A few of my fellow Quest students have written about their math foundation block, Mathematical Problem Solving with tutor, Richard Hoshino, and how it made them appreciate math in a new way. Tomorrow is my last day of Richard’s problem solving class and we are currently wrapping up our final group projects (my group chose to answer the question: what is the optimal pricing strategy for BC Ferries to lower their fares?) I am pleased to say that I agree with the students who have previously taken the class because Richard does make you recognize how mathematics can be applied to solve real world problems. However, instead of writing about how great the class is, I would also like to share how awesome a tutor Richard Hoshino is. Just to give some background on Richard, here are some of the many accomplishments that he has spoken about in class:
He was a member of the Canadian International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) team (the IMO is what Richard refers to as the most difficult math contest for high school students worldwide).
He designed a schedule for Japan’s largest professional baseball league that reduced travel distance by 25%, enabling the league to save millions of dollars and reduce carbon emissions.
He was hired by the game show Splatalot to design an optimal schedule for episodes (for the TV show audience) and contestants (to reduce fatigue).
He was the first mathematician hired by the Canadian Border Services Agency, where he designed a more effective way to increase security that also reduced border wait times. While there, he also developed a new risk-scoring algorithm for marine cargo containers and even discovered heroin in pineapples!
He has worked at Quest since 2013 and is about to publish his first math novel, The Math Olympian.
Because of his specialty in graph and scheduling theory, he is currently designing a way to schedule basketball and soccer games for the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) in the fairest possible way.
But as a teacher, Richard is equally as great. He is the kindest yet most sincere person you will likely ever meet. He is the kind of person that you will meet once and he will remember your name one year later. And people say a ‘nice’ teacher doesn’t have anything to do with being a good teacher, but Richard’s enthusiasm, kindness (and ridiculous jokes) put me in a good mood after class every day. He is so passionate about mathematics and teaching, and cares so deeply about the learning of each and every one of his students that he makes you feel both motivated and supported. People in class are not intimidated, for instance to speak up in class and propose a method for solving a problem that is totally wrong, because Richard will still make you feel like you made a brilliant attempt. To me this makes a huge difference. Unlike many teachers, Richard makes sure everyone is involved and participating. He also does his very best to make himself available after class almost every day for those who need help with the class material. And another bonus: he is extremely organized and marks assignments very quickly.
In a math class it is difficult to teach the class at a level where it is challenging enough yet not so challenging that others are lost and falling behind. I think Richard makes a concerted effort to do this, and over the course of the block, he offered two review sessions where we were able to give feedback on the level of the course and his teaching, and he made adjustments according to our class feedback.
There are so many great tutors at Quest but I just had to share how #awesome Richard Hoshino is.