June 6, 1996 CONVOCATION ISSUE Vol . 6, No. 3

Jaroslaw Harezlak

'Reluctant" mathematician wins
top science medal

When Jaroslaw Harezlak arrived in Vancouver seven years ago he wasn't sure he wanted to resume his university career.

"I studied mathematics for a few years when I lived in Poland," says the winner of the dean's convocation medal as the top undergraduate in Simon Fraser University's faculty of science. "But I wasn't sure that I wanted to continue in the field."

Harezlak, now a Burnaby resident, says he decided to try "different things" when he arrived. But in 1993, he enrolled at SFU after receiving credits for his work at the University of Wroclaw in Poland. He graduates from SFU with a bachelor of science in mathematics, earning a cumulative grade of 4.18 out of a possible 4.33. He also won the Wyatt scholarship for outstanding achievement in actuarial mathematics.

Currently working as a mathematics laboratory instructor at Coquitlam College, Harezlak is also studying for his master's degree in statistics at SFU with the support of a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) postgraduate scholarship.

Harezlak says he came to the Lower Mainland because, "it is a great place. I wanted to be by the sea and I like hiking in the mountains." He and his wife plan to return to Poland for a visit this summer for the first time in seven years. "I don't know if I will recognize it," he muses. "There have been so many changes."

He hopes to complete his master's degree when he returns from his travels to Poland, while his wife studies at Capilano College. "I'm not sure what I'll do after that," he adds.

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