mathNEWS Issue #500: Friday, September 25, 1998

In this issue:

Kivi & The Logic Bandits

By Kivi Shapiro

The Zone

Probably my favourite series mathSOC has ever had, surpassing even Watman and Duck, was The Zone. This ran for about three terms, approximately between Trevor Green's editorship and my own, and nobody really knew who the author was -- submissions just kind of appeared in the BLACK BOX. This was essentially an airing of MathSoc's dirty laundry: the author, who must have been on Council or even the Executive, gave a regular report on what the Society was up to, especially the more unusual decisions it was taking. (By "unusual", I mean "bad".) I thought it was great that mathSOC was willing to expose its parent organization in such a manner, and particularly good for the democratic process: the more accountable a political body is, the better. Besides, Council gets far too serious about itself sometimes.


Of course, sometimes it does have serious things to deal with, like a president who used Society money to promote a ski trip to Vermont, and even to subsidize some of the participants, so he could get a free trip. And who, even after being put through the wringer for that, went on to spend $1000 on the end of term party. That particular story came to a satisfactory conclusion, but it still has anecdotal value so long as the individual remains unnamed. It's a good cautionary tale: no one person should ever have control over the Society's finances.

The Tunnels

Rumours about the tunnels under UW never seem to cease, and the most pervasive one is that they are somehow secret. They aren't! They're just utility tunnels. The reason they're not on any maps is because they're underground and students don't have access to them (or aren't supposed to anyway, but that's a different story) so why should they be on a map?

In fact, there is a map of the tunnel system -- in the Campus Architect's office, along with diagrams and blueprints for everything else in the university. I went there one day with my friend Mike (who is now a grad student, hi Mike!); we asked for a copy of said map and the Architect gave it to us. If you want a copy, let me know; it makes a nice poster.

mathSOC made a jigsaw puzzle out of it and published a few of the pieces under Michael Melvin's editorship. They stopped after a while, though; I don't know why. Of course, there are always rumours.

Logic Puzzle

You Too Can Be of Great Value to the Counterintelligence Community!

The Inner Circle of mathSOC (which doesn't exist) requires your assistance. For reasons which they would rather keep to themselves, they need to know who among a group of five notorious troublemakers will be the first to graduate (i.e. finish courses), and who will be the last. Until it has that information, it will be unable to continue its current nefarious scheme, so this is a matter of some urgency. Hence this announcement. A reward is offered: mathSOC (which doesn't exist) has been able to pay off a key member of the Powers that Be, and as a result, one randomly chosen person who submits a correct answer will escape retribution.

So, given the following information, who in the group will be first to graduate and who will be last?

All the students started in Fall terms, none before 1994. Each is (and has always been) in regular stream, co-op, "crazy stream" -- which is like regular stream, but without any terms off---or the unpredictable part time. The co-op student is in a 4-year program, of course; the others are in either 3-year (general) or 4-year (honours) programs. All are taking courses this term.

"Andea", the part-time student, is in the last of eleven terms in which he has taken courses.

The Pure Math student is tickled pink by the fact that many of her co-op friends from Frosh Week have yet to start second year, while she is already half done her degree.

The Computer Science student (who is not the one in honours crazy stream), the C&O student (who is the one in co-op), and the Applied Math student (who is not the one in honours regular), play darts together. The player with brown hair usually wins.

Two people in the group started before "Dasa"; the others started after her but in different years.

"Bo", who is in Actuarial Science, makes a point of being androgynous. The rest of the group is evenly split between females and males.

"Coryn"'s head is shaved, and "Eve" wears her brown hair long.

P.S. It should be noted that there is no such organization as mathSOC, despite anything you might hear to the contrary.

P.P.S Get those submissions in!

[Photo of Kivi Shapiro]

Kivi Shapiro was born at a very young age. Later in life, he went on to study C&O at U(W), although his time spent with MathSoc, MATHNEWS, the CSC, FASS, etc. rather outweighed the time he spent studying. Nonetheless, he graduated and went on to pursue a Master's of Library and Information Science at Western (which he successfully captured), as well as a Ph.D. (which continues to elude him, but the chase is still on.) He is currently looking for Canadian work in information management, so if you know anyone... Oh, and he is honoured to share a birthday with the C&D's manager emeritus, Brenda Wilson.

Copyright © 1998 mathNEWS.