Masterclass NETWORKS goes to school 2022

It is almost time for the annual masterclass organised by the NETWORKS program! This year the theme of the masterclass will be algorithms! 

This masterclass on the mathematics of networks and algorithms is meant for high school students who want to have a look into state of the art mathematics! The whole event is held in English and hence suitable for international schools as well. 

The masterclass this year will be held in March in a hybrid form, we will offer two online lectures on topics related to algorithms. Afterwards we will try to offer a full day at the University of Amsterdam where you can work on exercises based on the online lectures. If the situation doesn't allow this second day to take place on campus we will offer it online.

There is no overlap between the two lectures, feel free to register for only one or for both! The nicest of course will be to participate in both of them. The schedule with a short description of the topics discussed can be found below:

Tuesday 22nd of March 13:00 – 15:00 (Online): Giulia Bernardini – How complex can a problem be? 

Mobile phones, ATMs, modern cars, televisions, e-readers: none of them would work without software. The heart of software is formed by algorithms: step-by-step procedures to perform given tasks. Often there are different strategies to perform a given task - or “to solve a given problem”, as it is usually called - leading to different algorithms. These algorithms typically differ in efficiency: some are fast while others are slow. 

In this online talk you will see how mathematicians measure algorithmic complexity. The development of computers and computer software gave birth to complexity theory and made it necessary to theoretically understand which problems are intrinsically difficult to solve. Whenever an algorithm is developped to solve a problem an indication of its computational complexity is also desired. Participate to see how mathematicians tackle complexity!

Picture taken from CWI.


Tuesday 29th of March 13:00 – 15:00 (Online): Roel Lambers – Mathematics and sport: Computing for honest competitions.


In this talk you will see how mathematical techniques can be used in designing sport tournaments. In many sports tournaments complicated schemes are divised to determine how teams or athletes will proceed to the next rounds. Unfortunately, some times how these schemes are made may have a positive or negative impact on the performance of some teams and atheletes.

Take for example the TATA Steel Chess Tournament of 2020. Fabiano Caruano won that tournament and Magnus Carlsen came second. But there might have been a small detail in the organization of the tournament that gave an advantage to Caruana. Want to know how this can happen? You can read more about it in this article.

The conclusion, mathematical techniques can sometimes help in making competitions more honest. Participate to see how this works in practice! 

Tuesday 5th of April 10:00 – 16:00: Day on University of Amsterdam


After following the two online lectures we want to gather for a day at the University of Amsterdam to discuss the material presented during the lectures and solve exercises. The exact program of this day will follow.  

You can choose to follow only (one of) the two online lectures without joining the day on campus. We would of course love to see you all in all three parts of the program, but some flexibility is always good. 

You can read more about the previous editions of the masterclass and also find all the material presented in the previous editions here. For questions feel free to contact us at


If you would like to attend one of the online masterclasses please fill in the registration form.

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