Problem-Based Learning (PBL) has stood at the core of Maastricht University ever since it was founded, and is applied in all programmes on offer here. For 35 years now, PBL has proven effective and successful. This 35th anniversary of PBL in Maastricht provides an excellent occasion to discuss PBL with one of our experts: Professor Wim Gijselaers, PhD, of the Department of Educational Research and Development.

Since the sixties the electric car has been known as ‘the car of the future'. But why is such a car still not widely used in the year 2011? How sustainable are they really and what can the government do to effectively promote their use? Marc Dijk explored these and other questions while reading for his PhD at Maastricht University. For his follow-up research he was awarded the Edmond Hustinx Scholarship, which included 7,500 euros for a stay abroad. At the end of this year he hopes to conduct research at Oxford.

Tracking crime

Tuesday, 16 March 2010 11:43

State-of-the-art DNA research in Maastricht

DNalysis Maastricht, the DNA laboratory of Maastricht University and the Maastricht Forensic Institute (TMFI), gained the accreditation required to legally perform DNA research at the end of 2009. The Accreditation Council thereby acknowledged the advanced research techniques employed by DNalysis, a young DNA laboratory that hopes to challenge the renowned Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) and other laboratories—injecting some healthy competition with new players in this arena. Jos Herbergs is the scientific director of DNalysis.

Go computer!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008 11:50

In search of a board game algorithm

Since computer Deep Blue beat chess grandmaster Kasparov, computer programmers have shifted their attention to the Asian board game Go. To date no computer has succeeded in overthrowing a Go pro, though the rules of play are simpler than for chess. Researchers are also joining in on the international battle to be the first to complete the challenge, including Guillaume Chaslot from Maastricht University.

To boldly go where no man has gone before

In Mind
Thursday, 04 September 2008 00:00

From helicopter platforms to Mancala games

He is ‘European champion’ in the African game of Bao and one of the few aviation psychologists at a Dutch university. He wrote a book about the architecture of helicopter platforms and is now writing a historical work about Albert von Baumhauer, the Dutch helicopter pioneer. He is the founder of the unique international journal of board game studies and hopes to be doing more psychological research soon into the game of draughts. “Contrary to chess, there hasn’t been a great deal of psychological research into draughts.” An interview with an advocate of exploratory research.

A community adrift

Tuesday, 20 May 2008 00:00

The scientific side of online games

Today’s most popular online computer game is World of Warcraft, with ten million players worldwide. The player groups, forming communities, closely resemble the real world: people also work together to be successful and make or break friendships. Each year, computer games bring in more money than does Hollywood. These and other aspects make the online gaming phenomenon an interesting avenue for scientific research.

“Researchers acknowledge the usefulness of an earlier study through citations. Useful papers are therefore cited more. This is the basis of citation analysis. Accordingly, a university should hire and promote researchers whose work has a large number of citations.

However, citations are often made years after publication, while funding and hiring decisions must be made immediately. In these cases, the quality of the journals and other publication outlets in which the researcher’s work is published can be used.

Maaike Lauwaert played with Lego when she was a child, but children these days spend a lot of their time playing with computers. How does a computer game compare with a doll’s house?

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