Summer reads Part 1 (2021): Technology

Now that the summer vacation is approaching we are all looking for our summer reads. We have collected some of the articles published on the Network Pages so that you can choose your summer reads!

Parallel Computing

In his article "How parallel computing can be (in)efficient" Jan-Pieter Dorsman illustrates how various devices we use on a daily bases rely on multi-tasking to guarantee speed and efficiency. But he also illustrates that multi-tasking can become inefficient at some point.

Illustration made by Alex Nazlidis

Managing the Internet

In her article "Google PageRank: how search engines `bring order to the Web'" Nelly Litvak explains how PageRank works, a mathematical algorithm and a crucial innovation of Google. In his article "The quest for a better Internet" Mark van der Boor discusses two methods that can help decrease the communication needed in data centers, guaranteeing that our internet connection is not impacted by the millions of users that join the internet daily.

Wi-Fi not working properly?

Always complaining that your Wi-Fi does not work well? In his article "How does wireless communication work?" Matteo Sfragara explains how various protocols used in communication networks can enhance or delay signals being transmitted. Many times it is not your phone causing the delay! An animation developed by Thom Carstemans shows two protocols in action.

Traffic and queues

On the Network Pages you can read various articles concerning methods to avoid traffic accumulation and how to handle queues. There is something for all tastes, from general articles to more specific and in depth. 

In her article Nikki Levering wrote about navigation systems, how they currently work and in which ways they could be improved to make better predictions. Rik Timmerman takes over and discusses in more detail a method that could be implemented in the future to reduce traffic congestion.

In his article Jaap Storm dives a little bit deeper in the math and shows how a result from probability theory, the Central Limit Theorem, can be used to make predictions about traffic.

Queueing theory is closely related to traffic since a traffic jam can be seen as a large queue. But there is much more going on in queueing theory, in her article Mariska Heemskerk described how the golden rule of staffing works. This method allows for example call centers to decide how many call center agents are necessary, given the amount of incoming call-traffic, to make sure that clients properly served. For another daily application of queueing theory read Ellen's article, who takes us to Disneyland and shows how some insights from queueing theory can help you wait less and experience more! Mathematicians working in queueing theory also love to compare service policies to see which one can reduce waiting. In real life what we mostly encounter is the first-come-first-served policy. What would you think of a last-come-first-served policy? Youri Raaijmakers wrote his thoughts on this!

In your browser there is an auction taking place

When you browse the internet a lot of websites show you banners with advertisements. And if you reload the page some new flashy advertisement pops up in the same place. Did you know that while your web page is loading an auction takes place? Read the article of Ruben Brokkelkamp!

Artificial Intelligence for beginners

In his article Robert Fitzner explains us how he managed to "teach" his computer to learn how to catch a ball. All steps are also explained with animations you can freely use. The JavaScript code is also available!

Next week Part 2 of our summer reads, interviews and personal blogs!

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