Categorie: Wiskunde

De ‘wiskundeknobbel’: een wel of niet bestaand fenomeen?

“Ik haal toch geen voldoende op wiskunde, ik heb namelijk echt totaal geen wiskundeknobbel”: een van de uitspraken die leerlingen bij wie wiskunde niet spontaan komt aanwaaien maar al te vaak doen. Ze denken, net zoals vele andere mensen, dat je aanleg moet hebben voor wiskunde om het goed te begrijpen en dus om voldoendes te halen. Maar is deze uitspraak wel gerechtvaardigd? Bestaat deze ‘wiskundeknobbel’, zoals het vaak in de volksmond wordt genoemd, daadwerkelijk, of kan iedereen wiskunde begrijpen en studeren met puur hard werken en de juiste motivatie? Dit wilden Duitse onderzoekers ook […]

23 mei • Door Lars Beute Tijd om te lezen 3 minuten

Kamertje Verhuren met Nimbers

Het spel kamertje verhuren is equivalent aan een ander spel. Dit spel heet “Strings and Coins”. Strings and Coins werkt door middel van touwtjes die vastzitten aan muntjes. De bedoeling hierbij is om uiteindelijk aan het eind van het spel de meeste muntjes te hebben. Dit kan je doen door touwtjes weg te “knippen”. Wanneer je het laatste touwtje dat vastzit aan een muntje hebt losgeknipt is het muntje van jou en moet je nog een keer een touwtje doorknippen. Een voorbeeld van een spel kamertje verhuren omgezet naar een spel Strings and Coins is […]

22 mei • Door Mark Woelders Tijd om te lezen 8 minuten

Puzzle box problem

Problem You are being held captive in a bunker with no possible way to communicate with any other life form. There is only one way to escape from this prison. You see a wooden box in front of you that has 8 knobs. It looks like the lock of the bunker. Each knob has a pointer that can point in 4 directions: up, right, down or left. On the box there is a note which states: ‘This box can be solved by turning every knob in the upright position, so all 8 knobs must be in […]

02 mei • Door Sam Ansari Tijd om te lezen 4 minuten

Squaring the Square

Squaring the square is a method of creating an integer square out of other smaller integer squares. Well what even is an integer square? Integer squares are squares whose sides have integer lengths. One example of a normal squared square is a 4×4 square created out of four 2×2 squares. That wasn’t too difficult right? But let us now add the following restriction; the sizes of the smaller squares need to be different. Can you come up with the solution of that particular squaring the square problem? And what if we add another restriction; no […]

18 april • Door Mark Woelders Tijd om te lezen 4 minuten

Blue Zones in Statistics – The ingredients for a higher life expectancy

‘Forever young, I want to be forever young! Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever young?’ is what has been sung in a popular song. This question has been asked frequently by a lot of people. The answer to this question certainly differs per person. Yet, we are trying to figure out for hundreds of years what makes people older and what doesn’t, in order to live longer ourselves. One of the great ways to investigate this is by looking at Blue Zones. In this article we will dive into one specific […]

16 april • Door Anne Dumoulin Tijd om te lezen 9 minuten

The PageRank algorithm

How did Google become so successful? What did the first search engine look like? The answer to these questions is related to a pretty basic mathematical concept which was revolutionary in that time. In this article I will tell you about the PageRank algorithm, which is the first and best known algorithm that Google uses. You may have heard the name earlier, Larry Page, he is one of the founders of Google and also one of the richest men in the world. He studied computer science at the University of Michigan and at Stanford University. […]

02 april • Door Stan Koobs Tijd om te lezen 6 minuten

Mind-boggling mathematical concepts

According to legend, the famous Achilles, hero of the Trojan War, was the fastest runner in all of Greece. One day an lazy old tortoise challenged Achilles to a race, claiming that he could win as long as Achilles gave him a small head start. Achilles laughed and told the tortoise he would surely lose, on which the tortoise replied: “On the contrary, I will win, and I can prove it to you by a simple argument.” The argument given by the tortoise is the famous Zeno’s paradox, a piece from a series of paradoxes […]

28 maart • Door Fenna Beentjes Tijd om te lezen 3 minuten

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

Nim

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

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