Tremendous Tradition: Vrije Universiteit Brussel celebrates Pi Day with Mathematical Contest

14 March is Pi Day so once again, fifthand sixth-year students from all over Flanders will travel to VUB in Brussels - or join in online, hopefully for the last time - to take part in the grand final of the WWW maths challenge.

WWW, that is the Wiskunnend Wiske Wedstrijd, or Mathematical Wisdom Contest , and is the creation of the famous physicist, mathematician and VUB alumna Ingrid Daubechies , who devised the game for her alma mater.



Daubechies wanted to organise a competition for young people in secondary education to help them discover the charms of mathematics: "Learning how to play an instrument is not the same as making music yourself. The latter is much more fun. It’s the same with maths. That’s what I wanted to bring about with WWW."



Every year some 2,000 pupils from the fifth and sixth year of secondary school all over Flanders take part in the grand final on Pi Day - 14 March, or 3.14, a high day for all mathematicians.

During the final, the pupils are presented with four assignments and a game in which their young brains are pushed to the limit. It’s not only solving the tasks that’s important, but also how quickly they do it. The winning classes go home with great prizes.

Ingrid Daubechies

Prof Ingrid Daubechies is a world authority in the field of wavelets, oscillations that enable processes such as image compression. She was portrayed in the Canvas TV series All for Science and in 2012 King Albert II conferred on her the title of Baroness. The granting of this title and the Nemmers Prize in the same year underline her leading position in her field. She has been a member of the US National Academy of Sciences since 1998 and was the first female professor of mathematics at Princeton University. She is currently professor of mathematics at Duke University in North Carolina.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig - The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People , because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership , VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré , the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ’urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.

www.vub.be/dewereldheeftjenodig