Blundon Seminar Camp @ Memorial
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 '12
These photos were taken on May 23-25th, 2012. Please click on a thumbnail to view a larger version.
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 world class 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 2012 the following talks were given:
May 23 "Archimedes: the first applied mathematician?" by Dr. Margo
May 24 "Mathematical infinity" by Dr. Tom Baird
Problem Solving Teams
Teams are asked to create a team name and write it on the board in the room they solve problems. Pictures of the teams are taken in front of their team names and the best name is awarded a prize.
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.
This is a team competition which take 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.
This is a game invented by our postdoctoral fellow Ben Tippett. It was played during the "free time" at 9:30pm as an alternative to watching TV/movies. This game allowed students to "experience" population dynamics of groups of so-called "citizens", "soldiers " and "zombies". Upon completion of the game, a short discussion of related mathematical models and research done by Dr. Tippett took place.
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. Brad Clark presents awards to Fermat contest winners.
Representative of Newfoundland Power, Mr. Gary Murray presents awards to Euclid contest winners.
Representative of the Faculty of Science, Dr. Andy Foster 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.
On-site team competitions awards
During the concluding section on the last day of seminar we award the best team in Problem Solving, the best team in Mathletics and the best Team Name