Mathmo Call My Bluff

Come and celebrate Christmas with the TMS’ annual Call My Bluff event. Watch a Freshers’ Team take on a team drawn from the combined might of the rest of the university in a competition in which mathematical knowledge takes a second place to the ability to hold a good poker face. You can practise past questions online using our online game
As usual the event will take place on Monday 28th of November at 8:30PM in the Winstanley Lecture theatre.

Mathmo Call My Bluff
It has long been a tradition that every year, just before we all break up for Christmas, the TMS hosts a special mathematical adaptation of the cult BBC television quiz show, Call My Bluff. There are two teams of three, together with a host to keep things in order. The teams take it in turns to present three alternative definitions of an obscure mathematical word, only one of which is true—this is done by means of a dazzling, virtuoso display of wit and intellect, and occasionally completely unconvincing mathematics. The other team then has the task of deciding which one of the three alternatives is the correct one. If they guess correctly, they get a point; otherwise, their opponents get a point.

Cambridge Puzzle Hunt
We have a new puzzle Chess Puzzle. The answer to the puzzle is a word. You can submit your answer online at Alternatively you can hand in your answer at the next TMS or TCSS talk. There will be prizes for some of the correct submissions. The deadline is Sunday 4th of December.

Prof Imre Leader – Cops and Robbers

Tonight at 20:30 Prof Imre Leader will give a talk to the TMS in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre.
As usual there will be port and juice served 15 minutes before the talk.

Speaker: Prof Imre Leader (DPMMS)
Title: Cops and Robbers
Abstract: 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?

Dr Perla Sousi – Percolation and Random Walks

On Monday 7th November Dr. Perla Sousi gave a talk to the TMS!

Speaker: Dr. Perla Sousi (Statslab)
Title: Percolation and Random Walks
Abstract: Consider the two dimensional lattice and keep every edge with probability p, independently over different edges. It is known that there exists a critical probability p_c so that for all p > p_c there exists a unique infinite connected component. But how well connected is this infinite cluster? One way to evaluate this is by examining the rate of spread of a simple random walk on the cluster.

Prof. Jonathan Mestel – More Fun than a Barrel of Monkeys

We’ve got a great talk for the society this week with Prof. Jonathan Mestel (Imperial) at 8:30pm Monday 31 October in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College. There will be port and juice served 15 minutes before the talk.

Speaker: Prof. Jonathan Mestel (Imperial)
Title: More Fun than a Barrel of Monkeys
Abstract: Imagine millions of small monkeys in a barrel, all pressing and rubbing against each other. More simply, imagine a cylinder of fluid – water, ink, metal, blood or tar. Proverbially, the fun of all activities is to be measured against this yardstick. This talk will demonstrate why.

Cambridge Puzzle Hunt
We have a third taster puzzle “Cambridge Safari”. You can find it through the Puzzlehunt website ( where you can also submit your answer. Alternatively, you can submit it in person in the puzzle box at the TMS talk on Monday or the TCSS talk on Tuesday. We will draw a winner on Wednesday.

The Cambridge Puzzle Hunt has its own website:
If you are interested in participating you can join the mailing list:

Dr Marj Batchelor – The Rewards of Thinking Coalgebraically

On Monday 24 October Dr Marj Batchelor gave a talk to the TMS!

Speaker: Dr Marj Batchelor
Title: The Rewards of Thinking Coalgebraically
Abstract: The theory of coalgebras is not taught in the undergraduate syllabus, nor yet in Part III or even as a graduate course, but not because of any great conceptual difficulty. Indeed most toddlers who grow up with at least one sibling and an aunt foolish enough to provide but a single box of chocolates for the two of them to share have a keen instinctive understanding of the essential idea. As an example of the advantages of thinking coalgebraically, I will talk about the enrichment of the category of algebras over coalgebras, and specifically the consequent benefits afforded to the concept of “maps between modules”.

Cambridge Puzzle Hunt
The Cambridge Puzzle Hunt now has its own website:
If you are interested in participating you can join the mailing list:

You can submit your answer into the puzzle box at the TMS talk on Monday or the TCSS talk on Tuesday. Alternatively you can use the online submission form. We will draw a winner on Wednesday. More information can be found here:

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!