Koło Naukowe Matematyków U¦ PL SMS

XXVII SMS' Session
Mathematics in pictures

Szczyrk, 6th - 8th November 2009

Mathematicians are people, too. It's a theorem with a long, non-constructive, non-trivial proof using the axiom of choice, so it's not accepted by many. However, this year's session gave us some powerful tools to defend this thesis. The session was not hindered by a controversial topic, or bad weather, or the economical crisis, nor was it the Riemann hipothesis remaining not proven. Participants of the session were decimated by diseases, shrinking our numbers from the planned forty to twenty three, from which the last year's (c)hairwoman struggled with a lack of appetite throughout all the session (she didn't eat almost anything for the whole week preceeding the session - which should be enough indication of her bad state for anyone knowing Ania, and for us it meant we had practically twice the food we planned for ;)). Let's hope the rampaging diseases will calm down shortly and let us session as a horde.

The session took off, despite the difficulties - one needs more than mere viruses to prevent us from going to Szczyrk! The gates of our resort were opened on Friday evening and for a long time sounds of washing dishes and other groups' arrivals were heard. After dinner we created a schedule and proposed some introductory topics for the next session, but we decided to vote the next day, to go in the mathematical mood first. Our talkers squad was decimated by diseases too, so we rescheduled the talks for Saturday, leaving Friday free for recharging mathematical batteries. During this session we also introduced a Murderer among us, who was to take a heavy toll and leave a trail of dead bodies behind... We'll talk about it shortly.

Jungle Speed helped immensely in getting in a proper mood. The game occupied part of us for the rest of the evening. There were no casualties among people ;) Even though many participants were playing for the first time, the spirits were high. The other half of us, invited by our guests from the Kraków University of Technology, took their time in indulging in the biggest counterexample for the theorem given in the first paragraph, which, I hope, didn't waver their belief in the truth of the thesis there. It turned out this disconnection activised the Murderer, also called the Villain, and some of us woke up dead on the Saturday morning.

The rest of us woke up as alive as possible after a night practically without sleep. Szczyrk sessions' veterans, impervious to such trivialities (the power of habit), prepared breakfest without delay (it was ready too early, to despair of those less accustomed to Szczyrk way of life), and some of them paid for it with their lives, because the Villain acted quickly and effectively. The circle of suspects was shrinking considerably, but the survivors were still hesitating with accusing anyone.

After breakfast we had to forget about the Murderer for a while, because the time has come - the time of talks. The cycle was opened with Tomek Kania, who described the immense lands that can be seen using various axiomatisations, he introduced a fu... very good order and he ignited in us an interest about branches of mathematics, which we didn't know existed before. After such a beginning Jolanta Marzec had a tough call to match such a talk, but even a rebellious computer and this nasty Plato couldn't stop her from solving ancient Greek problems in an elegant way. In the meantime it turned out the Murderer was not forgot by all of us and he won the game, killing the poor talker in front of everyone. Konrad Pietruszewski, the Villain, won despite the circumstances and we congratulate and thank him for a great game (however we will think twice before looking him in the eyes next time). With our mathematical minds warmed up, we participated in a game organised by Tomek Ziarko and Konrad "the Murderer" Pietruszewski and we can wholeheartedly say that we know quite a little bit about christmas tree, and our guests from Kraków can be proud to give us much fun with their game and small gifts for the winning team

After a lunch break we continued with the talks. A turtle with a painting brush on his tail can draw simple curves - Piotr Idzik embarassed the turtle and drew a lot more with his help. A little while later the turtle could retire and in place of drawing the Sierpinski triangle step by step, he could participate in a relaxing chaos game, which was revealed to us by Jakub Szotek, who told the tale of this and many other fractals. Bacterias ended the fifth talk and crocodiles opened the sixth, led by Weronika Siwek. We learned that the greenskinned amphibians were not liked by a certain Linneus and that their males don't have to be afraid of the situation that endangers poor human males and of which we were forewarned by Machulski in his Seksmission. The science stage was ended by Mateusz Jurczyński, who talked about pirates and their methods of dividing the loot. In the plebiscite for the best talker Tomek Kania won with an unknown majority of voice, thanks to jury's discretion ;)

This way the science stage of the XXVII session of Students' Mathematical Society was ended. Of course, we wouldn't be ourselves if it would be the end of interesting session events - bangs of various sorts had a role here, both the card BANG! and the screen Big Bang (which the hosts had seen for the first time, and the guests... accompanied us with dignity and patience, for which we give our thanks), we learned to play skat, not-only-mathematical discussions were held and a few of us even embarked on a cryptological adventure, but the tale of these events would take away much more space than we can give it here. The topic of the next session is "Alternative proofs of theorems" and we count on the talkers' creativity.

And I'm off to enjoy my cottage cheese, which I traditionally got for the end of the session :)
The Innocent Wolverine
last update: 12.01.2011


Students' Mathematical Society of the University of Silesia
(Koło Naukowe Matematyków Uniwersytetu ¦l±skiego)
40-007 Katowice, ul. Bankowa 14 (room 524)
tel. (032) 359-20-96, email: knm@knm.katowice.pl