There are many types of students, but there is one thing that unites us all, we are here to better ourselves by learning. And whether you are the one to usually use lectures as sleeping aid after a long night out, or you sleep together with your text book, our professors always try to motivate all of us, by introducing new and exciting possibilities. This time, I am talking about Mr Jan Brinkhuis, whom most of us remember from the Matrix Algebra courses, as this year, he has once again given us QED, the lectures that give you new insight into the study material.
A word from the professor himself
Every year, there are a number of students, who want to go a bit deeper into some subject than is possible in the regular courses. In response to their requests, I started QED some years ago. Recently, the coordinator of the program, as well as former participants, asked me to organize QED again, as a contribution to the academic environment that we offer to students.
The QED has to offer deep wisdom, such as in the Dutch saying 'om in luilekkerland te komen, moet je eerst door rijst eten om een tunnel te maken door de rijstebrijberg'
This time, the topic is coordinate-free Matrix Algebra. In the course that I have just taught, the usual 'engineer's view’ is offered. Experts say that you cannot avoid complex numbers and work only in terms of coordinates. The power of the new view will be illustrated in two ways. We will take a fresh look on our course Matrix Algebra and we will see that one gets an easy access to one of the most successful models of science: Quantum Mechanics. The two QM highlights that will be discussed using coordinate-free Matrix Algebra, are: the uncertainty principle of Heisenberg and the dispute between Einstein and Bohr on Quantum Mechanics.
Let me reveal one more thing that QED has to offer: deep wisdom encoded in traditional Dutch sayings, such as 'om in luilekkerland te komen, moet je eerst door rijst eten om een tunnel te maken door de rijstebrijberg'. Applied to QED: if you want to enjoy fully coordinate-free Matrix Algebra, then effort cannot be avoided. For this, after the formal QED-meeting, there is an informal discussion, where participants 'eat some rice from the rijstebrijberg ' in order to fully enjoy all goodies in 'luilekkerland’. Without this, you can only look at and smell the goodies.
A word from a fellow lecturer
Remy Spliet (lecturer of Vector Differentiation and other courses):
The QED meetings are a great place for kindred spirits to come together and share their fascination for mathematics. Guided by the extremely capable and highly experienced dr. Brinkhuis, participants are guided on an intriguing journey celebrating the beauty of mathematics. Participants are continuously challenged to test their intellectual limits during the QED meetings. Mathematics is an acquired taste and in the end only those sharpest of mind will acquire it. The QED sessions are a fantastic place to pursue exactly this goal.
A word from a student
Olga Olshevets (Estimator editor and QED participant):
Having visited the first of the QED sessions, I must say that I am glad that I had signed up. I think that these lectures are a great idea, and I feel grateful that a professor is willing to put time and effort into giving us this opportunity. I must admit, the lecture was quite challenging, but I feel like I can definitely apply the new knowledge in the future. It was quite exciting to be surrounded by motivated (and way smarter) students. All in all, a Wednesday afternoon well spent.
Olivier Paauw (student and participant of QED a few years ago):
My experience with the first incarnation of QED was positive. I participated to get a more complete background of the mathematical topics in the econometrics study. The rigorous proofs and deeper concepts were presented enthousiastically. Additionally there were some enjoyable exercises, which I found very rewarding after spending some time on them.
Thomas Breugem (lecturer of the exercise classes of Calculus/Analyse and participant of QED when he was a student):
QED is a great initiative, aimed at students that are not very happy when a proof is skipped during a lecture. It is a great opportunity to learn about the high level concepts underlying most of the theory discussed in, for example, the calculus courses.
Robert Arends (President of the 51st board and participant of QED during past years):
The QED lectures are a source of inspiration to me. I enjoy seeing and experiencing the beauty of mathematics brought to you by enthusiastic lecturers with a great passion for the topics. The QED lectures provide a perfect opportunity for all interested students to deepen their knowledge and get inspired.