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Welcome to the annual Christmas overview of our latest articles!

It is Christmas Eve and we are probably only thinking of our Christmas vacation at the moment and finishing with our last work-related responsibilities. On Monday though, we will start thinking of our Christmas reads! Hence, below an overview of all the articles we published since the summer!

Stories of mathematicians

Various personal blog posts were published in the past months. Last week Diletta Martinelli wrote about in het blog post Ramanujan her thoughts on diversity within research institutions. Michel Mandjes wrote a blog about his impressions from a three-continents workshop he co-organized. I wrote myself a short blog about two interviews I took, together with my colleague Raf Bocklandt, with two great mathematicians, David Aldous and László Lovász. Two weeks ago we also published an interview with Marjan Sjerps, who works in the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI).

From DNA self-assembly to sociology and travelling salesmen

If you missed the article of Jo-Ellis Monaghan on DNA self-assembly and how graph theory plays a role in this application you can read it here.

Self-assembling DNA has potential in medicine. Illustration developed by Alex Nazlidis.

Frank Pijpers, from Statistics Netherlands, wrote an article about the interplay between mathematics and sociology. If you prefer to have a deeper look in pure mathematics you can have a look at this article about percolation theory! At some point travelling salesmen took over, in two articles we discussed a recent breakthrough in the Euclidean Travelling Salesman Problem. We also interviewed Frans de Ruiter, from the Dutch company CQM, who told us how the optimal biking route to 57,912 national monuments in the Netherlands was found.

The optimal cycling route, taken from the Travelling Salesman Problem website.

When all salesmen had delivered their orders we had a look at ambulance scheduling!  Moreover, Stijn Maatje explained in his article how the German encryption machine Enigma works, he showed the mathematics behind its mechanism and complexity and explained how Alan Turing managed to break it!

Moreover, on Friday 24th of September Professor Ton Koonen received a royal distinction “Ridder in the Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw” during the symposium “Optical Networks – communication fabric of our society”, preceding his valedictory lecture “Light work(s)”. In this article you can read an overview of Prof. Koonen's research. This article is a summary of the booklet made by the TU/e on the occasion of the valedictory lecture of Professor Koonen. The booklet was produced by the Communicatie Expertise Centrum TU/e. 

Finally, on 18 November, Margriet Oomen obtained her PhD cum laude from the University of Leiden. Margriet did mathematical research into the influence of the seed bank on the genetic diversity of a population. If you want to read further about Margriet's research you can have a look at this article she wrote for the Network Pages.

We would cordially like to thank all the people who contributed and keep contributing to the Network Pages. Without your efforts and contributions this platform would not be possible.  We wish you a great Christmas break and we will be back on Friday the 7th of January!

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