MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS

a shameless biased expression of opinion by

Dr. Myron Hlynka, Dept. of Math. & Stat, U. of Windsor.

February, 2016.

There are a number of reasons that graduating Ontario high school students should select the University of Windsor if they wish to major in mathematics or statistics. In terms of size and performance on the Putnam Mathematics Competition, the Universities of Waterloo and Toronto rank one and two in Ontario. Position three is up for grabs, and the University of Windsor is one of the contenders. In spite of conceding first and second place in terms of SIZE and Putnam performance, the University of Windsor may be the FIRST choice OVERALL for a solid mathematics education. We list some reasons below.

- Best teachers. The University of Windsor has the best teachers of mathematics in the province. Of course, such a statement is a matter of opinion. But many of our graduates have continued their studies at other Ontario universities and most feel that the University of Windsor teaching has been at least as strong as the other university they attended. A professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Windsor, Dr. Richard Caron, in Sept, 2013, won a province-wide teaching award. Dr. Sarkar, Dr. Hazssenzadeh, and Dr. Monfared are all teaching award winners. Dr. Yee is phenomenal for training students for Math competitions. And everybody else in the department is excellent as well.
- Smaller classes. The University of Windsor has smaller classes (beginning in second year) compared to other universities. The smaller classes help achieve the high quality of teaching.
- Accessibility. The U of W Math & Stat department has easy access to faculty members. There are many opportunities for students to visit a faculty member in his/her office for help and guidance. Some universities [which I won't name here, but I will name if you come to see me] actively discourage students from visiting professors in their offices. The current members of the Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Windsor take pride in making themselves available to students.
- Better Acquaintance with Students. Because of smaller classes, the professors tend to know the students in their classes, by face and by name. This is important when a student needs reference letters (for jobs or scholarship/ graduate school applications), or advice.
- Great Scholarship Opportunities: Strong students are eligible for some excellent scholarships. A high school student who makes University of Windsor one of their top choices may be surprised at how much he/she can receive in scholarships. Some of our really excellent students found that the Windsor offer was by far the best they received. Check into the University of Windsor "outstanding scholar program." Make U of Windsor one of your choices for comparison.
- More flexibility in first year. First year students generally
do not
know what their ultimate area of interest will be. If they are forced to make
choices too early, they may find that these choices restrict them later on. At
some universities in Ontario, if students do not take HONOURS mathematics courses
in first year, they cannot get into many second year math courses.
At the U. of Windsor, there is a special calculus
section for mathematics and physics students
in first year. But students who do not choose this section can still proceed through the honours math stream
with just the standard calculus section for science and engineering students.

