Mathematics in the city


MAASTRICHT. Mathematicians see mathematics everywhere, even in the most ordinary everyday things, says Frank Thuijsman, professor of Strategic Optimization and Data Science, who opened the Math/Maastricht exhibition on the Minderbroedersberg 4-6 last Thursday. This is how the idea arose for an alternative guide for Maastricht, in which mathematicians from Maastricht University share a place that reminds them of a particular problem or research.

Joey Roberts photographed the researchers at the location of their choice. They explain their choice in the accompanying guide and give a brief mathematics lesson. Kurt Driessens, associate professor of Machine Learning, chose the hill at Fort Sint Pieter to tell us something about hill climbing algorithms – that gradually searches for a good solution to a problem. It is used, for example, in artificial intelligence to recognise a pattern. And Rachel Cavil from the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering regards the Basilica of Our Lady, with all its different architectural styles that nevertheless match, a symbol of her own interdisciplinary research.

In addition to the photographs, there is also a work of art by Jules Sinsel, which he created especially for the exhibition and can be seen on the Minderbroedersberg.

Math/Maastricht was not the only exhibition to open on the Minderbroedersberg last Thursday (Pi Day, if you write 14 March in the American manner you get 3/14, the first three numbers of pi). The second one is called European Women in Mathematics. Female European mathematicians are pictured on large banners in the hall. They explain why they chose mathematics, about the challenges of this discipline and the difference in treatment between men and women in mathematics.

The exhibitions can be seen until Friday 19 April.

Mathematics in the city