Degroote Prof Receives Award, and More – Toronto News

McMaster DeGroote Full-Time MBA

Though most schools experience a summer lull, professors and alumni from Toronto’s finest business schools are continuing to give back to their communities and lead the way to positive change. Below, we’ve laid out some of the most exciting news stories from Toronto metro business schools this week.

The Difference Maker: Mahmut Parlar Honoured for 30 Years of Exceptional Research, Teaching, and Service – McMaster News

Mahmut Parlar, Business Research professor at McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business has been tapped to receive the Canadian Operational Research Society’s Award of Merit. Mahmut is passionate about his job, and goes out of his was to make statistics fun. He even uses a beach ball exercise to start his grad classes. After 30 years of teaching and research, Parlar still feels passionate about his work.

Mahmut Parlar / Photo via

“They pay me to do what I love; I’m a lucky person,’’ Parlar said in an interview. The professor even commented that he continues to feel grateful and excited each time he sees that someone has cited his work. This is impressive seeing as his work has been cited upwards of 6,000 times.

“You always hear people say stats is boring, it’s dull. People take a stats course because it’s a requirement, not because they find it interesting or valuable … why not make it fun?” -Mahmut Parlar

You can read more about Parlar’s work and award here.

Cryptoeconomics and the Future of the WebNews@Ivey

Ryan Zurrer, who graduated from Western University Canada’s Ivey Business School in 2006, recently gave a talk on cryptoeconomics. The Ivey alum, who is now Principal and Venture Partner at Polychain Capital, talked about the sweeping importance of cryptoeconomics and blockchain 2.0, which started in Toronto. According to Zurrer, cryptoeconomics is “the study of how we use digital incentivization to drive specific resources and behaviours among self-interested agents on decentralized networks, thereby inherently delivering security and accelerating network effects.”

Cryptoeconomics contains elements of group psychology, cryptography, network security, finance, behavioral economics, computer science, law, and game theory.

“All we’re doing here is trying to change the fabric of commerce and law, and the way society functions and politics and the very nature of the organization. We don’t have to take ourselves so seriously about it. Have fun, enjoy this process even if you’re not technical, it doesn’t mean you can’t get involved in cryptoeconomic systems.”-Ryan Zurrer

You can read more about Zurrer’s talk here.

Toronto’s Deadly Car CrisisMedium

Richard Florida, Director of Cities at the Martin Prosperity Institute in the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, recently wrote a Medium article in which he detailed the dire issues with driving in Toronto. Florida pointed out that Toronto’s rate of pedestrian deaths exceeds that of Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, D.C., Seattle, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Portland, and Buffalo.

Though Florida acknowledged that a car-centered economy was reasonable after WWII, he believed the model no longer makes sense. He cited cities like New York and London, which have grown beyond their “geographic threshold,” due to their reliance on alternate modes of transportation.

“Torontonians like to sound off on Americans’ inability to deal with guns and gun deaths. But Toronto’ s inability to deal with the car creates its own killing fields,” Florida writes.

You can read more about Toronto’s car crisis here.


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