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ΣUMS has a new website. Check it out here!

Sydney University Maths Society (also known as ΣUMS or SUMS) is a club for students with an interest in any and all things maths-related.

We host a variety of events catered for every kind of maths enthusiast. We're known for holding fun and interesting talks on unusual areas of mathematics, as well as hosting cake bakes, maths relays, puzzle days, and trivia nights. But most importantly, at every event there's free pizza!

If you'd like to become a member of ΣUMS, simply fill out this form so that we can add you to our members and mailing list. We usually don't email more than once a week.

Feel free to email us with any questions, comments, or suggestions as well.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook to keep updated on all our upcoming events! You can also check our calendar below.


Talks: Our weekly mathematical talks are held on Thursdays at 1-2pm, currently in New Law 104. These go for thirty to forty minutes and are concluded with a helping of pizza and drinks. Previous talk topics have ranged from the mathematics of sound design to solving n-dimensional Rubik's cubes, and have included titles such as "Hats, Buckets, and Pascal's Triangle" and "Is There a Zombicidal Maniac Nearby? You Better Hope So! (Statistically surviving a zombie apocalypse)".

Mixer: We hold a mixer in the first week of each semester so that new and old members alike can meet each other over pizza and games.

Puzzles: Arguably our biggest event is the ΣUMS Puzzle Hunt, which is held over one week sometime in second semester. Teams of up to five people compete online to solve 20 puzzles over 8 intense days, and the winners are awarded hundreds of dollars in prizes. This year's Puzzle Hunt is being held over the week beginning Monday 2 July. Previous years' puzzles can be found by visiting the archives page.

Maths Relay: A competition where members form teams to see who can solve the most maths problems in a specified period of time. Prizes are awarded based on speed and number of correct guesses. These questions are written to be more fun and thought-provoking than outright difficult or formulaic.

Cake Bake: Once or twice a year we hold a cake-baking competition. Cakes are judged in a range of categories including "Best Tasting" and "Best Mathematical Reference", and awarded prizes. Then we eat them.

Trivia Night / Letters & Numbers: ΣUMS has on occasion hosted the trivia night at Manning Bar. We hold big Letters & Numbers competitions at ISL from 5-6pm one or twice a semester (joint event with CrossSoc).

LaTeX Workshop: Early in semester we hold a workshop providing a brief introduction and overview of LaTeX. If you're looking to typeset beautiful mathematics with relative ease, this is the event for you! The documents we used at the last workshop can be found here.

2018 Calendar

March 8: Semester 1 Mixer
March 13: Letters and Numbers
March 15: A Better World with a Base 12 Counting System – Andy Tran
March 22: Statistical Image Reconstruction in Positron Emission Tomography – Yiwei Mao
March 29: How to get out of Jail – Shane Arora
April 12: Mind, Maths and Megaminxes – Richie Lim
April 19: Trisecting the angle: Neusis and other Tricks – Alex Babidge
April 26: The Philosophy and Mathematics of Rational Decisions – Prof. Mark Colyvan
May 3: Lightning Talks:
    A computer-based solution to the tower of Hanoi problem – John Su
    Latent Variable Models: Useful but Arbitrary? – Jaden Costa
    What actually is the Axiom of Choice? – Hazel Browne
May 10: Three angles on tropical geometry – Associate Prof. Stephan Tillmann

2018 Committee

President Shane Arora
Vice-President Edric Wang
Secretary John Su
Treasurer Yiwei Mao
Social Coordinators Johnny Lim, Terry Shang
IT Officer Cameron Eggins
Women's Officers Edda Koo, Hazel Browne, Maggie Tong
Sponsorship Director Gordon Li
Puzzle Officer Radman Zhang
First-Year Representative Ryder Chen
General Executive Andy Tran, Richie Lim, Yinuo Han

2017 Calendar

(Thursdays 1-2pm in New Law 104 or 106 except where noted)

