The Cambridge University Mathematical Society

Past Events — Michaelmas 2012

Unless otherwise stated, the talks are held at 7pm on Zoom. For every talk, a sign-up form will be circulated via the mailing list and posted on the Facebook page.

9th October 2012 — Dr Stephen Cowley (DAMTP)

Complex Sums in the Mathematical Tripos

This event was held at 12pm at Cockroft Lecture Theatre, New Museums Site.

:Join us for our first talk of term - the Freshers' Talk. Complex numbers appear throughout mathematics. Learn what they are all about, and how to study complex sums.

9th October 2012 — Freshers' Squash

This event was held at 1pm at Small Examinations Hall, New Museums Site.

Meet new people, grab some free pizza, and of course, join the Archimedeans!

15th October 2012 — Book Sale

This event was held at 1pm - 5pm at CMS Core.

Come along to buy maths books at highly reduced prices, and have some squash and biscuits.

19th October 2012 — Dr Peter Neumann OBE (Oxford)

Did Galois deserve to be shot?

Évariste Galois died aged 20 in 1832, shot in a mysterious early-morning duel. His ideas, after they were published fourteen years later, changed the direction of algebra and have had a huge influence on mathematics. In this talk we propose to explain something of his mathematical insights and legacy in non-technical terms, and why it seemed worthwhile to produce a meticulous bilingual edition of his writings.

26th October 2012 — Prof. Andrew Thomason (DPMMS)

Can you guess the next bit?

If you are given a string of numbers (say, binary digits), can you work out the next one in the sequence? If you are the Minister of Education in search of bracing exam questions you will say yes, otherwise you will say no. Nevertheless, there are times when a sequence looks random but it is possible to say what comes next. We shall mention some real-life applications but by and large the talk is about simple, though sometimes unexplained, properties of numbers.

2nd November 2012 — ‘Pub’ Quiz

This event was held at 6:30pm at CMS Central Core.

What better way to spend your Friday evening than to join us for a maths-themed pub quiz? Join up in teams and win prizes – a night of fun is a.s. guaranteed!

Quotes on account of how quiz is not held in a pub.

9th November 2012 — Cambridge Impronauts

Will it be a continuous night of laughter? Will the humour have no upper bound? Will there be any maths references at all? Only the Impronauts (formerly Improvised Comedy Ents) have the answer!

16th November 2012 — Prof. Béla Bollobás (DPMMS)

Bootstrap Percolation: Frivolous Questions and Daunting Problems

Bootstrap percolation, introduced by Chalupa, Leath and Reich in 1979, is one of the simplest cellular automata. In the talk we shall present a selection of problems and results concerning it, from coffee-time questions to major results and unsolved problems.

23rd November 2012 — Prof. David Spiegelhalter OBE (Stats Lab)

Do you know how much you know?

Your uncertainty can be quantified as a probability, but how can we tell whose probabilities are best? We will look at some theory of scoring rules for probabilistic predictions, and their applications in weather forecasting and other areas. And then we will measure your knowledge about your ignorance.

28th November 2012 — Scientific Christmas Party 2012

This event was held at All Bar One, St. Andrews Street.

We're ending the Michaelmas term in style, with a Scientific Christmas Party co-organised by The Archimedeans, CUPS and SciSoc!

The party will consist of a dinner buffet in All Bar One and is open only to members of any of the hosting societies - i.e. if you're not yet a member, but would like to attend the party, you need to become a member prior to your booking.

Tickets are £13 drinking, £10 non-drinking. Book at, and pay via one of the following methods:

  1. Cheque - Payable to 'The Archimedeans', send it to Colin Egan, Gonville and Caius College, with your name, CRSid/email and 'Scientific Christmas Party' on the back
  2. Bank Transfer - Account Name: The Archimedeans; Sort Code: 40-16-08; Account Number: 20116386; please write your name and CRSid in the reference
  3. Cash - pay an Archimedeans Committee member directly.