Oxford University Invariant Society

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Oxford University Invariant Society
Invariant Society Logo.gif
AbbreviationThe Invariants
TypeStudent organisation
PurposeEducation
HeadquartersMathematical Institute, Oxford
Location
  • Oxford, UK
Official language
English
Websitewww.invariants.org.uk

The Oxford University Invariant Society, or 'The Invariants', is a university society open to members of the University of Oxford, dedicated to promotion of interest in mathematics.[1] The society regularly hosts talks from professional mathematicians on topics both technical and more popular, from the mathematics of juggling to the history of mathematics.[2] Many prominent British mathematicians were members of the society during their time at Oxford.[3]

History[edit]

The Society was founded in 1936 by J. H. C. Whitehead together with two of his students at Balliol College, Graham Higman[4] and Jack de Wet.[5] The name of the society was chosen at random by Higman from the titles of the books on Whitehead's shelf;[6] in this case, Oswald Veblen's Invariants of Quadratic Differential Forms. The opening lecture was given by G. H. Hardy in Hilary Term 1936, with the title 'Round Numbers'.[7][8]

Though many members joined the armed forces during the war, meetings continued, including lectures by Douglas Hartree and Max Newman, as well as debates - 'Is Mathematics an end in itself?' - and mathematical films.[9]

The society has hosted hundreds of prominent mathematicians,[10] including lectures by Benoit Mandelbrot,[11] Sir Roger Penrose,[12] and Simon Singh.[13]

Since 1961, the Society has published a magazine entitled The Invariant.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Invariants Society Constitution, http://www.invariants.org.uk/constitution
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Oxford Maths Institute: History of Mathematics
  3. ^ More mathematical people: contemporary conversations. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1990. ISBN 9780151581757.
  4. ^ http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Higman.html Biography of Graham Higman
  5. ^ Wilson, Robin (Spring 2011). "Invariant Society 75th anniversary". Oxford Mathematical Institute Newsletter.
  6. ^ John Fauvel, Raymond Flood & Robin Wilson (editors), Oxford figures: 800 years of the mathematical sciences (2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2013), page 318.
  7. ^ The Early History of the Invariant Society by Robin Wilson, The Invariant (2010)
  8. ^ Professor Graham Higman's Obituary in The Daily Telegraph
  9. ^ The Early History of the Invariant Society by Robin Wilson, The Invariant (2010)
  10. ^ https://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/system/files/attachments/introbook18_0.pdf Oxford Undergraduate Handbook
  11. ^ John Fauvel, Raymond Flood & Robin Wilson (editors), Oxford figures: 800 years of the mathematical sciences (2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2013), page 318.
  12. ^ Hilary 2010 Termcard, Bodleian Library
  13. ^ "Cherwell.org | World | The drugs don't work by Oliver Moody". www.cherwell.org. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012.
  14. ^ https://suncat.ac.uk/serials/SCID00024641841/UkOxU%20010812572

External links[edit]