i.e. The University of Windsor system allows greater flexibility. "Keep as many doors open as you can." - More flexibility overall. Several professors will accomodate students by offering reading (self study) courses on specialized topics of particular interest to individual students.
- Research opportunities. The University of Windsor is a great place to learn to do research. 100% of the Math and Stat faculty members are actively publishing research articles in leading academic journals. Researchers at the U. of Windsor are working on exciting projects and are eager to have good undergraduate (or graduate) students working on the projects with them. See later comments about research and undergraduate students who have "outstanding scholar" awards. Also, chances are good that the top undergraduate Honours Math and Stat students at the University of Windsor can receive an NSERC summer research award after their second or third year.
- Creative and Enthusiastic Faculty: The University of Windsor Math and Stat Department has a some really excellent young professors. The current job market for university faculty in mathematics is difficult. That means that there is some unbelievable talent out there looking for positions. Our most recent hires would fit nicely into any mathematics department in North America, including MIT and Princeton. Actually, one of them is a Canadian with a PhD from MIT, and is the only Canadian winner of the Elizabeth Lowell Putnam competition (highest female performance on the prestigious North American Putnam Mathematics competition).
- There are fewer optional courses. This does not sound like an advantage. But surprisingly, it is. Because there are fewer optional courses available at the University of Windsor compared to larger universities, students are forced to take courses that they think they may not like. But like bad tasting medicine, this turns out to be good for them. Faculty members know what material will be valuable in a student's graduate program. The courses that the students are forced to take are exactly the courses that they need for a graduate program. As a result, U. of Windsor graduates are often better prepared for graduate work than students from other [larger] universities.
- Great graduate opportunities. Strong University of Windsor students who graduate from the undergraduate program in mathematics and/or statistics are in demand elsewhere. Our graduates have an impressive record of obtaining NSERC and OGS Graduate Awards. Our graduates have gone on to further studies at U. of Waterloo, Toronto, University of Alberta, UBC, and to large U.S. schools (like Michigan) where they have performed exceptionally well. Two former University of Windsor students won awards for the best PhD theses in Canada (one in statistics and one in applied mathematics). Our graduating students are finding jobs which use their mathematics training. We have a number of our graduates who have taken positions in teaching, in government and industry, and in actuarial work, using their mathematical background. Students with an undergraduate math degree are especially welcome in graduate programs in economics, industrial engineering, management science.
- History of Success. Many of our graduates are now teaching at major universities. Tolulope SAJOBI (MSc Stat, U of Windsor), is a professor at U of Calgary, Mei Ling HUANG (PhD in Stat, Univ. of Windsor) is a professor at Brock University. Mohammed HAMDEN (Ph.D. in Math, Univ. of Windsor) is a professor at the University of New Brunswick. Ramesh SHARMA (PhD in Math, University of Windsor) is a professor at Yale University. Tonghui WANG (Ph.D. in Statistics, University of Windsor) is a professor at New Mexico State University. Joseph MASARO (Ph.D. in Statistics, U. of Windsor) recently retired as a professor from Acadia University. Steve DREKIC (M.Sc. in Statistics, U. of Windsor, PhD at U.W.O.) is a professor at the U. of Waterloo. Jeff HOOPER, (M.Sc. in Math, U. of Windsor; PhD, McMaster) is a professor at Acadia University. Brad LUCIER (B.Sc. in Math, U. of Windsor), is a professor at Purdue University. Vahid TAROKH (M.Sc. in Math, U. of Windsor) is a professor at Harvard. Ed SUSKO (B.Sc. in Math & Stat, U. of Windsor, PhD, Univ. of Waterloo) is a professor at Dalhousie. John LABUTE (B.Sc. (Math), U. of Windsor) is a professor at McGill. Fotini LABROPULU (Ph.D.(Math), U. of Windsor) is a professor at the University of Regina. Nicole LEMIRE (B.Sc. in Math, U. of Windsor; PhD, U. of Alberta) is a professor at the University of Western Ontario. Chris SOTEROS (B.Sc. (University of Windsor); Ph.D. (Princeton University)) is a professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Rajesh BARNWAL (PhD, Statistics, University of Windsor, 1990) is a professor at Middle Tennessee State University. Dianliang DENG (PhD., Statistics, U of Windsor, 2001), is a professor at the University of Regina. Krishna SAHA (PhD, Statistics, U. of Windsor) has a position at Connecticut State University. Shafiu JIBRIN (MSc., Math, U of Windsor) is a professor at Northern Arizona University. Bhisham C. GUPTA (PhD, Windsor) is Math & Stat department chair at the University of Southern Maine. S. Allen BROUGHTON (BSc, Windsor) is Professor and Head, Department of Mathematics, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Nagambal Shah (PhD, Statistics, University of Windsor, 1970), Spellman College, Atlanta, Gerald KELLER (PhD, Statistics, University of Windsor, 1973) is retired from Wilfed Laurier University. Mohanad Al-khasawneh is with the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Physics, Qatar University. Ranee Thiagarajah (PhD, Statistics, U of Windsor) is a professor at Illinois State University. Tasneem Zaihra teaches in the Department of Computer Science and Applied Statistics at UNB Saint John. Dr.T. Srivenkataramana( Ph.D. Statistics, University of Windsor) was Head, Department of Statistics, Bangalore University. Ranee Thagarajah is a professor at Illinois State University. Mohamed Hamden (PhD Applied Math, University of Windsor) is with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics University of New Brunswick. Daniel REAUME (BSc in Math & Stat, Univ. of Windsor; PhD, U. of Michigan) is Staff Research Engineer at General Motors Labs in Warren, Michigan, and adjunct professor at the University of Michigan. Bashar ZOGHEIB (PhD, Applied Math University of Windsor) teaches at the American University of Kuwait. Shafiu JIBRIN(MSc Math, U of Windsor) is a faculty member at the University of Northern Arizona. Tolulope Sajobi (MSc, University of Windsor, 2007) has a position at the University of Calgary.
- Actuarial courses and opportunities. Actuarial mathematics is the mathematics of insurance and pensions and
risk and health care. The job of an actuary is considered one of the best jobs of any kind,
since it pays well, involves interesting work, and has a high job satisfaction
level. We have an excellent network of our graduates working with actuarial
consulting companies in metro Detroit (and quite a number who have taken
positions in other cities in Canada). In fact, our Detroit contacts are so
strong that the University of Windsor is the first Canadian university that
Detroit area companies look at when seeking actuarial employees.
We
do offer courses aimed directly to actuarial students and U. Windsor is an official site
for actuarial exams and all three VEE topics have U of Windsor
courses approved by the Society of Actuaries.
One actuarial consulting firm in Metro Detroit has well over a dozen
former U of Windsor Math students working there. So, in spite of the fact that
the University of Windsor does not have a formal actuarial degree
, our graduates may have
a BETTER chance of getting actuarial employment than graduates of other
universities in Canada!! One Detroit area firm (Towers Watson) holds an annual
information session in the Math and Stat Dept. at the U. of Windsor.
See

