Events 2013-14

Photographs from some of these events can be found on the Photos 2013-2014 page.


Juggling: Theory and Practice, by Dr Colin Wright

Tuesday, 15th October 2013, 6pm

The power of a good notation is often under-valued, but even in the world of juggling, the right notation can lead to unexpected discoveries.

Do you know how ignorant you are?, by Prof David Spiegelhalter, FRS

Thursday, 31st October 2013, 6pm

Probability theory is generally applied in situation of genuine unpredictability or randomness – so-called aleatory uncertainty. But within the Bayesian paradigm, it can also be used to handle epistemic uncertainty due to ignorance, such as not knowing someone’s disease, who the murderer is, or what is the capital (or spelling) of Kazakhstan. I shall discuss how the quality of any probability statements can be assessed, and then measure how well the audience is aware of just how ignorant they are.

Dynamics on surfaces?, by Prof Ivan Smith

Thursday, 14th November 2013, 6pm

Following in the footsteps of Nielsen, Thurston and others, we will discuss some of the rich theory of homeomorphisms of two-dimensional surfaces, and their geometry, group theory and dynamics.

Cops and Robbers, by Prof Imre Leader

Tuesday, 26th November 2013, 6pm

Some cops are chasing a robber around a finite network. Moves alternate: the robber moves from where he is to an adjacent place, then all the cops move to adjacent places, and so on. For a given network, how many cops are needed to catch the robber?


Holes and symmetries, by Dr Julian Holstein

Wednesday, 5th February 2014, 6pm

Dr. Julian Holstein describes the notion of a ‘hole’ in space. He then uses this idea to explore the symmetries of space itself.

Relating triangles and primes, by Dr David Conlon

Thursday, 20th February 2014, 6pm

Dr. David Conlon explores some unexpected and beautiful connections between triangles and prime numbers.

Title TBC, by Dr Jon Nelson

Wednesday, 26th February 2014, 6pm

Our very own Dr. Jon Nelson returns to the college to relive his student days and illuminate the world of sports statistics.

Note from the archiving webmaster: The talk probably ended up being called something other than Title TBC, but this is probably another thing that has been lost to time.


Quantum Groups, by Dr Alexandre Bouayad

Friday, 23rd May 2014, 6pm

The beloved Dr Bouayad gave a talk discussing the question “What is a Quantum Group?“. No abstract was given, but the talk was very well attended, despite being very close before exams!

Adams Society Garden Party

Saturday, 14th June 2014, 12 noon

Saturday 14th June saw our annual garden party take place in the Fellows’ Garden, with an amazing ~150 students, fellows and guests coming along to eat, drink and enjoy good company with the luxuries of summer sun and well-kept grass able to be sat on.

As every good summer garden party should, the evening included Pimms aplenty, drunk faster than fruit could be cut; custom-made cake of rainbows and Neptune; a well-researched cheese board; a reckless budget; and croquet, with some wise elders teaching freshers the Cambridge essentials. After a small hitch, the danger of the crowd around the barbecues eating the committee was cleared, and the stacks of burgers and sausages soon happily disappeared.

Musical entertainment was provided in the form of very well-dressed string quintet String Theory, acoustic band Tina & Camtools and extremely popular close harmony group Over the Bridge, who got the crowds whooping loudly enough to make any unknowing passer-by suspicious about this being a mathematicians’ party.

As the evening drew to a close, groups huddled around the warmth of barbecuing bananas, football was played in the dimming light, and it was discovered that the stylish optic fibre lights bought exclusively for the occasion did in fact work.

Thanks to all that came; it was great to meet many new faces and also celebrate the end of the year in familiar company!

Many thanks to all committee and non-committee who dedicated time or resources helping in the run-up or on the night, and thanks to Maria’s sis for most photos (hence sorry for the disproportionate amount featuring Maria…).