Here's a blog which highlights some of the more memorable events during my daily routine.... Events include accepted or rejected papers (ACCEPT/REJECT), master thesis defenses by students I supervised (MBI), research presentations of papers I (co-)authored (TALK), grant awards and rejections (ACCEPT/REJECT), and important research interest statements, among others.

VACANCY: Scientific programmer

posted Oct 9, 2017, 5:05 AM by Marco Spruit

Looking for a scientific programmer to help us introduce the STRIP Assistant platform for better medication prescribing into the daily practices in primary care, with an entrepreneurial mindset!

Utrecht University’s Applied Data Science Lab is looking for a scientific programmer to help extend and/or redesign/reimplement the STRIP Assistant platform for implementation into the daily practices of general physicians in the Utrecht region. The STRIPA Implementation (STRIMP) project is being funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). STRIMP can be understood as a spin-off of the Horizon2020 project OPERAM which is currently deploying STRIPA as the intervention instrument in a multi-centre multi-lingual RCT in secondary care. OPTICA is a Swiss-funded project where STRIPA is evaluated in another RCT in primary care. STRIMP is similar to OPTICA but more focused on preparing its scalable deployment throughout primary care. Thus, through this position you may become a part of its spin-off and be joining a highly anticipated Dutch startup.

For more information, please refer to the vacancy text.

EDUCATION: Applied Data Science Postgraduate

posted Oct 8, 2017, 4:19 AM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Oct 8, 2017, 4:34 AM ]

Last week I presented the Applied Data Science Postgraduate MSc programme during the Utrecht University's Open Day, for which I prepared a 45-minute talk. This programme supports both fulltime and parttime participation and will teach you how to apply state-of-the-art concepts, methods and techniques in data science, how to apply this knowledge and analyse large datasets for innovation in the domain of health, and how to understand the potential and risks of applying data science for research and society. 

It turns out that the specific eligibility criteria need to be communicated even more clearly, so here they are again, once more... You need to already have obtained a Master of Science (MSc) degree, or relevant Master of Applied Sciences (MAS) degree. No statistics, no health, no work experience yet? We can fix that. However, taking the programme will cost you a total tuition fee of € 27,273 EUR. It would be great if your employer can support you here in the context of your personal career development plans.

The ADSP curriculum overview.

TALK: AIME in Vienna

posted Jun 26, 2017, 7:55 AM by Marco Spruit

Last week I presented our poster at AIME 2017 in Vienna of the paper: 
  • Meulendijk,M., Spruit,M., & Brinkkemper,S. (2017). Risk mediation in association rules: the case of decision support in medication review. In Teije,A. ten, Popow,C., Holmes,J., & Sacchi,L. (Eds.), LNAI 10259, 16th Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (pp. 327 ff). AIME 2017, June 21-24, Vienna, Austria: Springer. [pdf] [online]
... Which I also presented as a short talk:

EDUCATION: my very first Pluim!

posted Mar 21, 2017, 6:31 AM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Mar 21, 2017, 6:32 AM ]

From the latest departmental news letter... "The Education Advisory Committee (OAC-INKU) awarded a special distinction (pluim) to Matthieu Brinkhuis and Marco Spruit for the course Data Analytics". Now that I have received -- much to my surprise -- this one-of-a-kind certificate from the committee's not-so-infamous chairman, this Pluim-on-paper is proudly decorating our (i.e. Matthieu and myself) office walls...

GRANTS: No Blue Monday

posted Jan 17, 2017, 3:22 AM by Marco Spruit

Yesterday on Blue Monday I received the far-from-depressing news that the European Commission has awarded a 5.6 million Euro grant to the Horizon2020 project SMESEC: "Protecting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises digital technology through an innovative cyber-SECurity framework". This Innovation Action brings together a consortium of 12 partners from 7 countries. Its main goal is to develop a cost-effective framework based on Marco's Information Security Focus Area Maturity (ISFAM) model to support SMEs in managing network information security risks and threats. Pilots will be performed in e-Voting, Smart Cities, IIoT and Smart Grid services. UU's PhD position will further develop the family of maturity models.

