Categorie: Wiskunde

The mathematics behind waking up happy

As an infant you were never tired when you had to sleep, to wake up a teenager you need a cannon shot and in our “golden” years napping seems to come as easily as breathing. Sleep and its underlying processes hold many mysteries. Why does the brain switch between different stages of sleep? Why do you still feel groggy after a night of sleep sometimes? Despite a lot of available data and research, researchers still find it hard to answer the basic question about one of our most essential bodily function. In order to understand […]

26 februari • Door Renske Zijm Tijd om te lezen 5 minuten


Het spel Nim is een spel dat waarschijnlijk al een paar duizend jaar geleden bedacht is in het Verre Oosten. Het spel wordt gespeeld door 2 personen. De opstelling van het spel bestaat uit een willekeurig aantal verzamelingen (lucifers, muntjes, papiertjes enz.) met een willekeurig aantal elementen. Het doel van het spel is om er voor te zorgen dat jij degene bent die het laatste element pakt. Het spel heeft ook een misère versie. Hierbij doe je precies het tegenovergestelde, oftewel je moet er voor zorgen dat jij degene bent die niet het laatste element […]

12 februari • Door Mark Woelders Tijd om te lezen 5 minuten

Names in a box

This is one of the most difficult riddles I have ever encountered. It does not require a lot of mathematical skills, but you certainly have to have some intuition in solving riddles. This riddle is called “The 100 prisoners problem”. Do you have what it takes to solve this challenge? Problem 100 prisoners are given the chance to be released from prison. Their names will be put in 100 different labelled wooden boxes. These boxes are labelled with the names of the prisoners, but the name in the box is never the same as the […]

25 januari • Door Sam Ansari Tijd om te lezen 3 minuten

A mathematical perspective

Pythagoras of Samos (572-500 BC) was one of the first famous mathematicians. He is probably best known for the Pythagorean theorem, even though he left no mathematical writings himself. Much of what we now know of Pythagoras comes from the writings left by his followers.  These followers, the Pythagorean, were not just common scholars, for them Pythagoras was a spiritual leader. The foremost axiom of Pythagoras’s school was “All is number” or “God is Number”. The Pythagorean thought was based on the idea that numbers are the underlying substance of reality and Pythagoras taught his […]

22 januari • Door Fenna Beentjes Tijd om te lezen 6 minuten

Effective haggling using mathematics

Did you know that most of the people in the world pay less than the price given on the label when buying something? These buyers use a very well-known phenomenon called haggling to do this. Haggling can be described as a type of negotiation in which a buyer and seller debate about the price of a good, often leading into a better deal for the buyer. Although haggling is something that happens every day all over the world, a lot of people still have not mastered it. In this article, I will introduce you to […]

28 november • Door Lars Beute Tijd om te lezen 4 minuten

Monopoly, het beroemde gezelschapsspel

“Monopoly is a board game in which players roll two six-sided dice to move around the game board, buying and trading properties, and developing them with houses and hotels.” In this article you can read some tricks to increase the probability of winning a game of Monopoly. – Esther Valkonet

07 november • Door Esther Valkonet Tijd om te lezen 6 minuten

Introduction to Mathematical Cycling

It is a remarkable sport, time trial cycling. It seems comparable to road racing and at the same time it has nothing to do with it. In a road race one tries to conserve energy as long as possible, while during a time trial you want to use all the power you have got during the whole event. Spending 200 hours in a wind tunnel during the winter months to find out that you have to adjust your shorts length with four millimetres. Crazy things like switching your socks five minutes before the start of […]

16 oktober • Door Jochem Hak Tijd om te lezen 9 minuten

Kamertje Verhuren

Kamertje verhuren. Een spel waarbij twee personen om de beurt lijntjes aan puntjes verbinden om hokjes te vormen. Degene die het meest aantal kamertjes heeft wint. Kamertje verhuren is een zeer simpel spel. Tenminste, zo lijkt het op het eerste gezicht. Zit er meer achter het spel dan dat het spel op het eerste gezicht doet vermoeden? Het antwoord is ja, wiskunde. Het veld bestaat uit een x aantal puntjes loodrecht onder en naast elkaar. Elke speler moet om de beurt een verticaal of een horizontaal streepje zetten tussen twee punten. Wanneer een speler het […]

09 oktober • Door Mark Woelders Tijd om te lezen 5 minuten

If you only have zero-questions left

Whether you are an econometrician, a mathematician or a hobbyist with some interest in numbers, there is a high probability that you once racked your brain over the question why you cannot divide by zero. Or the equality , why is that not just equal to zero? The number zero has some interesting properties, and in this article, we will try to find some logical reasoning behind these. Let us start off with some exponential calculations involving zero. First of all, we find that for any . This makes perfect sense as for times. As […]

18 september • Door Marleen Schumacher Tijd om te lezen 7 minuten

Can computers beat a coin?

Computers do what we tell them to do, if you know how to operate them. That is why computers play such an important role in our lives. However, sometimes we want a computer to just do something we cannot predict: to generate (a sequence of) random numbers. Random numbers are useful for a large variety of purposes, such as encryption, simulation and sampling. Now when you think about it for a moment, you may wonder how a computer can generate a purely random number by itself. Is it not possible to predict the numbers if […]

22 mei • Door Pieter Dilg Tijd om te lezen 5 minuten

Strategisch spelen: de Koude Oorlog en adverteren

Alvin Roth, Lloyd Shapley, Robert Aumann, Thomas Schelling en John Nash. In de afgelopen 20 jaar ging de Nobelprijs van de economie vaak naar wetenschappers die zich bezighielden met speltheorie. Toepassingen van speltheorie zijn niet alleen terug te vinden binnen de economie, maar ook binnen de wiskunde, biologie en sociologie. In dit artikel wordt aan de hand van speltheorie uitgelegd hoe de Koude Oorlog werd gespeeld en waarom de afschaffing van sigarettenadvertenties voordelig bleek te zijn voor de bedrijven die sigaretten verkopen. Competitief vs. coöperatief Speltheorie gaat niet zomaar over bordspellen. Het gaat namelijk om […]

15 mei • Door Anne Dumoulin Tijd om te lezen 8 minuten

Riddle: Hole in the sphere

A cylindrical hole six centimetres long has been drilled straight through the centre of a solid sphere. What is the volume remaining in the sphere? This problem is interesting, as it seems to lack information required to be solved. You may wonder how you can ever obtain an answer without knowing the radius of the sphere or the hole. However, as you will find out, obtaining the solution is not that difficult.   By calculation First of all, if we let the radius of the sphere be r, we will find that the radius of […]

06 maart • Door Pieter Dilg Tijd om te lezen 2 minuten

By Daniele Zedda • 18 February


By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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