Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Universality Phenomenon – Dr Roland Bauerschmidt (DPMMS)

Our next talk will be given by Dr Roland Bauerschmidt (DPMMS). Note that it will start at 9pm this week – an exception to the usual.
The Universality Phenomenon
Dr Roland Bauerschmidt (DPMMS)
Monday 21st October, Winstanley Lecture Theatre, 9 PM

Many complex systems in mathematics and physics show universal behaviour, i.e., behaviour that is independent of the details of the system. I will illustrate this universality phenomenon in several examples, some well-understood, some still mysterious.

Higher Dimensions – Professor Imre Leader (DPMMS)

Starting off our series of talks this term – our first talk will be given by the wonderful Professor Imre Leader.
Higher Dimensions
Professor Imre Leader (DPMMS)
Monday 14th October, Winstanley Lecture Theatre, 8:30PM
We are all used to thinking about shapes in 2 or 3 dimensions. But what about in 4 dimensions? Or even n dimensions, where n is large?

TMS Garden Party 2019

As promised (especially for the first-years who missed last year’s) – TMS Garden Party poem!
It’s that glorious time of the year again,

When all of your exams have come to an end –
and the TMS organises its garden party event
so that you can come and celebrate with friends.
Friday 21st June at the Fellows’ Bowling Green,
With plenty of drink and brown bread ice cream
(but also other flavours in case you’re not keen)
We’ll move under the Wren if there’s rain unforeseen.
The event will be from 1 to 3 in the afternoon –

we look forward to seeing all of you there very soon!

TMS Garden Party
Date and Time: Friday 21st June, 1-3pm
Location: Fellows’ Bowling Green (go through the gate just left of the clock tower in Great Court)
Exciting refreshments and drinks provided.

2019 TMS AGM

The TMS AGM happened today, and a new committee was elected.
TMS 2019/20 Committee
President: Peter Andreev
Vice President: David Veres
Secretary: Michael Ng
Junior Treasurer: Misha Schmalian
Membership Secretary: Emily Beatty

Constable: Warren Li

And so, I have the pleasure of emailing you all for another year! (Indeed, those who joined this year can look forward to my second TMS Garden Party poem – haha).
All the best,
Michael Ng
TMS Secretary

How to Build Mathematical Models – Professor Eric Lauga (DAMTP)

Our final talk – yes, final talk! – of this year is given by Professor Eric Lauga. Details below, hope to see lots of you there!

How to Build Mathematical Models
Professor Eric Lauga (DAMTP)
11 March, Winstanley Lecture Theatre, 8:30PM
Everybody knows what “Mathematics” is but ask around and you will quickly realise that nobody really knows what “Applied Mathematics” means. In this talk I will use research drawn from the world of physics and biology to convey what it means to be an applied mathematician. In particular, I will explain how one goes about building a mathematical model, what approximate solutions are and why sometimes you don’t have a choice and need to use a computer. 

Elliptical billiards and Poncelet trajectories – Professor Pelham Wilson (DPMMS)

Monday 4 March, 8:30PM
Elliptical billiards and Poncelet trajectories
Professor Pelham Wilson (DPMMS)
Given an elliptical billiard table, to any ball trajectory which doesn’t cross the line segment joining the two foci, there is an associated smaller confocal ellipse inscribed in the trajectory. A Poncelet trajectory is one which is closed after a finite number of bounces. We’ll see that if there is one such closed trajectory with n segments, then starting from every point on the outer ellipse, there is a similar closed trajectory with n segments and the same inscribed ellipse, and indeed all these trajectories have the same length
Analogous geometric properties hold more generally for any pair of conics in the plane, and in modern terminology the existence of analogous Poncelet polygons is related to the torsion points on an associated elliptic curve.

Addition, multiplication, and why they don’t get along – Dr Julia Wolf (DPMMS)

Monday 25 February, 8:30PM
Addition, multiplication, and why they don’t get along
Dr Julia Wolf (DPMMS)
The sum-product conjecture, put forward by Erdős and Szemerédi in the 1980s, states that the set of all pairwise sums and the set of all pairwise products of a finite subset of the reals cannot simultaneously be close to minimal in size. Despite the simplicity of its statement and a significant amount of research effort devoted to its resolution, the conjecture remains open to this day. In this talk I will explain the motivation for the conjecture as well as some fascinating partial results.

Sum-of-squares proofs
 – Dr Hamza Fawzi (DAMTP)

Monday 18 February, 8:30PM
Sum-of-squares proofs
Dr Hamza Fawzi (DAMTP)
A polynomial that is a sum of squares of other polynomials can only take nonnegative values. This trivial observation is surprisingly powerful: many inequalities in mathematics have simple sum-of-squares proofs. I will discuss algorithms that can automatically search for sum-of-squares proofs for polynomial inequalities, and the extent to which they can be considered as “automatic proof machines”.