News archive - March 2023

Friday, March 31, 2023

Michael Wallace uses statistics to beat Tim Hortons’ Roll Up To Win

Michael Wallace with Tim Hortons' cups

Mathematician Alfré Rényi famously said that “a mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.” Waterloo biostatistics professor Michael Wallace, however, is a machine for turning coffee into prizes.

In 2020, when Tim Hortons moved their long-standing “Roll Up The Rim To Win” contest completely online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Wallace made the news for using his statistics knowledge to win 98 per cent of the time. After Tim Hortons tweaked their system in response to his wins, he's back this year with a new method. 

Read the full story on the Waterloo News page. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Math Teach-Off turns teaching and learning into friendly competition

Nathaniel Stevens teaching at a whiteboard

On March 1, 2023, faculty and undergraduate students from the Faculty of Mathematics participated in what they hope will be merely the first “Math Teach-Off” event.

The premise of the event was simple: three groups of students would take a quiz on the mathematical concept. Then, each group would be taught about the concept for an hour by one of three instructors: Nathaniel Stevens (assistant professor of Statistics and Actuarial Science and Director of the undergraduate Data Science program); Jordan Hamilton (lecturer in the Math Undergraduate Group); and Blake Madill (lecturer in Pure Mathematics). Finally, the students would take a second quiz on the concept, and each group’s scores would be compared for improvement and overall accuracy.

Continue reading on the Faculty of Math's website.