Myron Hlynka

Math students brave world’s toughest test

It takes a brave student to write the annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, says math and stats professor Myron Hlynka.

“The questions are extremely difficult and grading is strict,” he says. “The total number of points possible is 120. Typically, the median score is zero.”

A courageous group of 17 UWindsor undergraduate students—most, but not all, math majors—gathered Saturday to join an estimated 4,000 competitors across North America in writing the test, offered annually since 1938 by the Mathematical Association of America.

Pie goes down easy for math aficionados

There’s a difference between math and baking, says Kevin St. Denis: “Math is easier.”

The third-year mathematics major prepared a couple of pies in celebration of Pi Day, Wednesday in Erie Hall.

“It’s just some premade crust and I poured in two cans of filling – cherry and blueberry,” St. Denis said. “I tried to shape them like the letter R because I was going for two pie R.”

Queue theorist says innovation means things are looking up in elevator business

Mathematics and statistics professor Myron Hlynka is one of the experts consulted by Macleans magazine for an article entitled “The end of the wait for the elevator: Science and industrial design join together to try to make elevators more efficient.”

He praises “destination-oriented dispatching,” a system which assigns users to elevators depending on their desired final stops.

“It’s fascinating,” says Dr. Hlynka. “It’s almost like preprocessing.”