Categorie: Wiskunde


Is math discovered or invented?

Mathematics has been used and researched since ancient times. The point of view on what mathematics is shifts from being an invention, a discovery to an artefact, by the influence of time and people. -Britt Brugts

23 november • Door Britt Brugts Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten

Zeno’s paradox

It’s a calm and sunny day as Achilles is walking through the city when he comes across a tortoise that approaches him. “Hi Achilles, I have a rather interesting question for you.”, says the tortoise. “Would you like to have a sprint race against me? I will get a head start of about 100 metres, and you win if you manage to overtake me.”. The surprised Achilles asks if the tortoise is really willing to race. Achilles knows that he is light-footed and the tortoise, obviously, is a tortoise. The tortoise confirms that he is […]

21 oktober • Door Casper de Vries Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten

A road to mathematics

Remember when you were young and you were too excited to sleep because you were going on vacation the next day? Your parents would wake you up very early the next morning because they wanted to drive all the way to the south of France in one day. Then, sometime during the road trip, your parents would miss an exit and have no idea where to go. Their printed out ‘ANWB routeplanner’ did not tell them what to do in case they made a wrong turn. Nowadays, most people do not have this stress anymore, […]

05 oktober • Door Deirdre Westenbrink Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten

The raven paradox

The raven paradox Econometricians face difficult problems. One of the hardest problems one can encounter is a paradox. The raven paradox is such a problem and was first proposed by logician Carl Gustav Hempel. The paradox has its basis in statististics. In this paradox, inductive reasoning forms a contradiction with intuitive reasoning. This article will try to explain the paradox and its implications on statistics.  The hypothesis In statistics we often want to test whether a given statement is true based on some kind of data sample. To perform a test we need to start […]

21 september • Door David Anthonio Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten

The math conference

Two mathematicians, Simon and Blume, are at a conference dinner, fighting over the last few pieces of lobster and steak, when another mathematician walks up to them. Having heard about the brilliance of the two, he decides to present them a riddle. After thinking for quite a while, he bends over to Simon, and whispers a number in his ear. Then, he leans over to Blume and whispers a number in his ear as well. Brimming with confidence, he states the following. “I have told each of you a number, one larger than the other, […]

22 juni • Door Pieter Dilg Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten
sports betting

The World of Sports Betting

It’s Saturday evening and you’re watching a football game with a couple of friends. Unfortunately, the game is between mediocre teams, so you don’t expect to see a great match. However, one of your friends has an idea to spice it all a bit up and to make the game more entertaining. You decide to all put in 10 euros, so you can place a bet on the outcome of the match. The game which you assumed to be boring before, is now starting to become a bit tenser. And it’s not only you and […]

11 mei • Door Casper de Vries Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten
Newcombs paradox

Newcomb’s paradox

Let’s suppose that we have a game with two players. One is a person that will make a decision and the other is a supercomputer that will try and predict that decision beforehand. This computer has been tested many times and the testers have worked out that the computer can predict the decision of the player with 99% accuracy. The game works as follows: two boxes are placed in front of the player. One box is clear and contains a visible 1,000 euros. The other box is opaque, which means the contents are unknown to […]

15 april • Door David Anthonio Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten
perpetual motion

The conundrum of perpetual motion

It is no surprise that the 19th  century was a time of scientific breakthroughs and wondrous inventions. However, for the people of Philadelphia, this meant that for only one dollar they could admire the most amazing machine in the world: a machine that stayed in motion forever without any external source of energy. The inventor of this device was a gentleman called Charles Redheffer, and his invention attracted a lot of spectators from all over the state. His machine stayed in motion due to two weights which, using gravity, pushed a large horizontal gear away […]

06 april • Door Fenna Beentjes Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 6 minuten

Is OLS a thing of the past?

One of the most popular regression methods an econometrician learns is the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS). It is a simple and elegant way of estimating parameters in linear regression. However, there is another technique to perform linear regression using concepts from machine learning. This concept is called gradient boosting and is also related to decision trees.    Decision trees A decision tree uses a tree-like model of decisions and possible consequences. It is a very common data mining algorithm used for operations research, specifically in decision analysis. The idea behind it can easily be understood […]

23 februari • Door Sam Ansari Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 10 minuten
family name

Will your family name ever go extinct?

Nowadays, in most countries, everyone has a surname. Some names are very common, like “de Jong” in the Netherlands, or for example “Nguyễn” in Vietnam, where almost 40% of the population has this surname. On the other hand, some surnames are extremely rare. For instance in Thailand, where surnames were largely introduced in 1913 and no family was allowed to duplicate any existing surnames. Perhaps, you have a very rare surname yourself. Then you might have asked yourself this question: will my family name ever go extinct? In this article, I will demonstrate a mathematical […]

21 januari • Door Stan Koobs Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 4 minuten

Are jugglers actually math enthusiasts?

Juggling, something we have all tried at least once in our life. For some, it resulted in the great satisfaction of three balls flying in perfect harmony through the air. For others, it was a traumatic experience of balls flying everywhere except for the right place. It is a quite challenging, but rewarding hobby. Some studies have even shown that people who learn to juggle have a boost in their brain development. Learning to juggle accelerates the growth of neural connections related to memory, focus, movement, and vision. But despite what some people might think, […]

19 januari • Door Deirdre Westenbrink Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten

Christmas with a mathematical touch

At first, you may think that mathematics has nothing to do with Christmas. The only link I could think of was calculating whether you have enough budget to buy that all those present for your family. However, mathematicians will always think of a way to integrate mathematics and thus, also for Christmas. One of the most popular applications of mathematics to Christmas is analyzing the song “Twelve Days of Christmas”. In this song, a surprising mathematical pattern is used to find out how many presents the singer receives during the twelve days of Christmas. Furthermore, […]

22 december • Door Renske Zijm Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten

By Daniele Zedda • 18 February


By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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