IMAGINARY Beauty and power of mathematics


IMAGINARY is an interactive, travelling exhibition that can be visited and experienced simultaneously throughout the school year 2022-2023 in the Netherlands and Flanders. The exhibition consists of interactive installations, 3D objects and their theoretical background in algebraic geometry. All this in an attractive and understandable way. IMAGINARY comes to the UT campus for three weeks from 1 November.

The exhbition will be opened with a lecture on Geometric Origami by Henk van der Vorst, emeritus professor Numerical Analysis (UU).


Every visitor is welcome during the exhibition. Especially for classes (4-5 havo and 4-6 vwo) there is a special programme with workshops and guided tours. On 1 November, Studium Generale, together with Abacus (Study Association Applied Mathematics) and Daedalus (Study Association Industrial Engineering), is organising a lecture on Geometric Origami. The lecture will be given by Henk van der Vorst, emeritus professor of Numerical Analysis (UU), whose work will also be on display during the exhibition. Participation in the lecture is free of charge. For more informatie please see: Geometric origami (

  • General Public - 12.45 - 17.30 hrs

    Van maandag t/m vrijdag kunt u de tentoonstelling bezoeken van 12.45 - 17.30 uur. U kunt hierbij uitleg krijgen of een echte rondleiding in groepen van maximaal 25 personen. Deze rondleidingen worden verzorgd door studenten van de University of Twente. De tentoonstelling is te vinden in het DesignLab. U kunt uiteraard gratis naar binnen.

  • Pupils' programme - 13.30 - 16.00 hrs

    A programme has been developed especially for 4-5 havo and 4-6 vwo students to inspire and motivate them to engage with mathematics. The programme consists of the following components:

    Origami & Mathematics Workshop. Origami is the ancient art of folding paper. But actually it is so much more. For example, did you know that origami is closely linked to mathematics? And that you can see the applications of origami in surprising places? Think about aerospace, biomedical technology or product design, for example. During the Origami & Mathematics workshop workshop, you will learn more about the connection between origami and mathematics and see a number of examples up close. You will also actively get to work with paper yourself and learn to apply various folding techniques yourself.

    IMAGINARY guided tour. Besides a workshop, the programme consists of a guided tour, led by a student. There will be plenty of time to look around and ask questions.

  • Lunch lectures on the power of mathematics - 12.45 - 13.30 hrs

    Alongside the travelling mathematics exhibition IMAGINARY, there will be a series of lunchtime lectures by researchers from applied mathematics and engineering disciplines who make extensive use of mathematics. The lectures are aimed at a wide audience.

    • Thursday 3 november | Connecting with the Coast | Dr ir Pieter Roos

      Lunch Presentation by Dr ir Pieter Roos, alumnus of Applied Mathematics, currently Civil Engineering, University of Twente

      Thursday 3 November, 12:45-13:30

      DesignLab: Room Inform

      Titel: Connecting with the Coast

      Abstract: Barrier coasts, such as the Wadden Sea, cover about 10% of the world’s coastline.

      They consist of a chain of barrier islands separated by inlets that connect an inner basin with the outer sea.

      Next to their importance for society, barrier coasts are also fascinating dynamic systems continuously evolving due to the motion of water and sediment (for example in response to climate change and human intervention).

      Pieter Roos will show how mathematics can help us better understand the complexities of barrier coasts, specifically the stability of and connectivity among tidal inlets.


      Satellite image of Wadden Sea.

    • 8 november | Benfod's Law | Prof ir Gjerrit Meinsma

      Lunch Presentation by Dr ir Gjerrit Meinsma Applied Mathematics University of Twente

      Tuesday 8 November, 12:45-13:30

      DesignLab: Room Inform

      Titel: Benford's Law


      There is a funny thing with numbers in real life, such as river lengths and city populations: almost one third of the numbers has leading digit 1!  How can that be? I will explore one possible explanation of this phenomenon, based on "Nexit" which is the (hypothetical) problem of the Netherlands leaving the euro. This leads to Benford's Law. This law is used to detect anomalies in company data because fake data typically does not satisfy Benford's Law.

