Dutch Education Ministry Introduces Bitcoin into Syllabus

One of the constant criticisms that is often leveled at the education system particularly in dealing with scientific subjects like mathematics is that it is not made relevant to today’s world. Now in some cases this is difficult, as more advanced mathematical concepts are difficult to apply to real world scenarios. Of course, we can make basic principles like arithmetic very relevant as those skills are needed for almost everyone in day to day life. But what happens when we get a little bit more advanced? How do we engage with pupils to make the subject interesting in the context of the curriculum.

There are examples though from across the world how educational authorities are trying to incorporate modern concepts in the the teaching of maths. After all it’s common sense to include modern concepts into a subject like mathematics that is developing all the time. Demonstrating how maths can be used to solve modern day issues is the best way to make it relevant and interesting. For example studying the algorithms required in rotating residential proxies is something that can be used in today’s digital economy. Below is an example of a country taking a pro-active approach to introducing such concepts into their maths curriculum by covering things like Bitcoin. It refers to some questions revealed from some Dutch examination papers.

According to a rough interpretation of the test paper circulating on Reddit, students were actually presented the following question introduction:

” Bitcoin is actually a digital currency which simply exists online. It has already existed since January 1st, 2009, and can be used as settlement method in webstores and for other internet services. Bitcoin is not, like regular money, made by a reserve bank. On the other hand, every bitcoin that exist are created by having computers take part in dealing with distinct mathematical problems. This works as follows: anybody can easily run particular software on his or her computer that participates in solving such a mathematical problem. The operator of the computer system that solves the problem is given 25 (recently created) bitcoin as a reward. Simply because it was the situation that in 2014 this kind of a problem is resolved every 10 minutes, 25 new bitcoins were literally created every 10 minutes. On January 1st, there were (approximately) 12.2 million bitcoin.”

Following from the preceding overview, students were actually asked to deal with five separate mathematical problems. The questions asked that students “determine in what year the amount of bitcoin went beyond 18 million,” “determine from which year during the prize will be actually less than one bitcoin,” “identify the largest amount of bitcoin which can be in circulation,” in addition to presenting addition challenges based upon the formula used to resolve the aforementioned questions.

Netherlands Warming Up to Cryptocurrency

Dutch Senior High School Exam Comes with Bitcoin-Themed Questions. The test has actually been presented to students following increasing recognition of cryptocurrency on the part of Holland’s establishments.

Throughout March, the Court of Amsterdam determined that bitcoin provides “properties of wealth” while adjudicating a civil rights case concerning an individual pursuing settlement from an unfinished agreement concerning bitcoin mining. The law court concluded that “bitcoin represents a value and is transferable” and “therefore shows features of a property right. A case for repayment in Bitcoin is, for that reason, to be regarded as a claim that qualifies for verification.”

Earlier this month, the ambassador of the Dutch Blockchain Coalition, Rob van Gijzel, demonstrated a nationwide blockchain research agenda, which had been ordered by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The ministry had established a designated board, TopTeam ICT, entrusted with studying the potential legal, economic, and ethical significances of disseminated ledger technology in the Netherlands.

It’s vital that mathematics takes part in these modern day concepts especially when they are directly relevant. It also makes it easier to attract talented students from related subjects towards the study of mathematics. For example if computer students realise that the importance of maths to installing, configuring and deploying things like privacy or sneaker proxies with residential IP addresses then it’s more likely to attract those students.

The Beginning of Maths History

The history of mathematics is actually a long and involved story. Indeed many degree courses have specialised lectures on just this subject, however it is possible to identify the highlights especially if you focus on a specific section of the timeline. The story reaches backs in to the very annals of human history from before records began. Indeed it is not long after human dialect develops, it really is safe to assume that people start counting – and that fingers and thumbs provide nature’s abacus. The decimal system is actually no accident. Ten has been the basis of the majority of counting methods in history.

When any type of record is really needed, marks in a branch or a stone are the typical solution. In the very first enduring traces of a counting system, numbers are developed with a repeated sign for each group of 10 followed by another repeated sign for 1.

Math can not easily develop up until an efficient mathematical system is in place. This is a late appearance in the story of mathematics, calling for both the principle of place value and the concept of zero.

Because of this, the early history of mathematics is that of geometry and algebra. At their rudimentary levels the two are simply mirror images of one another. A number expressed as two squared can likewise be described as the area of a square with 2 as the span of each side. Similarly 2 cubed is the volume of a cube with 2 as the length of each dimension. The subject is obviously important and perhaps the application of geometry can be visualized more easily than any other branch. If you look at any plans, engineering drawings or even those diagrams on the ‘tactics board’ from the Match of the Day stream on your computer, then it’s simple to see the various geometric patterns develop.

Babylon and Egypt: from 1750 BC

The very first surviving examples of geometrical and algebraic calculations derive from Babylon and Egypt in about 1750 BC

Of the 2 Babylon is much more advanced, with quite complex algebraic problems featuring on cuneiform tablets. A common Babylonian maths question will certainly be expressed in geometrical terms, but the nature of its solution is essentially algebraic (see a Babylonian maths question). Due to the fact that the numerical system is awkward, with a foundation of 60, calculation depends largely on tables (sums already worked out, along with the answer given for future use), and numerous such tables endure on the tablets.

