In my classes at Quest University, students learn the powerful problem-solving technique of reformulating hard real-world problems into simpler equivalent math problems, which empowers these students to make explicit connections between abstract theory and applied practice. Throughout my research career, I’ve been able to apply my mathematical problem-solving skills to tackle and solve complex problems: catching cocaine smugglers, reducing wait times to clear customs at Canadian airports, and helping a billion-dollar professional baseball league optimize their scheduling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Now that I’m living in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, I have the fortune of applying my problem-solving skills to serve our community; the best part of this is involving Quest students, who are remarkable young people, and will grow to become future leaders. In this talk, I’ll share with you some of the projects that our students have implemented to serve the local community, including an activity timetabling program for the Britannia Mine Museum, and an automated shift scheduler for employees at the Zephyr Cafe. At the end of the talk, I’d love to hear your ideas on how we might be able to serve local businesses and organizations both in Whistler and throughout the Sea-to-Sky Corridor.
Please note: our Quest Lecture Series takes place on the second Wednesday of each month, beginning October 11.
About the speaker
Richard Hoshino joined the Quest family in February 2013, as the faculty’s third mathematics tutor. Prior to his arrival at Quest, Richard was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo (2010-2012), and was a mathematician with the Government of Canada (2006-2010), leading the mathematics and data exploration section at the Canada Border Services Agency. He completed his PhD at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
He has published over 25 research papers across numerous fields, including graph theory, marine container risk-scoring, biometric identification, and sports tournament scheduling. He has consulted for a billion-dollar professional baseball league, as well as three Canadian TV game shows (Qubit, Splatalot, Spin-Off), and has presented papers at the world’s most prestigious AI conference in each of the past four years.
In March 2010, Richard moved to Tokyo after his wife Karen landed her dream job at a highly-regarded Japanese university. As an unemployed house-husband starting a new life in a new country, Richard pondered the following Question: “In what ways can a student experience mathematics to develop the confidence, critical thinking, and communication skills so important in life?”
Five years later, Richard published his Keystone Project, a 475-page novel titled “The Math Olympian”, the story of an insecure teenager who dreams of representing her country at the International Mathematical Olympiad, and thanks to the support of innovative mentors, combined with her own relentless perseverance, discovers meaning, purpose, and joy.
Students in Richard’s mathematical problem-solving foundation course use this novel as a springboard to reflect upon their own mathematical journeys, and explore how elegant problem-solving principles and techniques can be applied to address some of society’s toughest challenges.
For more information on Richard’s work, please visit: www.richardhoshino.com.