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    Cooking, swimming and maths
    11 november 2010 - During the modeling week maths students will work on a mathematical problem in groups of four for a whole week. They do more than that: during this week they also eat, sleep, live and cook together in bungalow park ’t Wolfsven in Mierlo.
    During the modeling week the students cook and eat together. Photo | Rien Meulman

    It is the first time for the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science to organize a modeling week whereby students also sojourn together in a bungalow park. “Because you are staying together in a park, you don’t only learn from each other in the area of maths, but you also get to know about cultural differences”, Michael Abdel Malik from Egypt explains enthusiastically. “In the evenings we play board games and cook and swim together. Yesterday everybody wanted me to sing an Egyptian song. After they had been nagging about it for two endless hours, I gave in and sang for them.”

    Gerjan Hebbink, Michael Abdel Malik (Egypt), Paul Krijger and Upanshu Sharma (India) form one group. Before the modeling week started the students followed a communication skills workshop. Gerjan: “We learned about teambuilding, the division of roles within a team, communication and feedback. Now we can put all of that into practice.” They all agree that their stay at ‘t Wolfsven has a positive effect on the cooperation in the daytime. Paul: “For instance, I now make jokes about Upanshu because he says ‘come on’ very often. Normally I would not have done that so quickly. As you now know each other better, you have an easier contact.”

    Upanshu considers the major added value of this week to be that he is getting to know Dutch students and different cultures better. “Normally speaking you say hello and keep on walking. After this week it will definitely be more than a hi.” The students compare it to an introductory week, the difference being that it is not just for international students but for all Master students of the Department. A new word has been launched already: ‘slagelhagel’. “I called it ‘slagelhagel’ because I had trouble pronouncing it correctly. Now everybody calls it ‘slagelhagel’”, says Upanshu. (HB)