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CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

Mathematician, researchers calculate against Ebola, cholera

Xueying (Snow) Wang
Xueying (Snow) Wang

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 …

Quantum compute this: Mathematicians build code to take on toughest of cyber attacks

Nathan Hamlin
Nathan Hamlin

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 …

Data analysis group to advance interdisciplinary research

CISER-450-300x300A 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 …

WSU math teacher wins MIT puzzle competition

Thomas Gazzola with the winning “Nautilodestone” coin from the MIT Mystery Hunt. Photo courtesy WSU Vancouver.
Thomas Gazzola with the winning “Nautilodestone” coin from the MIT Mystery Hunt. Photo courtesy WSU Vancouver.

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.

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