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Computer Science and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

The spectacular developments in information technology and telecommunications have led, over the course of the last two or three decades, to a veritable revolution in the global economic system as well as in social relations and daily life. These developments are the fruit of fundamental research closely linked to logic and mathematics, and technological developments themselves often the result of fundamental research. The ULB is very active in numerous fields linked to computer science and ICT, including their social implications. This research is often conducted in close relation with companies and the regional authorities of Brussels and Wallonia, and has led to the filing of several important patents and the creation of a number of spin-offs. ULB research in the field of computer science focuses on algorithmics, cryptography, checking code robustness and optimising code, as well as on operational research methods with the aim of providing managers with reliable guidance in their decision-making. This theoretical research benefits practical applications, which in return pose questions to the theory side. The whole issue of artificial intelligence is addressed by several well-equipped teams, taking their inspiration in particular from the way animal communities function to develop innovative forms of robotics. For their part, physicists and engineers are joining forces to study quantum information science issues which may one day help us design ultra-fast quantum computers. ULB teams are also very much present in the field of photonic and telecommunication technologies. Last but not least, the processing of very large quantities of data coming from the sequencing of individual genomes has become a key tool for personalised medicine. The Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels (ULB-VUB), (IB)2, forms the basis for close collaboration between computer scientists, engineers, doctors and biologists. The IT-based methods used there also benefit a number of business-related applications (data mining, business intelligence).