Anton Nijholt started his professional life as a scientific programmer at TNO, Rijswijk, the Netherlands. He studied mathematics and computer science at Delft University of Technology and moved to live in Amsterdam and do his PhD in theoretical computer science at the Vrije Universiteit. After that he was employed at several universities in and outside the Netherlands before 'settling down' at the University of Twente in 1989 as a full professor. He became head of the department Software Engineering and Theoretical Computer Science and, shortly thereafter, the Faculty of Computer Science before being able to change his research interests from theoretical computer science to natural language processing and, after the year 2000, to human-computer interaction.
He initiated the Human Media Interaction research group and this group took part in many Dutch and European research projects on multimodal and multi-party interaction, information retrieval and brain-computer interfacing. Anton supervised the research of about fifty PhD students.
In recent years he organized and co-organized many conferences, workshops, and special sessions as program chair or general chair and he was guest-editor of many special issues of journals. He acts and acted as reviewer of many EU projects and is member of the advisory boards of some of these projects. In recent years he gave invited talks on computational humor, computational deception and brain-computer interface games.