The Engineering Probability and Statistics Competition (EPSC) puts participants through a rigorous three-stage mathematics competition, putting their knowledge and creativity to the test.
The EPSC, first held in February 2016 and again last session, offers keen students the opportunity to take what they have learned in their courses and apply it to problems for the chance to win cash prizes. Participants receive comprehensive materials and instruction in anticipation for the competition; all undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in subsequent competitions.
For the 2017 contest, 22 competitors went through a preliminary round; from there, a smaller group passed on to the semi-final round. In the end, only eight competitors moved on to the final round, which lasted three hours to simulate a regular final-exam scenario. All semifinalists received a cash prize of $50 and all finalists, $100. During the award ceremony—which was held at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier—the top three finalists received engraved medals and over $3500 in prize money.
This event was possible through the help of several volunteers; among them, award ceremony organizer Maxwell Jianzhou Wang, who shared his perspective: “Engineering probability and statistics is an essential skill for engineering undergrads looking to apply their work to the domains of research or industry.
EPSC is a great opportunity to solidify the theoretical frameworks of statistics and stochastic models and to provide some exposure to real-world problems that could benefit from these topics. The preliminary, semi-final and final rounds are stepping-stones that could help prepare participants to face different challenges. I am looking forward to hosting such a great event again in the future!”
The competition’s gold medalist, Xuankai Chen, also shared some comments: “EPSC is an awesome opportunity for engineering students to explore the charm of probability and statistics in math. Now, engineering is not just about programming or drawing circuits. Knowing probability and statistics rewards you with better designs and more efficient programs.
EPSC is also a competition about creativity. This makes it more exciting than your quizzes and exams in class. More creativity means a greater chance to win.”