Termcard for Hilary Term 2011

Week 1 – Noncommutative Geometry & Physics

Dr. Keith Hannabuss – Balliol College

Keith Hannabuss’ research includes Quantum Theory, Non Commutative Geometry and Operator Algebras, tonight we will see how some of these interact with each other and the importance of geometry in the study of physics.

Keith Hannabuss is the Billmeir Fellow and Tutor in Mathematics at Balliol Colege.

Week 2 – Euler – 300 Years On

Prof. Leonhard Euler, St Petersburg

In this talk Professor Euler will reminisce about his life and mathematical works The Inavariant Society Celebrates its 75th anniversary in style with a man who made large contributions to a great variety of fields, including the famous ‘Seven Bridges of Königsberg’ probelm. Even his death in 1783 could not stymie his desire to speak tonight!

Wednesday, Week 2 – Information is Beautiful

David McCandless, Information is Beautiful (Joint event with Oxford University Scientific Society)

In an age of high-speed living and info overload, visualized information has incredible potential to help us quickly understand, navigate and find meaning in complex world.

The use of infographics, data visualisations and information design is a rising trend across many disciplines: science, design, journalism and web. At the same time, daily exposure to the web is creating a incredibly design-literate population. Could this be a new language?

David will share his passion for exciting potential of this merging of design, information, text and story. And unveil some of the interesting, unexpected and sometimes magical things that happen when you visualise data, knowledge and ideas.

Week 3 – Cosmology

Prof. Sir Roger Penrose, Wadham College

Sir Roger Penrose is renowned for his work in mathematical physics, in particular his contributions to general relativity and cosmology. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics which he shared with Stephen Hawking. Tonight he speaks to us about the wonders of the cosmos and some exciting recent advances.

Week 4 – Members’ Papers

Invariant Members

This annual event gives our members the chance to shine by presenting their own talk. We will divide the usual time over a variety of members interests. Please email graham.hobbs@oriel.ox.ac.uk if you wish to present a members’ paper.

Week 5 – A Variety of Flags

Dr Jan Grabowski, Keble College

Some mathematical ideas are both simple and pervasive but obliquely named, and flags are a good example of this. To a mathematician, a flag is a collection of subspaces of a vector space, each contained in the next and having dimension one less than its predecessor. So in three dimensions, we would picture a plane containing a line, both containing the origin. The collection of all flags has a fascinating geometrical and algebraic structure and we will explore some small examples and some related topics.

Jan Grabowski’s research is in quantum algebra, in particular with Lie algebras.

Week 6 – Emmy Noether

Prof. Harvey Brown, Wolfson College (Joint Event with Physics Society)

Amalie Emmy Noether, was an influential German mathematician known for her groundbreaking contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics. She has been described by David Hilbert, Albert Einstein and others as the most important woman in the history of mathematics. Tonight we will explore her work in physics.

Harvey Brown is Professor of Philosophy of Physics, his research includes the foundations of quantum mechanics, relativity theory and thermal physics, the philosophy of space and time, and the role of symmetry principles in physics.

Week 7 – Mythical beasts in algebra

Dr James Cranch, University of Leicester

For decades, mathematicians have motivated much work by referring to several deeply interesting algebraic objects which sadly fail to exist under the normal definitions. I will exhibit several of these, including the field with one element and the localisation of the integers at the infinite prime, and discuss what they might really mean. Not much familiarity is required with any algebraic objects which really do exist.

James Cranch undergraduate studies were at Trinity College, Cambridge and he completed his PhD at the University of Sheffield.

Sunday, Week 8 – Archimedeans Problems Drive

The Archimedeans

The Archimedeans are the Cambridge Mathematical Society, their annual problems drive is an fun contest, with a prize for the winner, funniest answer, best team name, and few other things.

Further details to be confirmed.

Week 8 – Annual General Meeting


The AGM is a chance for members to make their mark on the society by raising important issues or running for committee positions. We are holding elections for every committee position so come along and get involved. Please email graham.hobbs@oriel.ox.ac.uk if you have anything you would like to put on the agenda.

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