The Adams Society is the mathematical society of St John’s College. With the luxury of having two presidents this year, we organised a variety of successful and well-attended events, both academic and social in nature.
We started our year with a magnificent garden party in Easter term. Everybody (apart from the cream cakes) enjoyed the beautiful weather, croquet, strawberries and Pimms. Later that week, we battled the Trinity Mathematical Society in our traditional cricket match. After hours of tension, we narrowly lost 115 to 128.
Michaelmas term began with our Freshers’ squash to welcome both new and old mathematicians back to St John’s. The first talk of the year was given by Dr Michael Potter on the unusually philosophic topic “Impredicativity – what it is and why it matters”. Towards the end of term, we hosted the annual Desserts Party and a fantastic talk by Lucasian Professor Michael Green. He introduced the audience to String Theory and sketched the connections between his area of study and topological problems in pure mathematics.
In Lent term, Professor Pelham Wilson mathematically proved the difficulties of combing the two-dimensional surface of a head: the “Hairy Ball Theorem”. We also revived the tradition of football matches against other societies and triumphed over Trinity 7-5. Our annual dinner, with guest speaker Professor Imre Leader, enjoyed a record attendance; as did the final talk given by Fields Medallist Professor Timothy Gowers. Over 120 students managed to sit on the floor, squeeze into the corners, or listen in from the corridor to his lecture on “How to solve problems without thinking”.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank last years speakers, as well as all members of the Society who supported us so successfully.
Aneesha Nirmalan and Lukas Branter, Presidents 2010-11
You can view other Presidents’ reports here.