Hello There!

It’s so nice to meet you. Thank you for coming to visit adventuresandalgorithms.com today.

My name is Madeleine Gagné (she/they), though everyone just calls me Mac! I’m a current PhD/MA student at NC State University’s engineering department studying Operations Research (OR). I’m also a former Duke Mathematics & Program II alumna. If you need to know anything about me, it’s that I adore OR, especially with regards to emergency management and humanitarian systems. I want to get out in the world and see how mathematics can help make high-risk decisions that save lives. But I’m also a not-so-secret fan of early 1900s pulp fiction adventure novels. Getting some whiplash yet? That’s alright, I’m here to explain. You might think these two fields- pulp fiction and Operations Research (adventures and algorithms, if I may) don’t have much in common. But the study of how we make high-risk decisions can tell us quite a lot about fast paced adventure fiction…and how to go on those deep, fulfilling journeys ourselves. A lifelong fan of pulp and mathematics, I’ve always wondered what adventure looks like in both the qualitative and quantitative worlds of today. Operations Research allows me to explore high-risk human choices and events mathematically whereas studying adventure fiction encourages a more emotion-based investigation of why humans crave risk and choice. It’s my hope to convince you that these ideologies are truly two sides of the same coin. I aspire to become an Operations Researcher as well as a passionate scholar in pulp and adventure fiction. So fasten your seat belts and come join me on this journey, won’t you? Who knows what we’ll learn together! 

Through the billions of words and millions of phrases, the term ‘adventure’ has always been my absolute favorite. For me, it’s all I’ve ever wanted. But adventure isn’t just a journey that’s chaotic and fun. Adventure is heartbreak. It’s pain, it’s tragedy, it’s fear and sometimes even moments of desolation. Yet, the word ‘adventure’ itself is a dedication to loving the process of being alive despite all the difficulties you might encounter along the way. It’s a word that remains the ultimate celebration of being alive and experiencing humanity.

What does adventure mean to you?

Check out my most recent blog posts!

  • 2022 Reading List
    Completed: The Secret History– Donna Tartt Dejah Thoris Series– Dynamite Comics The Love Hypothesis– Ali Hazelwood Decision Theory: An Introduction to Dynamic Programming– John Bather Operations Research: Applications and Algorithms– Wayne L. Winston A Text For Production Scheduling, Inventory Control, Forecasting, and Stochastic Modeling– Hodgson & King Molly American Girl Series– Valerie Tripp (Note: these…
  • Review of Tarzan: Battle for Pellucidar by Win Scott Eckert
    As a young pulp fan, I’ve found myself both really enjoying and keeping a watchful eye on the development of the Swords of Eternity Super-Arc. The series represents more than just a continuance in the ERB narrative and more distinctly the Tarzan narrative. To me, it has also been a litmus test for future developments…
  • Activism
    Creating diverse and inclusive spaces in writing and science is essential to advancing the future of these disciplines. While I’m still learning how to be an effective activist myself, I want to point you in the direction of some prominent resources that have been doing some real good in today’s world! Some of these I’ve…

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