The Blundon seminar is our annual three-day event for senior high school
students who are interested in mathematics and demonstrate consistently good performance in mathematics competitions. Participation in the seminar is by invitation only based on the results of preceding Blundon, Euclid, Fermat,and Cayley contests. Each year we have about 35-50 students.
During the seminar the students attend two one-hour talks given by professors from MUN on various mathematical topics and applications in science and engineering. There are several problem solving sessions as well as other activities such as Mathletics and Papers Chase. The winner of Blundon Contest is presented with the Blundon Shield, and the winners of other contests are also presented with money and book prizes. The awards for the best results in mathematics competitions are presented during the banquet, where a collective photo is taken as well.
The first Blundon seminar took place in May 1982. It is named after professor W.J. Blundon who was the first head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at MUN, and an avid problem solver. This seminar traditionally combines intellectual and fun/sport components. According to students responses collected after each seminar this event is enjoyable, informative, and memorable for many of them. It also plays a significant role in the recruitment of the best student for their further studies at MUN.
Many of former participants continue to show a great success during their graduate studies of mathematics in other universities including University of Toronto, U of Waterloo, and UBC. Several of our current faculty members were participants of the seminar in the past.
Many thanks to our sponsors:
Pictures from Blundon Seminar Camp '15
These photos were taken on May 20-22nd, 2015. Please click on a thumbnail to view a larger version.
Short welcome speeches are given by the seminar coordinator, dean of the Faculty of Science and the head of the department of Mathematics and Statistics.
Two one-hour lectures are given to the students by MUN professors. Lectures focus on techniques and applications of mathematics. Students have an opportunity to discuss the lectures and ask questions during the refreshment breaks and the banquet, where the presenters are invited to dine and converse with the student-participants.
The Blundon Seminar committee makes sure that our presenters possess high expertise and give talks on "hot topics" in contemporary mathematics at the level appropriate to high school students in order to provide valuable enrichment for our junior participants, engage them into the discipline and outline possible applications and bright ideas.
In 2015 the following talks were given:
May 20 "The Parabola" by Dr. Margo Kondratieva
May 21 "Information, Entropy, Thermodynamics, Life, Black Holes and the Big Bang" by Dr. Ivan Booth
The problem solving sessions are a team problem solving activity. Each team contains about 7 or 8 students and is given a separate classroom to discuss and solve problems. There are three 1.5-hour sessions. Selected problems are discussed during the Report on Problem Sessions meeting. The most successful team receives a prize. During the last day of the seminar solutions of selected problems are discussed with all students.
This is a team competition which takes place in gym. Students take turns in solving math problems and performing sport activities such as mini-golf, soccer, basketball, and hockey. Teams collect points for each successful performance in a given period of time (hour and a half). The most successful team in both categories (math and sport) receives a prize.
Banquet - Written Contests (Blundon, Euclid, Fermat) Awards
The students and our sponsors are invited to attend Blundon Seminar banquet.
The winner of the Blundon Contest and of Euclid, Fermat and Cayley contests are presented with their award certificates and money prizes. Collective and individual photos are taken as well.
Representative of the Office of Student Recruitment, Ms. Shona Perry-Maidment presents awards to Cayley contest winners.
Representative of the Department of education, Mr. Linda Stacey presents awards to Fermat contest winners.
Representative of Newfoundland Power, Mr. Jeff Churchill presents awards to Euclid contest winners.
Representative of the Faculty of Science, Dr. Mark Abrahams presents the Honorable mentions and placement awards for the Blundon contest.
Granddaughter of Dr. Blundon, Janet Coady presents the school shield to the Blundon contest winner.
Representative of NLTA, Mr. Leo Etchegary presents an individual plaque to the Blundon contest winner.
Closing and On-Site Team Competitions Awards
During the concluding section on the last day of seminar we award the best team in Problem Solving (top 3 teams are shown), the best team in Mathletics and the best Team Name.