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The University of York Mathematics Society - Our aim is to enhance the social experience of students, expand academic opportunities in mathematics and forge strong relations for our members to use in future careers and beyond

Lightning talks

We have planned an exciting evening including talks from three different speakers covering range of different topics in mathematics. The talks aim to provide a taste of the variety and impact of modern mathematics. Each talk will last 20 minutes, and the event will be followed by a wine reception with the speakers. Christoper Hughes will be giving a talk…

Social events Update

Hi all, my name is JJ Wilson, and I am the current Mathsoc Social Secretary, meaning I'm in charge of all the upcoming socials. I'll be present at all the socials and look forward to seeing you all there. We currently have 5 social events planned for the first term, which are: Week 2 - Bar Crawl Week 4 -…

Academic events update

Greetings all, for those of you have not met me already, this year I will be the Mathsoc's Academic Secretary (jointly, along with Chaz Wing), and as such I run many of the society's regular academic events. I should be around at most of our events and am always eager to discuss your ideas for the society and our events,…

Generating Random Numbers by Winning 'Unwinnable' Games by Roger Colbeck

Roger Colbeck gave an interesting public lecture entitled Generating Random Numbers by Winning 'Unwinnable' Games. The video of the lecture is now available online.

Abstract: "I will present some simple games that look, at first (and perhaps even second) sight, to be unwinnable. However, it turns out that whether these games can be won or not depends on physics: while players who exploit classical physics could not win such games, a player well-versed in quantum physics can. I will explain that, as well as saying something truly remarkable about the world, closely related to Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance', winning such games can be put to practical use. In particular, it allows us to certify the generation of random numbers, something that is also impossible in classical physics."

Renormalisation: the "Hocus Pocus" which fixed Quantum Physics by Alejandro de la Rosa Gomez (Video)

York Ph.D. student Alejandro de la Rosa Gomez gave a presentation on some of the tricks which have led to many breakthroughs in theoretical physics. You can now watch the video below.

Here's the abstract:

Nature is sneaky. Once we figure out how something works and can finally go to bed, she makes sure we wake up to a harder problem. To be fair, we're very ambitious: we would like a single, beautiful idea to explain everything we see. A priori, there's no reason why this should be true. But we might as well explore the possibility. After all, as humans, we enjoy pretty, simple things.

The truth is, the rules of the game which we've discovered so far are simple, but they're not easy. Something as simple as the behaviour of a hydrogen atom in a magnetic field took several decades to figure out precisely. And we had to sacrifice mathematical consistency to do so.
In fact, the trickstery used in that single discovery allowed us to explain a lot of phenomena. In this talk I will present to you the set of unconventional tricks we theoretical physicists use to make calculations, not before I review the ideas which lead to one of the most incredible scientific achievements of the last century.

Introduction to Category Theory by Shaun Isherwood

Shaun Isherwood has written an introduction to category theory and agreed to make it available via the MathSoc website. Category theory is one of the most fundamental and most enlightening areas of modern algebra, providing a general theory explaining many properties of mathematical systems, and pointing our the similarities in structure between many branches of mathematics, and I would highly…

Goldbach's conjecture webinar

We had a webinar talk on Goldbach's conjecture on January 23 2015, given by Stijn Hanson. You can now watch it here.

Back in 1742, Christian Goldbach wrote a letter to Euler suggesting that every even number could be written as the sum of two prime numbers. This is a notoriously unsolved problem but we endeavour to explain the machinery behind three of the best results we have towards understanding this famous conjecture and talk about some of the speaker's own work.