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Reading parties

The School arranges ‘Reading Parties’ for students in the penultimate year of their degree course (whether BSc, MA or MMath, MPhys) at which students give short talks on mathematically related topics. The talks take place around the end of February when honours lectures are cancelled for two days to allow them to take place. There are two options:

(1) A two day trip to The Burn, an elegant country mansion set in extensive grounds near Edzell, about an hour from St Andrews; apart from the talks the Burn trip always has a strong social element.

The Burn house  The Burn

(2) Students who do not go to the Burn will give a talk in one of a number of small group meetings in the Mathematical Institute.

Reading party talks last for about 15 minutes and may be on any "reasonably mathematical” topic. They are given in an informal environment with a sympathetic audience consisting of the other students in the group and a staff member. The talks are not assessed, though feedback can be provided, and provide informal practice at speaking. This is good experience and preparation for the final year oral presentations on Honours projects (which are assessed) and also provides an example of transferable skills that can be cited at job interviews.