Categorie: Overig

The math behind the English language

Like many other languages, the English language is based on grammatical rules. It contains all parts to make a basic sentence, such as nouns, adverbs and verbs. All of this has not stayed the same over time. Scientists have known for decades now that every language evolves in striking similar ways to adapt to the needs of its users. Not only the words, but also the grammar change and mutate over time, where new versions slowly rise to take over the older ones. This development is not a bad thing, since if English had not […]

23 januari • Door Deirdre Westenbrink Tijd om te lezen 4 minuten
Quantum computers

The danger of quantum computers

The idea of a quantum computer first arose in the late century. Richard Feynman was the first person to think of using the special quantum properties to solve difficult mathematical problems. A lot of progress has already been achieved. “Let’s see what the future of quantum computers has to offer.”   A basic understanding of quantum computers All computers work in basically the same way. They receive an input of data, manipulate the data in some way and finally give an output. Quantum computers are no different. But what makes them so special? Quantum computers […]

16 januari • Door David Anthonio Tijd om te lezen 5 minuten

Oud en nieuw in andere landen

Anderhalve week geleden is het jaar 2020 ingegaan. Nederland kent voor dit feest zijn eigen tradities. Zo gaan krantenlopers bijvoorbeeld een paar dagen, voordat het nieuwe jaar ingaat, langs de deuren om iedereen de beste wensen voor het nieuwe jaar te wensen. Op 31 december bakken (en eten) veel mensen oliebollen of bedenken hun goede voornemens voor het nieuwe jaar. Sommigen besluiten om meer te gaan sporten; anderen besluiten om aan “dry january” mee te doen. Om twaalf uur vieren we vervolgens het ingaan van het nieuwe jaar met champagne en vuurwerk. En tot slot […]

09 januari • Door Esther Valkonet Tijd om te lezen 3 minuten

The truel

Imagine it is 1872, you are sitting in a saloon with Smith and Brown, two of your old friends. However, the three of you do not seem to get along as you did before. As time passes, tall tales turn into boisterous arguments. At some point Smith has had enough and challenges both of you for a truel, a triangular pistol duel. You hesitate, knowing that you are the worst shot out of the three and look at Brown. You both know that Smith has the best aim and Brown comes second. In fact, from the […]

19 december • Door Pieter Dilg Tijd om te lezen 3 minuten

Are you smart enough to work at Google?

Google is known as the king of riddle recruitment and its insanely difficult puzzles often go viral online. Large companies use these recruitment puzzles to narrow down a huge graduate applicant pool to a select few. A coder googled the words “python lambda function list comprehension” and got “You’re speaking our language. Up for a challenge?” as an answer from the search engine. After the coder solved the “100 hats riddle”, he was offered a job at the tech powerhouse.  The “100 hats riddle” There are 100 prisoners lined up by an executioner and they […]

05 december • Door Renske Zijm Tijd om te lezen 2 minuten
Sinterklaas drawing lots

Sinterklaas special: The math of drawing lots

  It is almost that time of the year again: 5 December. In the Netherlands we also call it ‘pakjesavond’. Especially the children look forward to it throughout the whole year. A well known tradition around this time of the year is drawing lots: everybody gets a lot with the name of somebody else and you should buy a gift and write a poem for that person. An often encountered problem is that you do not draw another person but that you draw yourself. But how likely is it that this will happen? When I […]

03 december • Door Stan Koobs Tijd om te lezen 5 minuten
Groningen bicycle capital of the world

Bicycle capital Groningen: the downside

Nowhere else in the world, is there such a high percentage of people using the bicycle for transport as in Groningen. The great number of students in the city and the stimulating policy of the township result in a 60 percent share of cyclists in normal day traffic. Hence you could say Groningen is the bicycle capital of the world.  That is obviously something to be proud of, as it contributes to a better world. However, the extreme amount of cyclists in Groningen also causes multiple problems for the city. What is the downside of […]

21 november • Door Casper de Vries Tijd om te lezen 3 minuten

The Riemann Hypothesis: how to earn a million with math?

The Riemann Hypothesis, a mathematical hypothesis conjectured by famous mathematician Bernhard Riemann, is one of the seven most famous mathematical problems of the last millennium. A price of one million dollars is awarded to the person who provides a solution to one of these problems. The Riemann Hypothesis is used in a multitude of other mathematical proofs, mostly in prime number theory. Therefore, it is crucial that the hypothesis is proven. Definition of the Riemann Hypothesis To start: The Riemann hypothesis states that all nontrivial zeros of the continuous analytic extension of the Riemann Zeta […]

18 november • Door David Anthonio Tijd om te lezen 6 minuten

Guess the number of M&M’s in the jar and win …

We have all seen it at least once in our life: ‘Guess the number of M&M’s in the jar and win …’. Unfortunately, most of us have never been able to give an accurate guess. However, there exists a concept that can consistently yield accurate guesses.  The wisdom of crowds is the concept that a large group of people has a higher collective intelligence than individual experts. This idea is applicable to a vast variety of instances including problem-solving, decision-making, forecasting, and policymaking. For example, some companies measure market sentiment via Twitter feeds. Data from […]

14 november • Door Berke Aslan Tijd om te lezen 3 minuten

Save the planet, paint a cow!

We live in a time where we pay a lot of attention to the environment. You should always be looking for improvements and those can be found in the most extraordinary fields. You might wonder how painting a cow can save the planet, and that is a perfectly good question to ask yourself. Fortunately, that will be explained in this article.   First of all, painting a cow can be read in multiple ways. In this case we are talking about applying paint on the skin of a cow. Experimental studies suggest that cows painted […]

07 november • Door Jochem Hak Tijd om te lezen 3 minuten

The math behind your love life

Normally, when we apply mathematics in the real world it is to find patterns, to find the underlying dynamics of something which is complex at first sight. We use it for example to predict earthquakes, to compute the premium of an insurance or to find the optimal strategy how to run our business. These are things which follow patterns, they do not happen out of the blue and there is some underlying logic. However, not everything can easily be described by math. On that side, I would put love. Love is mysterious and a lot […]

15 oktober • Door Stan Koobs Tijd om te lezen 4 minuten

Flauwekulcijfers herkennen

In oktober 2018 gaf Sanne Blauw, econometrist en journalist, een boek uit met de titel Het bestverkochte boek ooit. De reden voor deze titel was dat Sanne in dit boek wilde laten zien dat je cijfers niet zomaar voor lief moet nemen. Cijfer horen niet op een voetstuk, ook niet bij het afval, maar gewoon waar ze horen, naast de woorden. We zouden cijfers net als woorden namelijk niet zomaar blind moeten vertrouwen. Hoewel cijfers objectief lijken zijn zij dit niet.  Iedereen heeft in het dagelijks leven te maken met cijfers. De cijfers op de […]

10 oktober • Door Esther Valkonet Tijd om te lezen 3 minuten

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