Beyond its function as an academic club and a link between the undergraduates and the math department, the Math Club is also a social club. It organizes a variety of activities throughout the year so that you can get to better know the math department, and meet other undergrads interested in math.
Here are some of the activities we have had throughout the years (and some that we are planning for the upcoming semesters).
Board Game Night
On Fridays, approximately twice a month, the Math Club gets together in the Fine Common Room to play Board Games. Don’t like Board Games? Not a problem! We also play Charades, Taboo, Apples to Apples, Bananagrams and many more. The Math Club has a pretty extensive collection of games, including Dominion, Settlers of Cataan, Set, cards, dominoes, Abalone, and others. We usually have snacks, and generally hang out and get to take a break from the otherwise impossible-to-handle rigors of Princeton life. It can be loads of fun even if you don’t play and (Board) Game Night is one of the traditions that has for a long time remained a Math Club favorite.
Meet Your Professor Lunches and Dinners
Once in a while, we organize a meal with one of the math professors. We send out a calendar, allowing you to sign up for slots. Approximately six students go to either lunch or dinner (based on the professor’s schedule) in one of the residential colleges’ private dining rooms. The idea is to get to know a professor in a more casual setting, outside of class. It’s very fun and very casual, and allows you to really talk to the professors who are studying something interesting to you, or whom you merely want to get to know better.
In the past, Math Club has had movie nights. We plan to revive this tradition in the upcoming years, and are totally open to suggestions! As of right now, the plan is to watch movies that are somewhat related to math, such as (but not at all limited to) Good Will Hunting and A Beautiful Mind. However, we’ll see how it’s going and may expand to other areas or other nerdy favorites. In any case, there will probably be food, and it would be a good opportunity to relax and hang out with other Math Club members.
No self-respecting Math Club member could miss Pi Day. That would be blasphemous, would it not? Pi Day is the height of holiday spirit and should be seen as such. Also, it comes at a very busy time, a time when everyone needs comfort, and what is more comforting than a mathematical constant? Oh, I know! A sweet dessert of the same name! Jokes aside, we do very seriously celebrate Pi Day. And the best way to celebrate Pi Day is with lots of pi(e). We have a pie eating contest, as well as pie for observers, and we talk about the best methods for remembering digits of pi. We also see who can remember the most, and (like most math club events) just chill. It’s loads of fun, and it’s good to give credit where it’s due. After all, where would we be without pi(e)?
Math Department Banquet
At the end of the year the Math Club gets together in the beautiful professor’s lounge, on the top floor of Fine. We have a banquet with delicious food and an absolutely gorgeous view. We play games like Math Charades and Who-Can-Name-the-Largest-Real-Number, filled with lots of other nerdy goodness. And we get to hang out and reflect on a year well-spent. It’s always fun, and it happens during reading period, so you get to relax and stop thinking about finals, if even for a minute.
The best thing about Math Club, however, is its amazing flexibility. We’re always looking for new ideas and new ways to spice up our social events. So stay on the look-out for more fun things to come! Also, if you have any ideas for social events, any questions, woes, problems, complaints, or anything at all that you might want to say to me, feel free to email the contact below.
Valya Barboy ‘15 (vbarboy[at]princeton[dot]edu)