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Durham University

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Post Exam Activities

Below is a list of activities taking place after the May/June 2019 exam period, including induction sessions for those students progressing to the next level of study.

Induction Sessions

Thursday 13 June

10am - 12pm


For students progressing to Level 2.

1pm - 3pm


For students progressing to Level 3.

3pm - 5pm


For students progressing to Level 4.

Academic Advisor Meetings

Wednesday 26 to Friday 28 June

Your advisor will be in touch with you to arrange a specific time for meeting with you at the end of this term. The purpose of this advisor meeting is to give you advice on selecting modules for next year, to discuss how the year has gone for you, and to discuss any other questions you may have (career, references, etc.).

Other Activities

Please note, details will be updated in the coming weeks.

Monday 10 June


CM3121 Mathematics Teaching Interviews (Mr Neal Stothard, Professor Steve Abel)

Details will be emailed to current level 2 students soon.

Postponed - new date tba

2pm - 4pm


A Practical Introduction to Mathematica (Dr Sam Fearn)

Many calculations in modern mathematics are best done by computer. Computer algebra systems, such as Wolfram's Mathematica, are designed specifically for symbolic mathematical computations, and so are powerful tools for use across a variety of mathematical disciplines.

In this session, we will briefly introduce the basics of Mathematica, including the layout of notebooks, function definitions and the use of built-in structures such as patterns. This will be followed by a practical workshop demonstrating applications of Mathematica to an array of different topics. No substantial coding experience is required.

Wednesday 12 June

10am - 12pm


Topics in Probability (Dr Andrew Wade)

In this session you will investigate some topics in probability theory. A selection of topics will be available, to be chosen from some exciting applications of probability theory that are not covered in any of our undergraduate courses. Students from any year of study are very welcome.

Wednesday 12 June

2pm - 3.30pm


Project Talks (Dr Andrew Lobb)

Come and hear some graduating students present what they did in their final year projects! There will also be the chance to ask any questions that you might have about the project module.

Friday 14, Monday 17, and Wednesday 19 June

2pm - 4pm


Adapting and printing 3-dimensional mathematical objects (Dr Herbert Gangl)

An opportunity for students to obtain hands-on experience of using (existing code or CAD software and) 3D printing technology to help realise interesting mathematical objects (surfaces, polyhedra, Klein bottle, spheroids…).

The activity is open to complete beginners, and in order to get the best experience it is preferable—but not mandatory!—that you attend all the three sessions, in particular at least one of the more instructional ones on Friday and Monday. The Wednesday session should be essentially `hands-on', so if you wanted to only join then you will probably be playing catch-up a bit.

One of the main goals of the activity is that you become the proud owner of your own little creation(s).

In order to achieve that, I'd like to suggest that you use a rather simple yet powerful free CAD program, called OpenSCAD. Other options are TinkerCAD (registration needed), or, rather advanced, Blender, both of which are also free. There is furthermore the lazy (and obviously much less satisfying) option of just pulling pre-designed objects from the web (in particular from Thingiverse, Yeggi, MyMiniFactory or Cults, say) and of perhaps trying to adapt them. If you manage to find time to familiarise yourself a bit with one of these beforehand that would of course give you a head start.

On Friday it is planned to give you a quick very basic introduction to OpenSCAD (which comes with a good bunch of examples that you can use), together with a demonstration of how to create an object out of thin air (well, and filament, of course). There are a few steps required in between designing the model and sending it to a printer, and there are quite a number of possibilities for the end result to fail. Ideally, at the end of the activity you should have a decent picture of the whole process and in particular of what can go wrong and of how to produce the relevant files (most standard are arguably ".stl" and ".gcode").

We will have a couple of FFF (=fused filament fabrication)/FDM (=fused deposition modelling) printers ready, and possibly there is time for a few basic prints even on the day. Note that a mere, say, gulf ball sized object can easily take several hours to be manufactured, but if you manage to produce a first model each during the first session we might print a few of them over the weekend.

Catriona Sellick from the engineering department has several years of in-depth experience with ``additive manufacturing'' and she will deliver a brief (also historical) presentation on the matter, and we will also have a few printed models ready for inspection/inspiration.

On Monday and Wednesday we may want to have a look at things that have been printed since the previous session, and in particular to realise and recognise features that might have caused a print to be unsuccessful. Then you are invited to improve on the old design/develop a new one (which you may perhaps find time for over the weekend), and we can have a go at a second or even third print. Moreover, we may need to adapt settings in the so-called slicer programme or on the machine itself to improve chances for a satisfactory result.

Finally, we hopefully get a chance to try out 3D scanning.

Please note, there is a cap of 25 places for this workshop. To reserve your place, please contact Dr Herbert Gangl.