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Winners of the NETWORKS challenge. Photo by Eric Daams.

Tectonic puzzles and the purpose of life. Did you know that these topics are related to Networks? Find out more through the two winning movies of the NETWORKS challenge!

The Network challenge was a contest set up for high school students in which participants could send in a small movie containing their question about networks. A renowned jury chose two winning movies from all submissions and awarded the prizes to the winners during a special ceremony at the public event of the international NETWORKS conference.

The first winning movie is about the tectonic puzzle, a variant of the famous sudoku puzzle. The tectonic is a puzzle divided into blocks of various sizes. Each block must contain the numbers 1 up to the size of the block, e.g. a block of size 3 must contain the numbers 1, 2 and 3. Low numbers are therefore more common in the puzzle than high numbers. The puzzle needs to be filled up in such a way that equal numbers do not touch each other vertically, horizontally or diagonally. The movie shows a well thought-out application of the puzzle in social geography, where each number represents a facility in a city, like a supermarket or a shop. Their question for the network scientists: `How many numbers do you need given in a tectonic, such that the puzzle has one unique solution?’

The second winning movie is completely different, and is a well thought-out movie as well. This movie is about the purpose of life and its connection with networks. As we are part of many networks around us, these networks may influence our purpose of life. We are for example part of networks indicating the people we know, but also of networks in social media, like Facebook and Twitter. Is it our purpose of life to build large networks around us? Or does this differ from one person to the other? This movie shows a wave of questions about networks and their relation to the purpose of life, which ends in the main question for the network scientists: `Is the purpose of life influenced by networks?’

Curious about the movies? Watch the movies here! (In Dutch)

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