    • Friday 11 november | The Power of Math in (Teaching) Machine Dynamics | Dr ir Jurnan Schilder

      Lunch Presentation by Dr ir Jurnan Schilder, Applied Mechanics & Data Analysis, University of Twente

      Friday 11 November, 12:45-13:30

      DesignLab: Room Inform

      Titel: The Power of Math in (Teaching) Machine Dynamics


      How do machines move when subjected to forces? Or what forces should we apply to a machine in order to make it behave as desired? In many of our study programs, courses in mechanics and dynamics teach students how answer such questions based on the physics of Newton’s laws of motion. In this lecture, you will participate in an experiment that is about importance of math in engineering. Mechanical engineer Jurnan Schilder will deliver his worst ever lecture on machine dynamics, in which the majority of the math is omitted. Based on how little you learn in this lecture, Jurnan explains the didactical advantages of starting each problem in machine dynamics with the relevant math. At the end of this lecture, you will have an increased appreciation of the power of math over the physical laws required to solve problems in machine design. And just maybe, you learn something on machine dynamics along the way.

    • Monday 14 november | Algorithms | Prof dr Mariëlle Stoelinga

      Lunch Presentation by Prof dr Mariëlle Stoelinga, Formal Methods and Tools, University of Twente

      Monday 14 November, 12:45-13:30

      DesignLab: Room Inform

      Titel: Algorithms


      Algorithms, you hear about them more and more often. They determine what you watch on YouTube, what you find on Google and they are a key component in self-driving cars. The Dutch Parliament has  even proposed to impose a reporting requirement for algorithms, attempting to prevent abuses such as the discriminating decisions, eg in the "Toeslagenaffaire". 

      But what exactly are algorithms? How do they work? What is their predictive power and what are their downsides?
      In this lunch lecture, Prof. Mariëlle Stoelinga (Professor of Risk Management for High-Tech Systems, UT) will talk about the ins and outs of  algorithms.

    • Tuesday 15 november | Healthy Care | Prof dr Richard Boucherie

      Lunch Presentation by Prof dr Richard Boucherie, Mathematics of Operations Research , University of Twente

      Tuesday 15 November, 12:45-13:30

      DesignLab: Room Iform

      Titel: Healthy Care


      Nurses that work in hospitals are often either running or standing still. Some days twenty patients arrive at their ward, while the next day this may be only five. How to cope with this as a team? When the number of patients changes every day, how can you predict the number of nurses required for adequate care?
      This can be done with mathematical models and data. Hospitals plan surgeries several weeks in advance and know how long patients usually stay. With this information and probabilistic methods, it is possible to forecast when it will be  busy or calm.
      This allows scheduling less nurses on calm moments and more during busy times. Working smarter, not harder.

    • Wednesday 16 november | How mathematics can help us understand AI | Prof dr Johannes Schmidt-Hieber

      Lunch Presentation by Prof dr Johannes Schmidt-Hieber, Mathematics of Operations Research , University of Twente

      Wednesday 16 November, DesignLab: Room Iform

      Titel: How mathematics can help us to understand AI


      Artificial intelligence procedures are often referred to as black box methods. These methods seem to be so complicated that we cannot understand them anymore. Nevertheless, a good understanding is necessary to guarantee proper functioning. During the talk we will describe the challenges and the progress that has been made recently regarding the formation of a new field within mathematics that aims to unravel the mystery behind AI procedures.

    • Thursday 17 november | Music, Networks & Mathematics | Dr ir Clara Stegehuis

      Lunch lecture by Dr ir Clara Stegehuis, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Twente

      Thursday 17 november. 12.45 - 13.30 hrs
      DesignLab: Room Inform

      Who is the most popular musician? And how do musicians form collaborations? We will explore these questions by using mathematics and network science, and find out how Harry Potter and Wikipedia can explain why some songs are more popular than other.

    • Friday 18 november | Statistics to the stars and back: How we can use mathematics and statistics to unravel the secrets of our Universe | Dr Katharina Proksch

      Lunch Presentation by Dr Katharina Proksch, Mathematics of Operations Research , University of Twente

      Friday 18 November, DesignLab: Room Inform

      Titel: Statistics to the stars and back: How we can use mathematics and statistics to unravel the secrets of our Universe


      How did the Universe evolve? What is its (large scale) structure? Are there more habitable Earth-like planets and how can we find them? These and related questions have made people wonder and marvel for ages. Mathematics is an integral part of the quest of finding answers and unraveling the secrets of the Universe. In this talk we will have a look at several astrophysical and cosmological phenomena and the mathematics behind their discoveries.


Come find us! Click the image below for a description of where to find us on the University of Twente campus, and how to get to us by car, bike or public transport. 


Mo-fr: 12:45 - 17:30 hours
Sa-so closed