The Society
Gerard F. Thompson (Chronicler)

The Triennial Dinner of 1988, with Professor Christopher Zeeman and Dr Lickorish as guests of honour, was a splendid occasion. In particular, Professor Zeeman’s practical demonstration of a boomerang during his speech enlivened the evening. However, this event was organised by the previous committee. Could the present committee live up to the record of last year’s?

Fortunately, the Easter term is traditionally a quiet term for the Society, and so the committee had time to settle in before plunging into May Week. The social events were in general as successful as the weather permitted; the Garden Party was dry if not bright, but numbers for the punt trip were diminished by the chill wind and threatening sky, and only a small party of gallant Archimedeans eventually arrived in Grantchester. In the croquet match, the faculty exhibited unexpected facility, and won comfortably. However, the Dampers failed to take up the challenge to a punt joust, rumour having it that they were not in the peak of physical condition on the appointed day.

The evening speaker meetings were better attended than last year; the Society would like to thank Professor W. W. Sawyer, Dr. J. Cofman, Dr. I. G. Porteous, Dr. J. Rae, Professor Brown and Professor I. Alexsander for their interesting and stimulating talks. Mr. Winter of the University Careers Service organised another successful Careers Evening, and we are grateful to him for doing so. There are, at the time of writing, still four major speakers to come. The Society also thanks those of last year’s speakers who came after the last Eureka was published: Dr. J. Butterfield, Professor R. Schwarzenberger and Professor Sir Michael Atiyah.

As regards the other serious activities undertaken by the Society, an Alternative Guide for first year mathematicians was again produced, providing information valuable in the first few weeks in Cambridge. The squash rivalled the incredibly successful one of last year, and over the whole year the Society gained more than 170 new members. This fact, and the proverbial prudency of the Junior Treasurer, have meant that the Society is still in a healthy financial state. The bookshop is running as smoothly as ever, and the problems with the (non-) distribution of Eureka over the past few years are being dealt with by the Business Manager.

The subgroups have enjoyed mixed fortunes over the year: while the Musical Appreciation subgroup has ceased to be, at least until someone volunteers to run it, the others have gone from strength.

So, as the present committee hurtles into oblivion, we pause to wish those about to be elected to the new committee the best of luck in the coming year.

Forthcoming events include a Scavenger Hunt (with or without the Invariants) and a version of “Just a Minute”.

Unfortunately the avuncle of the Society, Mark Owen, has not contributed a quotation to sum up this year, so I will merely say that “The Archimedeans had another good year.”


Reproduced from Eureka 49 page 5.
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