In related news, I also got a Christmas present from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) who awarded a 475K grant to the project OPTICA: "Optimising PharmacoTherapy In the multimorbid elderly in Primary CAre: a cluster randomised controlled trial". This project aims to introduce the STRIP Assistant in Swiss primary care. This good news also signifies the return of Michiel Meulendijk as a partime postdoc.

TALK: Power to the people!

posted Nov 11, 2016, 12:54 PM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Nov 11, 2016, 2:13 PM ]

Today I presented the position paper titled Power to the People! Meta-algorithmic modelling in Applied data science at the 8th International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Information Retrieval (KDIR) in Porto. The closing talk of a very interesting session on text analytics and data science.

The paper is available here.

NB: By coincidence I learned about the very interesting work of Thomas Stützle on automatic algorithm configuration metaheuristics implemented with irace. It addresses the same machine learning challenge from the opposite perspective ;-)

TALK: Applied Data Science

posted Sep 12, 2016, 2:31 AM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Sep 4, 2017, 3:46 AM ]

Last week I introduced the all-brand-new multidisciplinary profile Applied Data Science for Science & Life Science students, as the profile coordinator for both the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS) and the Graduate School of Natural Sciences (GSNS), for resp. 2*200 and 1*320 all-fresh masterstudents. It all starts next February!
You can apply for the profile by filling out the following concise questionnaire:

UPDATE: For GSNS I pitched again for 90 students on Febr 6, 2017: Applied Data Science: introducing the new multidisciplinary master's profile.

UPDATE2: Please note that from September 2017 onwards, the obligatory ADS courses start in period 1 (instead of 3), meaning:
  1. Period 1 (Sept 2017-Nov 2017): Data Science & Society
  2. Period 2 (Nov 2017-Jan 2018): Data Analysis & Visualisation
  3. Period 3 (Feb 2018-Apr 2018): Computational Thinking
  4. Portfolio assignment (GSLS only): BMB525817.

ADS Postgraduate

Postgraduate ADS students should sign up to the online communication platform on Slack at

CFP: Advanced Software Engineering for Data Mining

posted Aug 17, 2016, 3:17 AM by Marco Spruit

Together with Dr. Miltiadis D. Lytras, Prof. Hassan I. Mathkour, and Dr. Cornelio Yáñez-Márquez I will be guest-editing another special Issue on Advanced Software Engineering for Data Mining in Business, Health, Education and Social Networks (B-H-E-SN) -- in the IET Software journal of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) (IF:0.595). 

Please send us your related work before Nov 30 2016!

CFP: BI/Data Analytics Systems in Healthcare

posted Jul 15, 2016, 1:26 PM by Marco Spruit

Together with Miltos I will be guest-editing a special Issue on the social, economic, political and cultural impacts and challenges of patient-centric business intelligence and data analytics systems in healthcare -- in the Telematics and Informatics journal of Elsevier (IF:2.2). 

Please send us 1-page abstracts on how you circumvent barriers to BI success in healthcare by focusing on patient-centric systems to better realize BI’s potential impact before Oct 1, 2016!


posted Jun 29, 2016, 1:37 AM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Jun 29, 2016, 5:51 AM ]

Yesterday I introduced the Data Science Platform Netherlands (DSPN) at the EDISON-Nether Workshop "Get Ready for Big Data in the Cloud" on the Open Science Cloud and Data Science Training at CWI in Amsterdam. Afterwards I participated in the panel discussion regarding the EDISON National Action Plan as a representative of the academic stakeholder. As it turned out, DSPN is currently a shining example within Europe of how Data Science efforts can be brought together at the national level with one united voice, and EDISON would like to see DSPN consolidate what EDISON is currently establishing... EDISON is a highly relevant 24-month Horizon2020 CSA project, established in September 2015, with the purpose of accelerating the process of establishing the profession of Data Scientist. Its aims include establishment of a Data Science Competence Framework and Body of Knowledge, which may be quite helpful in refining our Data Science offerings in Utrecht.

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