Egyptian mathematics is much less advanced than that of Babylon; but an entire scroll on the subject endures. Referred to as the Rhind papyrus, it was actually copied from earlier sources by the scribe Ahmes in about 1550 BC. It incorporates brainteasers for example, problem 24: – What is the size of the heap if the heap and one seventh of the heap amount to 19?

The papyrus does introduce one essential element of algebra, in the usage of a basic algebraic symbol – within this case h or aha, meaning ‘quantity’ – for an unknown number.

Pythagoras: 6th century BC.

Ancient mathematics has actually reached the modern world largely through the work of Greeks in the classic period, building on the Babylonian custom. A leading figure among the early Greek mathematicians is Pythagoras.

Above is the solution of the famous Rhind Papyrus problem as demonstrated on YouTube. In around 529 BC Pythagoras moves from Greece to a Greek colony at Crotona, in the heel of Italy. There he establishes a philosophical sect based upon the view that numbers are the underlying and changeless truth of the universe. He and his supporters soon make exactly the sort of breakthroughs to bolster this numerical faith.

The Pythagoreans can show, for instance, that musical notes vary in accordance with the duration of a vibrating string; whatever length of string a lute player starts with, if it is doubled the note consistently falls by precisely an octave (still the basis of the scale in music today).

The devotees of Pythagoras are also able to prove that whatever the shape of a triangle, its three angles always add up to the sum of two right angles (180 degrees).

The most famous equation in classical mathematics is known still as the Pythagorean theorem: in any kind of right-angle triangle the square of the longest side (the hypotenuse) is equal to the sum of the squares of the two other sides. It is actually unlikely that the proof of this goes back to Pythagoras himself. But the theorem is typical of the accomplishments of Greek mathematicians, with their primary passion in geometry.

This interest reaches its peak in the work compiled by Euclid in about 300 BC.

Further Reading:

There are some great Maths documentaries available online and from the world’s premier broadcasters.  Watch out for the History of Maths from the BBC, it’s not on the BBC iPlayer application at the moment but it’s repeated quite often and then added to the archive.  If you’re outside the UK then you can use this article to access – Watch UK TV Online – which shows how to use a VPN to hide your location and access from anywhere.

The Mathematics of the Beautiful Game

When we look at the news and see how companies like Cambridge Analytica are controlling our world through analysis of big data, it can be quite concerning. Mathematics is becoming increasingly important in all works of life largely to to analyse and process the huge amount of data that is currently available.

Over the last decade or so this has also started to filter into professional sports particularly the high profile professional ones like football. Sometimes when you watch your favorite team fail to impress yet again there seems to be little planning behind their performance. However at the top of the game this is not strictly true. Mathematics obviously doens’t control the game of football but it is used to help managers, players and staff maximise their performances in a host of different areas.

The focus is of course using mathematics to give a team an competitive edge. This is in the form of analytics, algorithms and numerous statistical models in various sections of the game. It all sounds incredibly high tech and modern but the origins of using statistics in football is actually quite old. IN the 1950’s a gentleman names Charles Reep, a retired RAF officer who loved football decided to try and help his beloved Swindon Town.

How did he do this? Well he took out his notepad and started analysing the players – making notes about movements, positions, tactics and their setup during the fame. His goal was to try and identify small changes which could be made to help his team score more goals.

This was literally decades ahead of his time. Now as we approach the 2018 World Cup, this sort of analysis is actually commonplaces in football. If you tune into any football programme you’ll see a bewildering range of statistics about the game virtually as you watch on screen. Certainly on the UK football shows on Sky TV or if you’re streaming Match of the Day online like this, then you’ll get loads of statistics literally at the push of the button.

The biggest football teams in the world all use advanced systems of collecting data, analysing them and producing metrics and reports on all aspects of the team and their players. There is an element of using algorithms in bringing success to the football fields.

Ironically going back to Charles Reep – his team had little interest in the statistics that he was producing. However another team did decide to take it further employing him as an adviser, that team was Brentford Town. The West London side were struggling with relegation and used all his recommendations which indeed seemed to make a huge impact on their results. Brentford were saved from dropping down a division and he was considered something of a hero to Brentford fans.

Reep however was not popular among other football fans partly because of how his data suggested the game should be played. His data suggested that the majority of goals scored came from moves involving three or less passes. In essence he suggested the most effective way of winning a football game was to play the much maligned ‘long ball’ game. Basically to maximise their chances thy should hoof the football forward and hope for a knock on or lucky break.

Football teams now take this sort of data very seriously and the revolution of ‘big data’ is increasingly being employed by teams at all levels of football. Indeed commercial data companies like SAP are starting to get involved in managing the data produced by actual games and training of professional football teams. The training is the obvious target initially because you can analyse and modify training much more than you can the actual game. Crunching and analysing the data means you can look at the strengths and weaknesses of each individual player and adapt their training to maximise their performances.

Additional: How to Watch Match of the Day Online