My PhD defense (and promotion) happened on 3rd of November 2005, at the TU Eindhoven. I defended my thesis

Coalgebraic Analysis of Probabilistic Systems


The thesis was approved by the reading committee consisting of: Jos Baeten (promotor), Twan Basten, Holger Hermanns, Jan Rutten, and Erik de Vink (copromotor).

The defense committee consisted of the members of the reading committee plus Bart Jacobs, Smile Markovski, and Jeroen Voeten.

A PhD defense in the Netherlands is a very festive, yet a very serious event. For me it was a wonderful day. Here is a photo-story:

Before the defense, the family, the paranymphs and the closest guests gather in a guest-room. (Photos by Triu)

The paranymphs or so-called "reserve-penguins" are there to (morally) support the defendant. In my case these were: my very good friend and former colleague Georgi Jojgov and my dear friend and co-author Falk Bartels. They may be asked -although it rarely happens in reality- to answer a question at the defense. Therefore we do last preparations. (Photos by Triu, except the rightmost one)

The defense starts, the first question is asked by the promotor "Could you shortly tell us what your thesis is about?" The answer is the short presentation - lekenpraatje, approximately 10 minutes. (Photos by Giovanni and Jinfeng, rsp.)

The committee members take their turn in asking questions in the next 50 minutes (no flash allowed, therefore few photos). The candidate answers. The audience has fun. None of this is visible on the photos. (Photos by Giovanni and ?)

The pedel (the man carrying the stick) enters the room when exactly one hour has passed and ends the defense with the words "hora est!". After a short break the committee returns, the promotor gives the diploma, and the copromotor gives a nice funny speech.(Photos by Jinfeng and ?)

Here are all the involved people together (Photo by Jinfeng):

Right after the defense, there was a reception.(Photos by Jinfeng and Giovanni)

Afterwards there was a party in cafe De Wildeman. According to the established tradition in FM, thanks to Tijn Borghuis, my FM colleagues sang me a song. (Photos by Georgi)

At the end of the long day, tired but happy - with lots of flowers and Harald (Photo by Georgi, in front of Dragan's place).