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Author of hardest logic puzzle ever passed away

Raymond Smullyan, inventor of the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever, passed away on 6 February 2017. The riddle goes as follows.

Three gods A, B, and C are called, in no particular order, True, False, and Random. True always speaks the truth, False always lies, and the answers of Random are completely random. Your task is to determine the identities of A, B, and C by asking three yes-no questions. Each question must be asked to exactly one god. The gods understand English, but will answer all questions in their own language, in which the words for yes and no are dah and nah, in some order. You do not know which word means which.

Good luck!

X Factor - 20 verhalen over de onzichtbare kracht van wiskunde

Als je om je heen op zoek gaat naar iets wat met wiskunde te maken heeft, kom je uit bij ongeveer alles. Je gsm en je bankkaart, een pilletje tegen hoofdpijn, de verkeerslichten: allemaal wiskunde, in een of andere vorm. En toch kent u ongetwijfeld nog mensen die beweren dat ze niet begrijpen wat de zin ervan is. Doe die mensen het boek X-factor van Giovanni Samaey en Joos Vandewalle cadeau.

2016 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics awarded to Jean Bourgain

The Belgian mathematical analyst prof. Jean Bourgain of the Institute of Advanced Study was awarded the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics.

Top 20 application on fastest supercomputer: iPIC3D on Tianhe-II!

Giovanni Lapenta and collaborators received great news in China: the effort  "iPic3D modeling of 3D magnetic reconnection” has been selected among 1600 applications one of the top 20 best applications that run on the world fastest supercomputer Tianhe-II in China! More info is found in:

1) Lapenta, G., Markidis, S., Goldman, M. V., & Newman, D. L. (2015). Secondary reconnection sites in reconnection-generated flux ropes and reconnection fronts. Nature Physics11(8), 690-695.
2) Olshevsky, V., Deca, J., Divin, A., Peng, I. B., Markidis, S., Innocenti, M. E., ... & Lapenta, G. (2016). Magnetic null points in kinetic simulations of space plasmas. The Astrophysical Journal819(1), 52.


Henri van der Linden prize to Ludmila Carone

Dr. Ludmila Carone received the Henri Vanderlinden prize, awarded every two years by the Royal Flemish Academy for Sciences and Arts (

Ludmila continues her scientific career at Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg ( In the Planet and Star formation department. Her postdoc period at KU Leuven has enabled her to become an expert in exoplanet atmosphere modeling, using the MITgcm community code.

Prof. Van Doorsselaere gets ERC Consolidator grant!

Congratulations to our staff member Prof. Tom Van Doorsselaere, who received news that his ERC Consolidator grant entitled BOSS-WAVES receives full support. The 5-year project will focus on coronal wave studies, using coronal seismology to unravel the properties of the solar atmosphere (and other stellar atmospheres).