Monday, 11 January 2010

Lancaster University Maths and Statistics Society (MASS)

The Maths and Statistics society (MASS) at Lancaster University was founded the end of the last academic year. With no society having existed previously we were keen to create a strong identity for MASS and thus with financial support from both the department and the IMA we were able to design and produce our new logo and professional website. Further to this we purchased various proportional materials such as pens, pencils and note pads with the IMA and MASS logos because a mathematician can never have too many!

MASS now boasts a 155 strong membership which is a tribute to the hard work and effort that everyone involved has dedicated to it. As a society we run many activities to try and involve and engage all our members with particular emphasis on creating an environment where students and academics can work together on a more informal basis.

To this effect MASS organises a weekly maths café where students can get extra help with their weekly assessments, or just discuss areas of interest with members of staff. We have organised a rota system with the staff that help out for free which we are very grateful for, and as a thank you we serve free tea and biscuits throughout the session.

This term we have also had a visit from Peter Rowlett from the IMA who gave two separate talks on careers for mathematicians and cryptology. We highly recommend Peter to other societies having had excellent feedback from our members. A highlight was the cryptology talk where we were given the opportunity to create and break our own ciphers in a competitive environment. Building on this success we are hoping next term to organise several talks by post grads and senior staff within the department on active research areas that really interest them to give undergrads a better understanding of how the department works and future opportunities within the department and the mathematics community.

On top of the academic side we also run many socials to encourage people to make new friends and contacts with the aim of creating a larger support network. And of course we above all we aim to have a good time. We’ve organised fancy dress night with theme the letters M.A.S.S, Christmas lunch and we have also conducted a joint social with the Lancaster University Physics & Astronomy Society (LUPAS) as a way of encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation.
Our first term as a society has been a very busy and successful one and we are looking forward to building on this foundation in the following years.

Danielle Bartram
MASS President