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Robbert Dijkgraaf is a Dutch theoretical physicist, mathematician and string theorist, and the current Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the Netherlands. From July 2012 until his inauguration as a minister in January 2022, he had been the director and Leon Levy professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and a tenured professor at the University of Amsterdam.
|Net Worth||$3 million|
Robertus Henricus “Robbert” Dijkgraaf FRSE was born on January 24, 1960 (age 63 years) in Ridderkerk, Netherlands. He attended the Erasmiaans Gymnasium in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He started his education in physics at Utrecht University in 1978. After completing his candidate’s degree (equivalent to BSc degree) in 1982, he briefly turned away from physics to pursue a painting education at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.
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Dijkgraaf returned to Utrecht University in 1984 and obtained an MSc degree in theoretical physics in 1986. He then went on to perform doctoral research under the supervision of future Nobel laureate Gerard ‘t Hooft. He studied together with the twins Erik and Herman Verlinde.
The original arrangement was that only one of the trio would work on string theory, but all three ended up writing their thesis on this subject. Dijkgraaf obtained his Ph.D. degree cum laude in 1989. His thesis was titled A Geometrical Approach to Two-Dimensional Conformal Field Theory. For a few years, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study, working alongside Edward Witten.
Robbert Dijkgraaf was appointed professor of mathematical physics in 1992 at the University of Amsterdam, a chair he held until 2004 when he was appointed distinguished professor at the same university. From 2008 to 2012 he was president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dijkgraaf was elected as one of the two co-chairs of the InterAcademy Council for the period 2009 to 2013. Starting in 2012, Dijkgraaf became the director of the Institute for Advanced Study, an independent academic institution located in the town of Princeton, New Jersey. On that date, he stepped down from his position as president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He has served on numerous boards including at the Teylers Museum and the NEMO Science Museum. He regularly appears on Dutch television and has a monthly column in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Since 10 January 2022, Dijkgraaf has been serving as the Education Secretary in the Dutch government. In 1998 Dijkgraaf was an Invited Speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin.
In 2003, Dijkgraaf was awarded the Spinoza Prize. In doing so he became the first recipient of the award whose advisor also was a recipient (Gerard ‘t Hooft received the first Spinoza Prize in 1995). He used part of his Spinoza Prize grant to set up a website targeted at children and promoting science: Proefjes.nl.
He is an elected Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2003 and of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities. On 30 May 2012, he was elected an Honorary Member of both the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society and the Netherlands’ Physical Society. On 5 June 2012, Dijkgraaf was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. In 2012, he became a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.
Robbert Dijkgraaf was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2013. That same year, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society. He received honorary doctorates from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Leiden University in 2019. In 2019, Dijkgraaf was awarded the inaugural Iris Medal for Excellent Science Communication, presented at the Evening of Science & Society in the Ridderzaal in The Hague, by Ingrid van Engelshoven, Minister of Education, Culture, and Science, in the presence of King Willem-Alexander.
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Dijkgraaf’s research focuses on string theory and the interface of mathematics and physics in general. He is best known for his work on topological string theory and matrix models, and his name has been given to the Dijkgraaf-Witten invariants and the Witten-Dijkgraaf-Verlinde-Verlinde formula.
Robbert Dijkgraaf is married to his wife Pia de Jong. His wife is an author and together they have three children. Their daughter Charlotte was born with a rare type of Leukemia and was the subject of a book written by her mother Pia de Jong, Saving Charlotte: A Mother and the Power of Intuition. As of May 2023, Robbert Dijkgraaf and his wife Pia de Jong are still married.
Robbert Dijkgraaf net worth
How much is Robbert Dijkgraaf worth? Robbert Dijkgraaf net worth is estimated at around $3 million. His main source of income is from his primary work as a politician. Robbert Dijkgraaf’s salary per month and other career earnings are over $350,000 dollars annually. His remarkable achievements have earned him some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy car trips. He is one of the richest and most influential politicians in the Netherlands. He stands at an appealing height of 1.78m and has a good body weight which suits his personality.