MURC: Mathematics Undergraduate Representative Committee

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    Wednesday 7 May 1997

    Present

  • Juliet Kemp (Chairperson), Terry Boon, Musab Bora, Mark Colman, Jon Emberson, Neil Gillespie, Katie Golding, Stephen Gower, Philip Hannay, Tom Lancaster, Tom Lorenc, Janet Lucke, Paul Meredith, Camilla Metz, Stephen Nichols, Christine Nix, Louise Pickwell, Emma Pointon, Alisoun Probert, Julius Ross, Anthony Rustell, Chris Swift and Claire Jones (Secretary). Apologies for absence were received from Claire Eggleston and Jim Hanson.
  • Minutes of the meeting of 5 march 1997

  • These minutes were approved.
  • Mailshot

  • There appeared to have been no further developments regarding the mailshot which should have been distributed earlier this term. Chris Tebbet (Publicity Officer) was absent so Juliet Kemp agreed to contact him in order to clarify the situation.
  • It was suggested that an additional mailshot should be prepared for the freshers next term. It was pointed out that they would be given a brief talk about MURC at the Induction Day but written information could be included with the Maths Course Handbook.
  • Open day

  • Mark Colman reported that 160 visitors had been accepted for the Open Day and applications were still arriving. The pure and applied maths lectures were to be given by Drs Neumann and Acheson respectively. Several colleges had not nominated a representative to help at lunchtime. After undergraduates present had filled some of the gaps, reps were still required from Balliol, Brasenose, Exeter, Hertford, Oriel and St Anne's. More help was needed with refreshments and administration so MURC reps were urged to ask people from their colleges to help. Instructions for lunch arrangements will be sent out at the start of 4th Week.
  • MURC bookstall

  • Musab Bora repeated his intention to hold a session for buying Finalists' books, probably on Friday of 8th Week, but pointed out that he couldn't confirm this until the Finals timetable was published. It was suggested that it was not sensible to hold a session immediately after Mods finish; a more appropriate time to buy books would be the start of 0th Week of Michaelmas. Both additional bookstall sessions will be advertised using a mailshot. The possibility of including this information with the general mailshot already in preparation (see above) was discussed. However, it was agreed that a separate circular targeting the bookstall might be more effective. Musab requested that reps used word-of-mouth to encourage mathematicians at their college to sell books.
  • Joint schools reps

  • Philip Hannay and Tom Lancaster were appointed as Mathematics & Computation and Computation Reps respectively. Claire Jones said that she may have found someone willing to act as Engineering & Computer Science Rep and would look into the matter further.
  • Bicycle sheds at the maths institute

  • These have been closed to undergraduates since the end of last term: apparently a tutor's bicycle had been stolen from them. It was noted that this had resulted in increased congestion around the back entrance to the Institute and there is a greater risk posed to undergraduates' bicycles. It was suggested that the installation of "hoops" to chain bikes to would alleviate both these problems. It was agreed to raise this issue at the next JCCU meeting.
  • Mods and finals dates

  • The chairperson reported that Maths Mods papers would be held from Monday to Wednesday of 9th Week as usual, with Philosophy and Computation papers in 8th Week.
  • The Finals timetable had not yet been released: many undergraduates were greatly displeased by this. Terry Boon had heard that the first Maths paper would be on Monday of 7th Week, with at least one o-paper being sat in 5th Week. Mark Colman read out an unofficial, incomplete timetable he had been given. Finalists were advised to keep checking the noticeboards in Exam Schools for further details. Meanwhile, Juliet Kemp agreed to contact the administrator immediately after the meeting to ascertain the current situation. It was hoped that a similar problem could be prevented next year.
  • Any other business

  • Jim Hanson submitted a request for more details about c-courses. No-one present had heard anything new since the last meeting but it was decided to mention the subject again at JCCU. Concerns were again expressed at the lack of applied options. It was pointed out that submitting a dissertation would be a possible solution to this problem.
  • Some third years were concerned that their workload was now heavier than it would have been in the third year of the old course.
  • There appeared to be some confusion regarding the weighting of papers in Finals. It was unclear whether the marks would be scaled to take into consideration the relative difficulty of the papers. It was noted that the new course was still experiencing many teething problems and undergraduates had suffered from the lack of organisation. It was hoped that the examiners would bear this in mind when fixing the borderlines.