http://web2.uwindsor.ca/math/hlynka/actuarial.html - Variety in Learning Institution. In general, one should not spend an entire university student career at one university. Otherwise, one does not learn about the differences and variety of viewpoints that exist. If you currently prefer another university to the U of Windsor, consider attending the U of Windsor for your B. Math. and then attend that other university for your Master's and Ph.D. (Of course, you can reverse the order.)
- Location. Location. Location. Windsor has access to Detroit - libraries,
universities, radio stations, television stations, sports, airports. (There
are no NFL teams in Toronto.) Without cable TV, I can receive over 30 (4 Canadian and
28 Detroit) TV channels with a cheap indoor digital antenna. I get to watch the
SuperBowl commercials without the Canadian cable companies forcing the Canadian
feed and the Canadian commericals. If you have a favorite type of radio station,
there's a good chance you'll find it here. (Don't try this in London or
Kingston or Thunder Bay or Guelph or Waterloo.) Windsor has access to all the
advantages of Detroit, but maintains its own identity. The advantages of
Windsor include lower housing costs, the best pizza in the province, cheaper
car prices, lots of downtown parking, friendly people, great restaurants
(especially Chinese, Italian, Indian, Lebanese, Arabic, Mexican, Brazilian, Vietnamese),
easy travel access to any place in North America by plane (through Metro
Detroit airport or Windsor airport), and easy car access to a huge number of
major cities: Toledo is one hour away, Cleveland is 3 hours away, Chicago and
Cincinnati are 5 hours away by car. New York, Philadelphia, Washington, are 8
hours away. Detroit is 5 minutes away.

The climate in Windsor is the warmest in Ontario. We are NOT part of the snow belt that goes through London and Hamilton and Toronto. Windsor received the nickname "the Florida of Canada." Of course, we are not Florida, but check on a globe and you will see that Windsor is at the same latitude as northern California. - The Windsor Casino (one of Canada's top tourist attractions) and the auto industry (Chrysler, Ford, and G.M. and an incredible number of tool and die industries) are still huge. Until recently, Windsor had low unemployment and a large home building market. The slump in the domestic auto market has hurt Windsor's economy. But there is still an outstanding auto research component here and connections to the auto industry from the U. of Windsor are the best in Canada. As for the University of Windsor, it is booming with an expanding medical school, a fabulous sports complex, an enormous new engineering building, and downtown construction.
- Housing Availability: Because of tough times in the North American auto industry, some people have had to leave Windsor. That means vacant apartments and houses that can be rented or purchased for far less than in some other cities. Parents who live outside of Windsor with more than one student attending the U of Windsor, may even want to consider purchasing a condominium (or house) here. Student 1 lives there for a couple of years, then is joined by student 2 who remains there after student 1 leaves. When student 2 finishes, sell the condominium. The only cost would be the lost interest on money invested in the condo (and the monthly condo fees). But with low interest rates, and interest subject to tax, and low condo prices, it seems like a good strategy to me. Few people could afford this strategy in Toronto! A recent national survey rated Windsor as the least expensive major city in Canada in terms of housing prices. For Windsor area students, it is much cheaper to live at home than to rent housing in another city. Does $5000 savings per year sound about right?
- Tutorial jobs. Some students get jobs in the University of Windsor Dept. of Math. & Stat. to do grading or to work in the Math & Stat help center (doing tutorial type work).
- Committee opportunities. Undergraduate students get a chance to be on Departmental committees and their views are respected. This is NOT true at most universities.
- Windsor is a hotbed of mathematical talent. There are a great set of high schools in the Windsor area and most of the best talent chooses U of Windsor. Some of the top high school students come to the U of Windsor for training and to write math contests.
- Math Contests, If you like Mathematics contests, the University of Windsor is moving forward in this area. The University of Windsor, together with nationally known math contest trainer Bruce White hosted the Canadian Mathematics Society national high school mathematics training camp during Summer 2009, Summer 2010, Summer 2011. Bruce has continued his affiliation with the U of W since then. The Department of Math & Stat also holds training sessions for the annual undergraduate North American Putnam mathematics competition during Fall Term each year.
- Good jobs. There are good jobs available in mathematics: teaching, actuary, government, industry.
- B. Math degree. The University of Windsor has a degree of B. Math. (Bachelor of Mathematics) rather than the Bachelor of Science (Math major) of most universities. That will look great on any transcript.
- Concurrent Math Ed. [The program is coming back!] The University of Windsor had a very popular concurrent and consectutive B.Ed./B.Math. programs in Education and Mathematics. The advantage of this program is that one does not have to worry about getting admitted to a Faculty of Education after finishing a bachelor's degree (and these days that is important). Another advantage is that students find out early if teaching is the right path for them. Admission to this program requires high grades from high school so study hard in high school.
- U of Windsor has an opportunity for students to receive an "outstanding scholar" award after first year. This is a competive program based on first year performance. There should be about 4 of these for math students starting in their second year. These awards give students a chance to work on research projects with faculty members, or on other projects.
- Math & Stat Learning Centre. The department runs an all day learning centre where students can go for assistance on their Math and Stat courses. The centre is manned by a permanent coordinator and by grad and senior undergraduate students. Free tutoring!! Good for jobs and good for learning.

The URL of this web page is

http://web2.uwindsor.ca/math/ hlynka/ reasons.html

You can visit Myron Hlynka's home page at http://web2.uwindsor.ca/math/ hlynka/index.html

If you wish to talk to Dr. Hlynka about attending the Dept. of Math. & Stat. at the U. of Windsor, you can e-mail him at

hlynka@uwindsor.ca or phone him at (519)-253-3000 (ext 3014)