March 6: Letters & Numbers @ ISL (with CrossSoc) (5-6pm)
March 9: Semester One Mixer
March 16: Generatingfunctionology – Edric Wang
March 23: Multiplication and Division… In Style! – Johnny Lim
March 28: LaTeX Workshop (2-3pm Carslaw 610-611)
March 30: Entanglement and Teleportation – Eric Huang
April 6: An overview of magic squares – David Gruenewald
April 13: GM: Election of First-Year Representative and Women's Officers
April 20: A (mega) brief introduction into ergodic theory – Alexander Fish
May 4: Some assorted problems w.r.t. polygonal numbers – Alex Babidge
May 11: (Probability-themed) maths relay
May 18: Tau: The True Circle Constant – Andy Tran
May 25: FMC: Efficient Rubik’s Cube Solving – Richie Lim
June 1: Lightning Talks:
    Group theory and symmetry in chemistry – Maggie Corrigan
    Alternating decimal digits of (reciprocals of) repetend primes – David Gruenewald
    The houdini ant – Johnny Lim
August 3: Semester 2 Mixer
August 7: Letters & Numbers @ ISL (with CrossSoc) (5-6pm)
August 10: How to find a derivative? – Gordon Li
August 17: Nobody solves the quintic – Dror Bar-Natan
August 24: The maths behind modern music – Jaden Costa
August 31: How to lie with probability – Yang Song
September 7: Life on cheat mode: an overview of Game Theory – Leslie Marsh
September 12: A brief introduction to Ramsey Theory – Jonathan Zheng
September 19: ΣUMS Annual General Meeting
September 21: An introduction to image classification – Damon Zhong
October 5: Overview of Statistical Methods in Selective Breeding – Emi Tanaka
October 12: Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems: questioning the foundations of mathematics – Hazel Browne
October 19: Game Theory and Evolutionary Biology – Sida Yuan
October 26: Image Reconstruction in Computed Axial Tomography – Yiwei Mao
November 2: Cross Number Contest

2016 Calendar

(Thursdays 1-2pm in New Law 104 except where noted)

March 3: Semester One Mixer
March 8: Letters & Numbers @ Manning (with LingSoc and CrossSoc) (5-6pm)
March 10: Tiling with Rectangles - Sean Gardiner
March 17: How I learned to stop worrying and love floating point numbers - Mark Greenaway
March 22: GM: Election of First-Year Representative and General Executive
March 22: LaTeX Workshop (1:30-2:30 Carslaw 610-611)
March 24: Calculating the date of Easter - David Gruenewald
April 5: Breaking Barriers Webinar & Panel Discussion (with SUWIE) - Nalini Joshi, Kate Jolliffe, and Julie Cairney (10-1:30 Women's College)
April 7: The Base 12 Counting System: A Superior Alternative to the Decimal System - Andy Tran
April 14: Maths Relay (winners: Team-Star)
April 20: Letters & Numbers @ ISL (with LingSoc and CrossSoc) (5-6pm)
April 21: The Sound of Science: Describing Sounds Using Mathematics - Joachim Worthington
April 28: Introduction to Julia Sets and Their Dynamics - David Long
May 5: Puzzles & Games Day
May 12: Lightning Talks:
    Super Dense Coding - Alex Babidge
    Guarding Galleries - Sean Gardiner
    Arithmetic in Base -1+i - Kevin Liang
May 16: Cake Bake (12:30-1:30 Carslaw kitchen)
May 19: GM 2 and Lightning talks:
    Australia's next top statistical model V2.0 - Kevin Wang
    Deterministic Chaos!? - Longen Lan
    Friday the 13th - David Gruenewald
May 19: Industry Talk - Optiver (New Law 342, 6-8pm)
May 26: Maths Relay (winners: Team Radman)
June 2: Mathematics and Healthy Hearts - Mary Myerscough
July 28: Semester Two Mixer
August 2: Letters & Numbers @Manning (with CrossSoc) (5-6pm)
August 4: 1 = 1+1 - Jonathan Zheng (Cambridge)
August 11: Untangling Knot Theory - Sean Gardiner
August 18: Puzzles & Games Day
August 25: The Mathematics of Biological Pattern Formation, or How the Leopard Got Its Spots - John Wormell
August 25: Maths Relay @ Optiver (5:30pm)
September 1: Triangle Transformations and the Euler Line - Rachel Wong (Cambridge)
September 8: Integration Bee
September 14: Knitting Mathematics - Julia Collins (Edinburgh)
September 20: Letters & Numbers @ Manning (with CrossSoc) (5-6pm)
September 22: ΣUMS Annual General Meeting
October 6: Demystifying Quantum Computing - Eric Huang
October 13: The Pokémon Collector's Problem: What are the Chanseys? - Kevin Wang
October 20: Dithering, uncertainty, and loping basslines - Richard Garner (Macquarie)
October 27: Lightning Talks:
    Quadratic Sieve Factorisation for Somewhat Large Numbers - Kevin Liang
    Poisson Process, Pokémon, and Prime Numbers - Kevin Wang
    The Nobel Prize in Chemistry (or is it really Maths?) - Maggie Corrigan

