Maarten de Hoop

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Maarten de Hoop
Maarten de Hoop headshot.jpg
PhD university Delft University, The Netherlands

Maarten de Hoop is a geophysicist known for his work in exploration seismic inverse problems, primarily regarding amplitude preserving seismic imaging and migration.

Maarten received his B.Sc. (mathematics and astronomy, cum laude) and his M.S. (theoretical physics, cum laude) from Utrect University. He received his Ph.D. in technical sciences (cum laude) from Delft University. From 1985 to 1992 Dr. de Hoop was a research geophysicist, Koninklijke/Shell Exploratie en Produktie Laboratorium, Rijswijk, the Netherlands. From 1992-1995 he was a Senior research scientist and programme leader Schlumberger Cambridge Research, Cambridge, England.

In 1995 Dr. de Hoop joined the faculty of the Department of Geophysics of the Colorado School of Mines. He remained on the faculty of Mines until 2005. Since 2005 Maarten has been a professor at the Center for Computational & Applied Mathematics at Purdue University.

Biography Citation for the SEG J. Clarence Karcher Award 1996 [1]

Contributed by Ken Larner

One's first thought is likely that Maarten de Hoop cannot satisfy the age requirement of SEG's new award, the J. Clarence Karcher Award "in recognition of contributions to the science and technology for exploration geophysics by a young geophysicist..." Given his scientific accomplishments to date, he must have started his career at age 10.

A native of The Netherlands, de Hoop worked for six and a half years as a research geophysicist with Shell and for three and a half years was a program leader and senior research geophysicist with Schlumberger's Cambridge laboratory. For the past year, he has been a visiting professor at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). Throughout this period he has published extensively on the most intricate of mathematical problems in the field of seismic wave propagation.

Although Maarten has been at CSM for less than a year, his research and teaching strengths and accomplishments in the mathematics of forward and inverse wave propagation have been most impressive. In that short time, he has taught two advanced-level courses in applied mathematics in computational seismology. The first course, started just two weeks after arriving at CSM from industry, was "Pseudo-Differential Operators in Seismology." Both this course and "Generalized Radon Transforms: Migration, Imaging, AVA Inversion, and DMO" taught the following semester, were highly enlightening and greatly challenging to students and faculty members alike.

Maarten's research and publication productivity have been remarkable. The period 1991-95 saw publication of 14 significant papers on widely varying topics in the mathematics of elastic wave propagation. In nine months while at CSM, he has co-authored three comprehensive and distinctly different papers being presented at this year's Annual Meeting, and he has co-authored three other substantial papers, two of them on topics that differ thoroughly from those submitted for the SEG meeting. Somehow, he has found the time while producing his extremely well-written papers to give invited presentations at applied mathematics symposia and workshops in Europe, the U.S., and Russia this year.

A natural outgrowth of his easy and open way of interacting with other scientists is the wealth of collaborations he has developed with mathematicians and geophysicists in academia and industry around the globe. Through his soft-spoken modesty and open appreciation of the contributions of others, his collaborations have thrived through a joint searching for scientific understanding, with the large extent of his individual contributions hidden. His approach to all problems is to treat them in the largest generality. Maarten thus provides a layer of mathematical groundwork. As a result, many of the papers that he has written recently will form the foundation for more specialized applications by him and others in the future.

Despite the remarkable breadth and depth of his approaches to the most difficult of problems in wave propagation, Maarten has a particularly modest demeanor and is a most pleasant individual. At CSM, he has always been willing to take the time necessary to help both students and faculty members; fundamentally, he has a youthful fascination for any and all as-yet-unresolved problems. An energetic outdoors man, he strikes you as a true gentleman.

A hint of what might have been expected from him came from the fact that both his bachelor's degree in physics with mathematics and astronomy and his master's in theoretical physics at the State University of Utrecht were cum laude, as was his Ph.D. degree in technical sciences earned at Delft University of Technology. All of his scientific work since then has been cum laude as well. Maarten's view is simply that he has been "very fortunate to be able to learn from and communicate with the greatest mathematicians of our time (Duistermaat, Keller, Arnold, Atiyah, and others)" and feels that his contributions have been very modest compared to theirs.

It is wonderful that the SEG has this year added to its repertoire of honors the J. Clarence Karcher Award, which specifically honors the scientific accomplishments of young geophysicists, and it is most fitting that the Society has chosen to honor with this award so outstanding a young scientist as Maarten de Hoop. In so doing, the Society implicitly is saying, "Good start, keep up the phenomenal work, and show us even more in the future."

Honorable Mention (Geophysics) 2003

Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl, Maarten V. de Hoop and Bjørn Ursin received 2003 Honorable Mention (Geophysics) for their paper Focusing in dip and AVA compensation on scattering-angle/azimuth common image gathers.[2]


  1. Program for the Presidential Session Honors & Awards, Colorado Convention Center 9:00am Monday November 11, 1996 p.12-13.
  2. Brandsberg-Dahl, S., M. V. de Hoop, and B. Ursin (2003) Focusing in dip and AVA compensation on scattering-angle/azimuth common image gathers, GEOPHYSICS 68(1):232.