Prof. Béla Bollobás – Polynomials in Combinatorics and Topology

On Friday Prof. Béla Bollobás will give a talk on Polynomials in Combinatorics and Topology. Note that unlike our other events this talk will start at 7PM in Meeting Room 2 of the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road.

Abstract: Although polynomials are not prominent in either combinatorics or topology, they are important tools in both. In the talk I shall introduce several polynomials with beautiful and surprising applications in combinatorics and topology. The talk will be accessible to freshmen but should be of interest to research students as well.

I hope to see you on Friday!

Prof. David Tong – The Quantum Hall Effect

Speaker: Prof. David Tong
Title: The Quantum Hall Effect
Abstract: Take a bunch of electrons, restrict them to move in a plane, and turn on a magnetic field. This gives rise to some of the most beautiful and surprising results in physics. I’ll give an overview of this subject and describe the deep connections with the mathematics of topology and knots.

The talk will take place at 8:30PM on Monday 10 October in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre (Map,0.119397,17). As usual there will be free port and juice served before the talk at 8:15PM. This talk is for members only, but there will be a chance to sign up for TMS life membership for £2.50.

The talk by Prof. Béla Bollobás will be held at 7PM on Friday 14 October in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences. This has been misprinted on some of the term cards.

Puzzle Hunt
In Lent term the TMS and the TCSS will organise a joint puzzle hunt. There will be a broad spectrum of puzzle styles ranging from cryptic, picture, word, logic and a whole lot more. The aim of each puzzle is to reveal a hidden word – it is up to you to figure out how.

This term we will release weekly taster puzzles. You can find our first puzzle on here or the back of your term card. Write your name, answer and reasoning on a piece of paper and hand it in at the talk. We will draw a winner.

TMS Freshers’ Squash 2016

7:30PM – 9:30PM on Wednesday 5 October, Blue Boar Common Room at Trinity College.

Come and meet all the other freshers who share a common interest in mathematics! We welcome students from all subjects and colleges. Whether you wish to join our society, or just chat to other students and find out more about us, we are looking forward to seeing you. We’ll have plenty of free snacks and drinks so please come along and enjoy yourselves!

While you’re there, you can pick up a termcard of all our events and join up to our wonderful society. Life membership is very cheap – probably one of the cheapest in the university – with the cost being only £2.50. You can just make your quick cash transaction there and you will have life membership to the oldest surviving subject society at any university in the country.

[Directions: Blue Boar Common Room is on the side of Trinity Street opposite the Great Gate. More specifically, it is by the Wolfson building. If you can't find it, please just ask the porters nicely and they will point it out.]

We hope to see you there!

Cricket Match

It is a long standing tradition of the TMS and the Adams Society (the mathematical society of St John’s College) to hold an annual cricket match. This year it will be hosted by the TMS on the Old Fields located on Grange Road opposite the Burrell’s Field Porter’s Lodge. The match will start at 10:30 when George Fortune will bowl an apple as the first ball. Food will be provided, so come and cheer us on!

There are still a few spots left on the TMS team. If you are interested in playing, please email Jonathan Zheng at yz460

Garden Party 2016

Exams have ended and summer has started. Therefore, the Trinity Mathematical Society has to hold its annual Garden Party. The party will go from 1:30 – 3:30PM on Tuesday 7 June on the Trinity College Fellows’ Bowling Green (off Great Court, entrance by the Clock Tower).

Besides an assortment of snacks, cheeses and fruits, there will be 40 litres of Pimm’s and 12 gallons of ice cream available. Flavours include Coffee and Caramel, Watermelon Sorbet, Maltesers and (of course) Brown Bread.

Entry is free for all members of the TMS but if you are not one, then it is very easy to join at the door for £2.50.

I hope to see you there!

Double Talk Week!

