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School of Mathematical Sciences

Meet the Maths Society – In conversation with Bana Alemseged and Isaiah-Daniel Grillo

In this blog post, we had a conversation with the current Co-Presidents of the Maths Society, Bana Alemseged, who is studying BSc Mathematics with Management, and Isaiah-Daniel Grillo, BSc Mathematics student. QMMS, similarly to other clubs and societies at Queen Mary University of London, is an important part of the student experience. It is run by a group of mathematics students who enthusiastically organise events and activities for their fellow students throughout the academic year.

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Who is behind the Maths Society?

There are overall six people in the committee, including the two of us who are Co-Presidents. The other members are Nirmit Dhanani (Vice President), Harpreet Sangha (Treasurer), Zoha Khan (Social Media Manager) and Sweta Meggi (Events Manager).

What’s good about studying at Queen Mary and the School of Maths?

We like Queen Mary for its diverse and inclusive environment, which makes you feel like you are part of a community. At the School of Maths everyone is very friendly and helpful. There is a good mix of educational and social activities, high-quality academic resources, especially through QMPLUS, but also the opportunity to get involved in fun and engaging social events.  

What are the plans you have in place for this year?

Our most recent event was Pi Day (14 March) where students and staff had the opportunity to enter a competition and explore the fun side of mathematics. They were asked to send a picture of their baked pie and the best pie will soon be judged by the committee and awarded with an Amazon gift voucher as a prize. We are also planning an online escape room in Week 12, to be held on Zoom, but more details will be given out soon on our social media channels. An Academic Careers Talk is also being planned and we are currently liaising with a few academics to finalise the details for this event.

We have recently met with Shabnam Beheshti and Neofytos Rodosthenous to discuss module introduction for the first and second year so students can have an insight into the next year’s modules and know what to expect. We also have weekly office hours on Microsoft Teams, so that students can add themselves to the chat and ask questions, especially regarding modules they need help with. This is a good way for students to get together and ask questions to their peers who have previously done the same module, before messaging the module leader.

In terms of social activities, we plan to also organise more online games to drive engagement through our social media platforms. One of the suggested ideas was to post on social media a complicated question or problem on a weekly basis for our students to solve. A prize will then be given to whoever is able to find the solution. When restrictions are eased a bit more in the near future, weather permitting, we would like to organise more outdoor activities such as BBQs for all maths students to attend.

How often do you meet as a Society?

We’ve already had two meetings and we try to meet on a weekly basis. We also have a group chat on WhatsApp to communicate and stay in touch. We like to share notes on Apple iCloud, due to all of us being Apple users. This allows us to update the schedule of our activities in real-time and each member can contribute.  

How can students stay in touch with the Maths Society?

Students can message us through Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp, although most students simply DM us on social media and keep in touch with us via our Instagram and Twitter.

Why should students join the Society?

The Maths Society is a free environment and a creative space where every member has a say, no matter what their position within the Society is. Students who are interested in joining the Society can do so and their input on any events and activities is always welcome. The Maths Society is also a great place for students to expand their network and meet new people, which is especially important right now, during these challenging circumstances we’re facing due to the ongoing pandemic.