2015 Calendar

March 5: Semester One Mixer
March 12: The Mathematics of SET - Sean Gardiner
March 17: Post-Pi Day Cake Bake
March 19: Women in Maths and Maths in the World - Nalini Joshi, with Caity McGregor, Claire Edmunds, and Maggie Corrigan
March 26: Counterfeit Coin Conundrums - Gareth White
April 2: Work Like an Egyptian - Leon Poladian
April 2: Post-WCC social cricket match
April 14: Letters & Numbers (Mostly Numbers) competition #1
April 16: Consequences of a Combinatorial Theorem - Gerry Myerson (Macquarie)
April 23: Scissors Congruence and Hilbert's 3rd Problem - Stephan Tillmann
April 28: GM: Election of First-Year Representative; mini Letters & Numbers Competition
April 30: Solving Rubik's Cubes mini-talk + cubing competition
May 7: Maths Relay (winners: The Butterfly Catchers Society)
May 14: Diophantine Analysis and Transcendental Numbers - David Lee
May 21: Multiscale, multidisciplinary and multi-method: How (mathematical) honey bees find a home - Mary Myerscough
May 28: Lightning Talks:
    Hailstone Numbers - Josh Ciappara
    Non-linear Chemical Dynamics - Maggie Corrigan
    Rational Tangles - Sean Gardiner
    Australia's Next Top Statistical Model - Kevin Wang
June 4: Puzzles & Games Day
June 11/12: ΣUMS Stuvac study sessions
July 30: Semester Two Mixer
August 5: Letters & Numbers @ Manning with LingSoc and CrossSoc (winners: Numb Bears)
August 6: How to win (variants of) Tic-Tac-Toe - Sean Gardiner
August 7: ΣUMS Problem Competition closes
August 11: Ashes-commiseration social cricket match
August 13: Differential equations with trees - Chris Ryba
August 20: Australia won the Ashes, statistically - Kevin Wang
August 27: Maths Relay (winners: The Perfect Storm)
September 1: Synthetic Biology: Now Statistically Significant - iGEM industry talk
September 3: Lightning Talks:
    Tau: The Superior Alternative to Pi - Andy Tran
    Infinite Infinities - Jonathan Zheng (Cambridge)
    Good Sort Bad Sort - Rachel Wong (Cambridge)
    Light and Geometry - Vaishnavi Calisa
September 10: Modal Logic: Formalising the Necessary and Possible - Caity McGregor
September 17: Möbius, Klein and Real Projective Space - Ross Ogilvie
September 17: Quantitative Careers: Trading on the Sports Betting Market - Priomha Group careers talk
September 24: Puzzles & Games Day
October 8: Breaking (badly constructed) 1024-bit RSA - Yinan Zhang
October 15: When applied mathematics collided with algebra - Nalini Joshi
October 22: ΣUMS Annual General Meeting
October 29: Letters & Numbers with LingSoc and CrossSoc #2 (winner: Power of One)
October 30: End of semester drinks
November 2: ΣUMS Puzzle Hunt 2015 begins!
November 5/6: ΣUMS Stuvac study sessions

2014 Calendar

March 6: Semester One Mixer
March 13: Shadowboxing: Lengths, Areas, and Projections - Ivan Guo
March 20: Game Theory and Nimbers - Sean Gardiner
March 27: Curvature: from Euclid to Einstein - Tim Large (Cambridge)
April 3: Everyone Hates Vector Calculus - David Vasak (Cambridge)
April 9: Trivia Night
April 10: Puzzling the 120-Cell - Saul Schleimer (Warwick)
April 17: Maths Relay (winners: Team Hyperspace-Blaster)
May 1: Triangles and Musical Chords - Rob Tang (Warwick)
May 8: Puzzles & Games Day
May 15: Solving and Writing Puzzles - Sean Gardiner
May 22: Lightning Talks:
    Islanders' Eye Colours - Merlin Ge
    Knot Knitting - Kitty Chang
    Mafiamatics - Sean Gardiner
    The Soap Opera Problem - Kevin Wang
    Why Pi is not 22/7 and Other Facts - Leon Poladian
May 29: Algorhythms - Joachim Worthington
June 5: Cake Bake (winner: Venn diagram cake)
July 31: Semester Two Mixer
August 7: Circle Packing - Sean Gardiner
August 14: Programming with Fractions - Kevin Liang
August 21: Gauss, the Heptadecagon, and the Freemasons - Leon Poladian
August 28: Puzzles & Games Day
September 4: Maths Relay (winners: The Butterfly Rescue Club)
September 11: Three Angles on Tropical Geometry - Stephan Tillmann
September 18: What Mathematics Do We See in Artwork? - Clio Cresswell
September 25: Minding Your P's and Q's: Adventures in Statistical Inference - John Wormell
October 9: Rubik's Cube and Related Puzzles - Leanne Rylands (Western Sydney)
October 16: An Overview of Magic Squares - David Gruenewald
October 23: ΣUMS Annual General Meeting
October 27: ΣUMS Puzzle Hunt 2014 commences!
October 30: Lightning Talks