The Trinity Mathematical Society has a blockbuster week with two talks from both the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Prof. Michael Green, and the current Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Prof. Mike Cates. (For those of you who haven’t heard of this Professorship, former holders include Isaac Newton, George Stokes, Paul Dirac and Stephen Hawking.) At 8:30PM on Monday 29 February, Prof. Green will be speaking to us at the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College. On Tuesday 1 March at 7pm, Prof. Mike Cates will be speaking at MR2, CMS. Refreshments for both talks will be available 15 minutes before the talk.

8:30pm Monday 29 February, Winstanley Lecture Theatre
Speaker: Prof. Michael Green (DAMTP)
Title: The Scope of String Theory

Abstract: This talk will explain why string theory is such a compelling approach to understanding the fundamental particles and the physical forces, even though it is not yet a complete theory and it has yet to make precise experimental predictions. It will give an overview of the theory, illustrating how it describes physics at ultra-short distances in a manner that is radically different from more conventional theories. I will illustrate how the structure of string theory is influencing our understanding of quantum gravity as well as having profound connections with aspects of modern mathematics. The talk will end with an overview of recent ideas, which suggest that the string theory may have applications in areas of physics far removed from the ones it was originally intended for.

7:00pm Tuesday 1 March, MR2 (Wolfson Room), CMS
Speaker: Prof. Mike Cates (DAMTP)
Title: Mathematical Models of Cellular Locomotion
Abstract: Many types of cell in our bodies are not static but actively move around. The effects can be good, such as when immune cells search and destroy invading organisms, or bad, such as when cancer cells spread to distant parts of the body. Many biochemical circuits are implicated in cell movement, but cell fragments with no such circuits also move spontaneously — the cellular equivalent of a headless chicken. This observation suggests the presence of an autonomous “motility engine” whose operation is controlled, but not maintained, by the complex biochemical circuits present in real cells. I shall describe a simplified mathematical model for this engine, using ideas borrowed from the study of liquid crystalline materials, as found in every mobile phone and laptop screen.

Hope to see you all there!

TMS Annual Symposium – Schedule Update

So, we’ve got our schedule of speakers for the Annual TMS Symposium on Sunday 21 February in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College.

10:15am – 10:45am: Joy Thompson, “Tissue Mechanics in Early Brain Development”
10:45am – 11:15am: Mary Fortune, “So Your Experiment Hasn’t Worked: How to Lie with Statistics”
11:20am – 12:05pm: Dr. Jonathan Nelson (ATASS Sports), “Smashing the Racket: Detecting Match-fixing in Tennis via In-play Betting Irregularities”
12:45pm – 1:15pm: Jean Pichon, “Semantics”
1:15pm – 2:10pm: Dr. Thomas Forster (DPMMS), “Axiom of Choice”
2:15pm – 2:45pm: Patrick Short, “Mutations in Developmental Disorders”
3:00pm – 4:00pm: Prof. Malcolm Perry (DAMTP), [TBC]
4:00pm – 4:30pm: Lawrence Barrott, [TBC]
4:30pm – 5:30pm: Prof. Miles Reid FRS (Warwick), “Finite Subgroups of SL(2,C) and SL(3,C) and their Role in Algebraic Geometry”

Please find attached a pdf with the abstracts (below), which tell us a bit more about each talk and have a few hints on what the two TBC’s are possibly speaking on – Malcolm Perry’s talk could be particularly exciting: read this article from the Scientific American on his recent work with Stephen Hawking and Andrew Strominger.

Note that admission to any of the symposium talks is free for both non-members and members. There will be refreshments before and after each block of talks, as well as an opportunity to sign up for life membership of the TMS, which costs a paltry two pounds fifty. Hope to see you all there!

TMS Annual Symposium 2016

TMS Annual Symposium 2016 – Update

As you might already know, the Annual TMS Symposium will be held in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College on Sunday 21 February. The Symposium will begin at 10:30am and end at 5:30pm so that those attending the dinner will have ample time to get ready. (More details on timing below). We will have a variety of speakers – both fellows and PhD students – across a broad spectrum of mathematical topics.

