A mathematician is helping scientists at Washington State University by developing equations for early detection and containment of the Ebola virus in West Africa. Work by Xueying (Snow) Wang, WSU assistant professor of mathematics, also indicates that previous models may underestimate the risk of a cholera epidemic. » More …
WSU mathematicians have designed an encryption code capable of fending off the phenomenal hacking power of a quantum computer. Using high-level number theory and cryptography, the researchers reworked an infamous old cipher called the knapsack code to create an online security system better prepared for future demands. » More …
A new statistics community at Washington State University will enhance educational opportunities and strengthen research initiatives. Faculty in all areas and at all campuses are invited to join as affiliate members. A kickoff meeting is being planned for later in the semester. » More …
A Washington State University Vancouver math instructor is celebrating his win in the “Super Bowl” of puzzle hunts.
Thomas Gazzola is part of a 40-member team of solvers who successfully deciphered the 2015 MIT Mystery Hunt, an annual puzzle competition held in Boston during the Martin Luther King Junior weekend.
The Mystery Hunt, created by an MIT graduate student in 1981, is widely regarded as one of the world’s oldest and most complex “puzzlehunts.” According to the MIT website the event draws about 1,000 people each year and has inspired similar competitions at universities, companies and in cities around the globe.
“There were about 180 puzzles in this year’s hunt,” said Gazzola, director of the WSU Vancouver math resource lab. “My crew managed to get through them all in just under 41 hours.”
Winning means his team has the dubious honor of designing the closely guarded theme and puzzles for the upcoming 2016 hunt.
In 2009, WSU took on the national distinction of having one of the first and largest H1N1 outbreaks at an American college. The epidemic gave Elissa Schwartz, an assistant professor of both math and biological sciences, an ideal phenomenon for scientific study. Using a trove of data gathered during the outbreak in Pullman, Schwartz has gained insight into how only a few infected people could launch the virus’s rapid spread across the university community.