The Computer Systems group of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam was established mid 1970’s by prof. Andrew Tanenbaum (see history) and has been at the forefront of systems research for four decades (see Honors & awards). The group currently consists of three Full Professors (chairs), on High Performance Distributed Computing (Henri Bal), System and Network Security (Herbert Bos), and  Massivizing Computer Systems (Alexandru Iosup). Prof. Andrew Tanenbaum is formally retired but still contributes to our teaching.

We publish papers in top conferences  and journals, with a strong emphasis on high-impact research. We distribute widely-used open-source software, with MINIX as prime example, and routinely cooperate with big tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Philips for the real-world transfer and exploitation of our research results. We have high teaching standards, as evidenced by excellent student evaluations, and we coordinate one of the university’s top-ranked MSc programs. We published many textbooks. The group has delivered over 70 PhDs of worldclass quality, including MIT Full Professor Frans Kaashoek and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, and many award-winning PhD theses.


The Computer Systems group has about a dozen new projects from NWO and other agencies, in areas like high-performance Deep Learning (with Schiphol airport, ING bank, TATA steel, various medical centers), blockchains, many-cores (with the Netherlands eScience Center), big data, reverse engineering, software security, hardware security, and distributed ecosystems. Another recent NWO grant allows us to build the 6th generation of the Distributed ASCI Supercomputer (DAS), a unique distributed computer science testbed. We have strong collaborations worldwide and nationally, especially with the University of Amsterdam. We take part in ASCI,  the Advanced School for Computing and Imaging, which offers graduate courses to our PhD students. All this research is also valuable for many dozens of MSc Computer Science students who participate in our tracks or in our PDCS  top-master program.