Fellows: Prof. Malcolm Perry (DAMTP), Dr. Thomas Forster (DPMMS)
PhD Students: Joy Thompson, Patrick Short, Lawrence Barrott

Our key-note speaker will be Professor Miles Reid FRS from the University of Warwick. He will be speaking on the topic of “Finite subgroups of SL(2,CC) and SL(3,CC) and their role in algebraic geometry”. His abstract (which he has kindly written for us in LaTeX) can be found attached.

One of our sponsors, ATASS Sports, has also sent a speaker, Dr. Jonathan Nelson, for the Symposium. Details are below.

Title: Smashing the racket: Detecting match-fixing in tennis via in-play betting irregularities
Abstract: An unfortunate consequence of the recent growth in tennis betting markets has been a heightened incentive for match-fixing – particularly at lower levels of the sport, where earnings are modest, and where the market for one match may dwarf the prize money for an entire tournament. Against this backdrop, an unscrupulous player may be tempted to profit from their position of influence by secretly agreeing to “throw” a particular match, with a complicit third party betting on the result.
This talk summarises the results of a match-fixing study spanning over 5,000 in-play tennis betting markets. After developing a natural point-by-point probabilistic model, featuring novel mechanisms for selecting parameters robustly from the data, we demonstrate that the observed market trajectories correlate extremely closely with this model. We argue that substantial discrepancies represent a “red flag” that something is amiss – either an injury, or something more covert. We also provide visualisations of recent matches where the market evolved pathologically, and assess the evidence that these matches were fixed.

The talks will occur in three blocks (the full schedule and details of each talk will be released very shortly). The order of the talks will roughly alternate between fellows and PhD students.

Block 1: 10:30am – 12:00pm (2 talks)
Block 2: 1:00pm – 2:30pm (2 talks)
Block 3: 3:00pm – 5:30pm (3 talks)

There will be drinks and refreshments served in before and after each block. I should note now the Symposium is free for both members and non-members and so please feel welcome to invite people who have not had the chance to visit many Monday talks due to scheduled commitments. I have to say that this year’s symposium looks brilliant and that I will be very tempted to attend all the talks. Moreover, this could be your last chance to see our outgoing TMS President Josh Lam, who will be delighting us with his presence throughout the day and the dinner in the evening. I hope to see you all in droves!MilesReid

Trinity Mathematical Society Remaining Events

16 February (Tue): Konstantin Ardakov (Oxford) (Cancelled)
21 February (Sun): Symposium and Annual Dinner
29 February: Michael Green (DAMTP)
7th March: Geoffrey Grimmett (Statslab)
26 February (Fri): Bela Bollobas (DPMMS)
1st March (Tue): Mike Cates (DAMTP), “Mathematical models of cellular locomotion”

Prof. Martin Hyland (DPMMS) – Why Euclid was a genius and (maybe) other stories

Hi all!

The Trinity Mathematical Society is continuing its run of great speakers with Prof. Martin Hyland (DPMMS) coming to talk to us at 8:30PM Monday 8 February in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College. Note that, at the talk, our President Josh Lam will be announcing the time and date the tickets for the TMS Annual DInner will be released. (Last year the tickets were sold out within ten minutes!)

Speaker: Prof. Martin Hyland (DPMMS)
Title: Why Euclid was a genius and (maybe) other stories
Abstract: It is often said that we know very little about Euclid. But we do have (most of) his Elements – perhaps the most widely studied secular book of all time. I claim that it is the expression of a remarkable mathematical personality. There are two distinct proofs of Pythagoras’ Theorem in Euclid’s Elements. I believe that we can reconstruct Euclid’s thinking in giving these two proofs. When we do so, we see what is an unrecognised depth to Euclid: not only was he a remarkable geometer and arithmetician but he also had the instincts of a modern logician.

As always, there will be complimentary port and juice served before the talk at 8:15PM. This talk is for members only, but there will be a chance to sign-up for TMS membership for £2.50. So, come on down to the Winstanley this Monday if you’d like to listen!