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‘Pushing the frontiers’

Pure math spring graduate calculating a bright future

special feature: Class of 2024

Part of a special feature celebrating and recognizing the Class of 2024 at Memorial.

By Claire Carter

For spring graduate Anders Cornect, mathematics is literally fun and games.

Anders Cornect stands in front of a dusty chalkboard with math figures on it. There is a gold sash with the text "special feature" on it in the upper left-hand corner.
Anders Cornect is from Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

His honours research used a variation of the Cops and Robbers board game to study abstract mathematical objects by testing how the games play out and what it tells about the underlying structures being played on.

“A surprising amount of math is taking complex problems and rephrasing them in the form of a game you can play with others,” said Mr. Cornect, who hails from Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L.

The new bachelor of science (honours)(math and computer science) graduate also researches algorithm design: teaching computers how to do math.

He loves programming, applying previous lessons in innovative ways and mathematics’ overall binary nature.

“It’s really not fuzzy like most sciences and humanities are,” said Mr. Cornect, who collected his B.Sc. degree on Tuesday, May 28, during spring convocation ceremonies at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre. “It’s very black and white, right or wrong. I find that more appealing. It’s a lot less complicated in that way.”

‘Beautiful, challenging field’

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Cornect was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Anders Cornect writes math equation on green chalkboard
Spring graduate Anders Cornect is picking up a bachelor of science (math and computer science) during convocation week at Memorial University.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

He remembers doing homework in the emergency room, spending half of his time learning new math, and the other half learning how to administer insulin.

“It was a difficult but rewarding few years. My profs were very understanding and supportive of the amount of effort it took to juggle everything at once.”

He found the transition from online learning to in-person surprisingly smooth, meeting new friends, the math faculty, getting involved with the Board Game Club and helping to run MUN’s Minecraft Club.

“My professors have done so much to inspire me, and to help me pursue my goals.” — Anders Cornect

Mr. Cornect is now enjoying his third and final summer conducting math research at Memorial before starting a master’s degree in mathematics in computational mathematics at the University of Waterloo in September.

“Math is a genuinely beautiful, challenging field of study that can bring you in research directions you didn’t know existed,” he said. “There are new problems, theorems and discoveries being made every hour of every day, and I am excited to be a part of the web of people pushing the frontiers of what we know forward.”

Mr. Cornect aspires to become a professor.

His time in the Faculty of Science, and working with faculty members Dr. Danny Dyer, Dr. Jared Howell and Dr. Eduardo Martinez-Pedroza, helped him learn how research, academia and publications work, he says.

“We have a really good Math faculty at Memorial and really helpful, prolific professors in their fields. I highly recommend it. My professors have done so much to inspire me, and to help me pursue my goals. I want to be able to share my experiences and my love of math and computers with anyone who is willing to listen.”

The text "class of 2024" is in gold against a claret background with gold bubbles and subtle circles. There is a gold sash with the text "special feature" on it in the upper left-hand corner.

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