The Adams Society hosts numerous events each year. These include mathematical talks by leading academics in the field, and social events making good use of the historical setting. You can find more about our annual social events at John’s Socials, or check out our Past Events and Photo Gallery.

For in-person events, there is the opportunity to join the speaker and some members of the committee in St John’s Hall after the talks. A form where you can easily sign up to dine in hall if you are not from St John’s should be included in the email for each talk, even if it is not yet linked below. Feel free contact a member of the committee if you would like to book a ticket.

Upcoming and Recent Events

Events 2021-2022 can be found here. Remember to sign up to our mailing list to be notified of new events!

Lent Term

Annual Dinner 

19:30, 1st March, Tuesday (open to St John’s Members only)
Combination Room
This event is one of the highlights of the year for the Adams Society, and is certainly not one to miss – especially as it’s the first annual dinner we are able to have after 2 years. I hope to see many of you there! We are privileged to have Prof Ivan Smith as guest speaker. Tickets available on UPay.

Scarves, Symmetry and Solving Equations by Dr Vicky Neale

18:00-19:00, 15th February, Tuesday
Castlereagh Room, St John’s College

About the speaker: Vicky Neale is a British mathematician and writer. She is the Whitehead Lecturer at the Mathematical Institute at Oxford and Supernumerary Fellow at Balliol College. Her research specialty is number theory.

Abstract: Through knitting, I’ve been exploring the symmetry patterns in scarves. How many different types of scarf pattern are there? In this session, we’ll explore this question, and see how it connects with apparently unrelated areas of maths, such as solving polynomial equations. If you like doodling, you might want coloured pens/pencils and squared paper to hand!

Diophantine Equations by Professor Gerd Faltings

18:00-19:00, 10th February, Thursday
About the speaker: Gerd Faltings is a German mathematician whose work in algebraic geometry led to important results in number theory, including helping with the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem. In 1986 Faltings was awarded a Fields Medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians at Berkeley. He now works at  Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, University of Bonn and Princeton University.

Abstract: I will give an overview of what is known, explaining tools (heights, good reduction, Galois representations), known results (like Mordell, Roth), and additional avenues of research.

Local-to-global principles in number theory by Professor Tom Fisher

18:00-19:00, 25th Jan, Tuesday
Main Lecture Theatre, Old Divinity School, St John’s College
About the speaker: Professor Tom Fisher is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. His research interests are in arithmetical algebraic geometry and computational number theory. In particular he works on elliptic curve descent calculations, and the construction of explicit elements in the Tate-Shafarevich group.

Abstract: A Diophantine problem is a system of equations (typically polynomials) that we seek to solve in terms of integers or rational numbers. Sometimes it is possible to show there are no solutions by working modulo a prime, or a power of a prime, or by showing there are no real solutions. In such cases we say there is a local obstruction. In the talk I will give some examples and non-examples of situations where the absence of a local obstruction is sufficient to ensure the original (global) problem is soluble.

Michaelmas Term

A deconstruction of the Regularity Lemma by Prof. Niranjan Balachandran

14:00-15:00, 23rd Nov, Tuesday
About the speaker: Professor Niranjan Balachandran is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. His research focuses on Combinatorics, in particular Extremal Combinatorics, Probabilistic methods, and Design theory. Recently, he has become interested in the applications Probabilistic methods in Combinatorics especially in Graph-theoretic applications such as coloring problems. Today’s talk will be about deconstructing Szemeredi’s regularity lemma in graph theory – a result with wide applications in areas such as extremal graph theory, additive combinatorics and theoretical computer science – so that we can imagine being Szemeredi and coming up with this powerful lemma.

Abstract: The Regularity lemma of Szemeredi is a landmark result in graph theory with far-reaching consequences ranging from applications in extremal graph theory, additive combinatorics, theoretical computer science, and probability theory to name a few. It is not just a lemma – it is a general motif that sweeps across these landscapes. What we shall see in this talk is a deconstruction of this lemma that is better motivated from the following vantage point:  YOU are Szemeredi. How did you come up with such an audacious lemma?!

The deconstruction is not a historic account by any means, for I do not know the workings of as fertile and `irregular’ mind as Szemeredi’s; it is as historically authentic as was Tarantino’s version of how World War II ended.

Can a computer do your problems sheets? by Prof. Kevin Buzzard

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 18:00

Main Lecture Hall, Old Divinity School, St John’s College

We all know a computer can e.g. very quickly add up the first million prime numbers. But can a computer prove some random theorem on your vector spaces problem sheet or your algebraic geometry problem sheet? The standard programming languages which mathematicians and computer scientists are taught at school or uni can’t, because they are not expressive enough to state and prove theorems. Lean is a programming language which can. To see it in action, try works on computers but not phones). I’ll talk about how I’m using Lean to do mathematics from undergraduate level to Fields Medal level and how you can get involved too (and even make money and get publications!). No background in programming is necessary. Suitable for 1st year (and higher year!) mathematicians.


Stein’s Pardox by Prof. Richard Samworth  

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 18:00

Castlereagh Room, Fisher Building, St John’s College

Stein’s paradox is one of the most striking results in Statistics. Although it appears to be a basic problem in mathematical statistics, it turns out to have profound implications for the analysis of modern, high-dimensional data. I will describe both the result and some of its consequences.

Fresher’s Squash 

Friday, 8th October 2021

A warm welcome to all our freshers.

Easter Term

Annual Cricket Match

Tuesday, 22th June 2021

The Adams Society annual cricket match against the Trinity Maths Society will be on the Trinity Old Fields. A training session will be arranged at some point in the coming week, with details to come later.

Annual Garden Party

Saturday, 19th June and 26th June 2021, 14:00-18:00

The Adams Society garden party will be held at the Fellow’s Garden, split into two sessions due to Covid restrictions of 30 people maximum. You’re welcome to come to either one or both of them if you wish. But due to the covid restrictions, we encourage Part IA and Part II students to come to the first one on the 19th June (Saturday), and Part IB and Part III students to the second one on the 26th June.

Tripos Experience Sharing Session

Monday, 19th April 2021, 19:00

The Tripos Experience Sharing Session is hold online due to Covid, led by Michael Ng, Nicholas Janisch, David Bai, Sophie McInerney, Jason Tang and Lennie Wells. The attendees peaked over 50.

Here is the link to the recording of the session
Here is the link to Michael’s slide