure

The new structure of CAN consists of three parts:

  1. RIACA, which will be situated at the faculty of mathematics and informatics of the Technical University of Eindhoven.

  2. CAN Expertise Centre, which will be located at the science faculty at the University of Amsterdam;

  3. CAN Diensten (which stands for CAN Services), an independent enterprise which will take care of the marketing and sales of mathematical software.

Let us go through the parts in more detail in the next sections.


At the Research Institute for Applications o f Computer Algebra, now at the Technical University of Eindhoven, the formula of a project-oriented guest institution will remain. Main fields are interfaces and symbolic computation, hybrid numerical and symbolic software, and dynamical systems. Currently, there are the following projects running:

Of course, RIACA remains proposing new projects, such as the currently evaluated proposal for an optics project.

As for the personnel, the current manager, Jan Sanders, will resign, and his place will be taken by Hans Sterk and Hans Cuypers of TUE. Arjeh Cohen will remain scientific director. The positions of system manager for Alena Lacova, and secretary for Patricia Wirahadiraksa will not be prolonged, so they will stop working for us.

CAN Expertise Centre

The Expertise Centre will be embedded in the University of Amsterdam. The current activities for providing computer algebra services to the scientific community will be continued in cooperation with RIACA. These services include:

  1. central computing facilities with a large range of computer algebra software, to be stationed at the TUE. The workstations which have been stationed at several locations in the first years of CAN will be handed over to the current users;

  2. information services: the Computer Algebra Information Network and the nieuwsbrief remain in the air, also as part of the SAC-network activities of RIACA;

  3. Courses and consultancy to be organised by CAN Diensten, the contents will be provided by the Expertise Centre;

Together with RIACA and the University of Amsterdam, a new project will be started directed towards the innovation of science education with help of computer algebra, and the development of authoring tools for teachers.

In previous months Els Willems and Alena Lacova have already stopped working for the Expertise Centre. Dick Verkerk will go over to CAN Diensten. So only André Heck and Leendert van Gastel will stay.

CAN Diensten

The board of the CAN Foundation wished to give the commercial activities of the Expertise Centre an independent setting. To achieve this, a commercial enterprise CAN Diensten has been set up. It will be headed by Dick Verkerk, who during last years was responsible for the software sales at the Expertise Centre. Not only the computer algebra systems will form of the product range, but also mathematical software in a wider range, like Scientific WorkPlace, S-PLUS and PV-Wave. At the background of CAN Diensten, the expertise and knowledge of the Expertise Centre will remain.

Soon CAN diensten can be reached at


The organisational changes at the CAN affect the personnel as well. Jan Sanders and Dick Verkerk will stay involved in CAN matters, but in a different position. Alena Lacova, Els Willems and Patricia Wirahadiraksa have given some of their best years to CAN. But in the new setting, CAN is not anymore able to provide work for them.

What will change for you?

Not that much, actually. Mail addresses will change, of course. But Internet addresses, like, and email-adresses like, will stay the same. You can find the new telephone numbers and addresses here. The services related to the CAN computers will stay the same. The sales and marketing of software licenses and also the help-desk and courses will go via CAN Diensten. RIACA-projects are moved: TUE will be the base for RIACA. But, as before, projects with more partners are pursued. One of the new projects will involve the CAN Expertise Centre: the innovation of education with help of computer algebra.

So everything changes, yet all remains the same.

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Leendert van Gastel

Last Update: February 19, 1996