MURC: Mathematics Undergraduate Representative Committee

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    1 May 1996


  • Tom Chothia (Chair), Sukhjeet Atwal, Ailsa Burkimsher, Mark Colman, Richard Harrison, Anthony Henley, Deirdre Hollingsworth, Janet Lucke, Owen Massey, James Mushin, Erica Neely, Stephen Nichols (Lincoln), Jim Oliver, Helen Poole, Francis Tang, Russell Taylor, Salim Tharani, Beth Turner, Ann Warland, Ben Woolley, Brigitte Worth, and Terry Boon (Secretary).
  • Apologies

  • received from Andrew Huddleston.
  • Minutes

  • The minutes of the meeting of 28 February 1996 were approved.
  • May Day Meetings

  • Tom Chothia proposed that MURC should not in future meet on May Day. This was accepted without opposition. (This secretary now calculates that May Day will next fall on a Wednesday in 2002.)
  • Induction Day

  • It was reported that first-years found the Induction Day fairly unmemorable and dull, but that they thought that it was definitely better than nothing. It was suggested that it be scaled down in future years.
  • Mailshot

  • There were no comments on the draft mailshot (circulated before the meeting) for mathematics undergraduates. It included a general introduction to MURC, and information about MURC's Internet presence (including the mailing list), information about the bookstall, and a space for social event information.
  • Tom Chothia reminded reps again that he needed to know how many mathematicians were at their colleges so that he could photocopy the correct number of letters.
  • Open Day

  • Russell Taylor reported on the arrangements for the Maths Open Day on 18 May.
  • Ann Warland agreed to give a short talk on maths and life at Oxford from a student's perspective. James Mushin agreed to speak as president of the Invariants. Russell reported that he needed someone to take visitors round the Computing labs: Tom Chothia said that the Maths & Computation Rep (Rob Wilton) would probably do so.
  • Russell also reported that he would assume that the MURC rep from each college would be the college's open day rep (to take visitors to lunch) unless he heard otherwise. (The rep would probably receive a free lunch him/herself as well.)
  • Security

  • Tom Chothia reported that the Institute was now being locked at lunchtimes, as it had suffered a couple of break-ins recently. He asked for any more suggestions for improving security, but there were none.
  • It was noted that the new practice made it difficult for first-years to collect problem sheets. Sheets were normally made available at about noon on Mondays, so when students tried to collect them after lectures at 1pm, they found the doors locked. Two solutions were suggested: either the doors should be locked a little later on Mondays to give students time to travel from the Museum, or the sheets should be made available before 11am so students could collect them before lectures.
  • Bookstall

  • Brigitte Worth reported difficulty in finding a bank account which permitted multiple signatories without incurring prohibitive bank charges. Terry Boon reported that University College Music Society did have such an account, and agreed to find out what sort of account this was. It was thought that Clubs/Societies account would probably the appropriate type, rather than a small business account.
  • It was agreed to hold the bookstall three times each term. The first one would be at the end of Eighth Week in Trinity Term, mainly to buy finalists' books once their exams were over.
  • Internet

  • Tom expressed hope that the bulk of mathematicians in Oxford would subscribe to the e-mail mailing list, and urged reps to encourage people to subscribe.
  • It was agreed that, for the course information on the WWW site, it would be sufficient to provide a link to the Maths Institute's online version of the maths brochure for prospective applicants.
  • Open Day (revisited)

  • Russell Taylor tabled a draft of the questionnaire and information sheet for visitors, and asked for comments.
  • Any other business

  • It was asked what status the first-year Maple course had with respect to Mods. It was thought that it could in theory affect candidates' class in borderline cases, but that last year there was no case in which it was taken into account. (However, some thought that it was to be more significant this year).