At Amsterdam Science Park, we believe knowledge has no borders. That’s why you’ll find cutting-edge institutes, top-class facilities and business incubators in one convenient location. You’ll meet motivated students, innovative researchers, talented scientists and adventurous entrepreneurs – all in an environment where it’s easy to work together. Cross-disciplinary initiatives and holistic thinking flourish. Ground-breaking research projects become successful spin-offs. That’s the strength of Amsterdam Science Park: connecting boundless minds.
Noa Visser is studying for a multidisciplinary degree at the University of Amsterdam, where she is also an active member of the Amsterdam Science Park student party, LIEF.
“I decided to take a bèta-gamma bachelor’s degree here at Amsterdam Science Park because it’s really interdisciplinary. Bèta-gamma means that you get a broad foundation in science (bèta) subjects like physics, biology and chemistry, and also social sciences (gamma subjects) including economics, psychology and sociology. After the first year, which is a foundation year, you can choose a major and I chose maths, but later I switched to artificial intelligence (AI) – I’m now redoing the second year in AI, from an interdisciplinary perspective."
“My course gives me a foundation in both sciences and social sciences”
“When I tell people what I study, they often tell me how scary AI is. But I always point out that AI doesn’t mean that computers will take over everyone’s jobs or lives for that matter – just that they will make our jobs and lives easier. For example, AI will be a huge help in medical diagnosis, without replacing doctors. Since we don’t know exactly how people work, we can’t build a replacement human. Computers make some jobs redundant, but create other jobs. As one of the major current drivers of technology, AI is a great study choice now – there will be a need for lots of qualified people."
“There are a lot of people at Amsterdam Science Park, but it feels like a small community”
“As well as the multidisciplinary course, it was the atmosphere that really appealed to me here – it’s pleasantly relaxed, although everyone is really serious about their studies. In my first year, I decided to get involved in Spectrum, the student association for the bèta-gamma students. It was a great way to meet people in different years and get to know some of the older students, as well as to develop my organisational skills. The association arranges social activities, including poetry and music performances, museum visits and short trips."
“My most important first-year activity with Spectrum was to organised a study trip to Belarus and Lithuania for 30 people. It was the first time I’d done anything like it, and it went really well – it’s nice to know I can pull something like that off. The experience encouraged me to get involved with the Science Park’s student party, LIEF, in my second year. LIEF finds candidates for the student council election and campaigns for them. Outside of the elections, we organise events in the central hall of the FNWI building to inform students about the student council, and we arrange sessions to discuss the issues relevant to the council. The outcome of these discussions is passed on to the LIEF members in the student council. My involvement with students and student politics gives me a lot of energy, that's why I'd like to join the student council next year."
“Getting outside your own discipline is really useful”
“There are a lot of people working here at Amsterdam Science Park – so many, in fact, that it can sometimes be hard to find a workspace – but it feels like a small community. On my course, you get to work with students from other disciplines. So I recently did a project with biology and physics students to try to simulate the movements of meerkats. It didn’t work, but we had fun trying and I learned a lot. Getting outside your own discipline is really useful. It’s not as if one way of thinking is better than another.”