International Mathematical Olympiad 1971
Reunion in Cambridge 2020
This is the website for the
2020 reunion of the participants in the
International Mathematical Olympiad in 1971
The coronavirus pandemic has progressed rapidly over the past few weeks,
and more and more people have pulled out of the reunion. Over the past few days,
nearly all the places we were planning to visit have closed, and everyone has pulled out.
So, unfortunately, the Cambridge reunion has been cancelled.
As one of you said: "We all recognise exponential functions when we see them."
We hope to hold the reunion later this year, or next year.
We can reflect on the fact that when
Cambridge University closed in 1665
because of the
went back to his birthplace at Woolsthorpe and developed his theories of calculus, gravity, and optics.
We are inviting you to the 2020 reunion for IMO 1971 contestants, to be held from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th April in Cambridge.
As usual, the invitation is going out to absolutely all the people we have email contacts for - 78 in number!
There have been reunion meetings for contestants from countries in the 1971 International Mathematical Olympiad every year since 2016.
(If you have come to one of the reunions in previous years you already know this -
and if you haven't come before then anyway you probably know this already from invitations sent out in previous years.)
There have been very enjoyable meetings in Vienna + Bratislava, Dresden, Groningen, and Stockholm,
and this time the meeting will be in Cambridge, organised by the UK team.
The programme is, as usual, a mixture of things of mathematical and general interest.
It is not just for former team members - several spouses and partners have attended each year.
(In case you haven't been to one of these before, I should say that they are not 'conferences':
the host country team organises the events, but people attending have to organise
their own accommodation and travel to and from Cambridge,
and will need to pay for their own entrance tickets where appropriate, and meals;
but the host team will always be glad to give information and advice.)
Most of the places mentioned below are
marked on the map
layers control to show the places for the different days).
The planned programme for 2020 is as follows:
- Thursday 2nd April:
- For those of you arriving before the evening, we recommend visiting
The Fitzwilliam Museum
(free entry, Trumpington Street, CB2 1RB, open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 12noon to 5pm).
This has lots of varied exhibits on history, art, etc., with a nice shop and cafe, and can easily entertain you for a couple of hours.
We plan that there will be one of the 'home team' there from 4pm.
- The main meeting place from 6pm onwards and throughout the evening, with drinks and the evening meal, is planned to be
The Eagle pub
(Bene't Street, CB2 3QN; see also the
This is the pub famous as the place where in 1953
Francis Crick and James Watson made the announcement of the discovery of the 'secret of life'
to the surprised lunchtime drinkers (who maybe thought that the secret was really beer and not the structure of DNA).
- Between the closing of the museum and the meeting in the pub we may have a short walk around parts of Cambridge, if the weather is pleasant.
- Friday 3rd April:
This will be spent within Cambridge, mostly right in the centre.
We are trying to fit in a lot of visits to University and College sites
University map at map.cam.ac.uk).
We will let you know the times of the visits in an update to this information.
There are no entry charges for any of the places planned for today.
- We start at the Physics Department's modern
(J.J. Thomson Avenue, CB3 0HE, off Madingley Road).
This is 2 km to the West of the centre of Cambridge, and it must not be confused with
the Old Cavendish which is on the 'New Museums Site' - see below.
It can be reached by the
from the centre, and we'll be taking the bus back when this visit has finished.
We'll be able to see various interesting items (they have
equipment used by Maxwell, J.J.Thomson and others)
and we hope to have someone to guide us round.
- Next we will briefly see, from Silver Street (CB3 9ES), the interesting
Mathematical Bridge at Queens' College
- Then we will go for lunch in the Main Dining Hall of
The University Centre
(Granta Place, CB2 1RU)
- After lunch we will have a quick walk round
(CB2 1RF, open to visitors between 10am and 5pm).
Right outside the entrance we step over one of the branches of
which was built in the 1610's to bring fresh water into Cambridge
from chalkland springs about 4½ km to the south.
At certain times of the year, water flows in channels alongside Trumpington Street,
which can be seen outside Pembroke College and The Fitzwilliam Museum.
- Then we will go to the
Whipple Museum of the History of Science
(Free School Lane, CB2 3RH, free entry, open Monday to Friday, 12:30pm to 4:30pm).
We hope to have a guide to tell us more about the fascinating exhibits, but even without one there is a lot to entertain us for an hour or so.
- After that we plan a short visit to the
New Museums Site
to see some rooms and lecture theatres, including the
(Free School Lane, CB2 3QA)
J.J. Thomson found the electron
Chadwick found the neutron)
Arts School (Bene't Street, CB2 3PT)
the mathematics lectures used to be
- a chance for the UK IMO team to reminisce!).
- We will then walk along King's Parade (CB2 1ST), passing but not visiting
King's College Chapel
(see below for details) and the
- We will pass
Great St. Mary's Church:
- We will see the
Gonville & Caius College.
- Then we go to
(Trinity Street, CB2 1TQ):
- The final visit will be to meet the UK team for the 2020 IMO as part of their 'training camp';
this will be in the Winstanley Lecture Hall which is in Blue Boar Court, off Whewell's Court,
across the road from Trinity Main Gate.
We will meet for tea and a group photo, and probably have very short presentations and discussions,
and perhaps learn how IMO-level maths and the training have changed since our days.
- The very busy day will end with the evening meal in
(Green Street, CB2 3JX),
where we can reflect on the contradictions and oddities of Cambridge:
- Saturday 4th April:
- The main event will be a visit to
(The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Sherwood Drive, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB,
but MK3 6DS should be used for Sat Nav);
(open daily 9:30am to 5pm, ticket £17.50 for over-60s but slight discounts for pre-bookings and group bookings).
This consists of a complex of several buildings within a park area, which became the centre of the
Allied code-breaking during World War 2.
It is now a large museum devoted to this.
Judging by the number of people who have come to the reunion in past years,
we should have enough spare places in cars to be able to transport everyone from Cambridge to there (about 80 km) and back.
We will advise where to meet for the transport in an update to this information.
- Lunch will be in the cafe in
within the museum complex.
(There is also a coffee shop in the Visitor Centre, and most weekends the tea room in the Mansion.)
- There is probably enough in the 'codebreaking' areas of Bletchley Park to entertain people for the whole time,
but for those who are interested there is also the
National Museum of Computing
(in the same park complex as the rest, but at Block H, and with a separate paid entry,
open daily except Monday, 10:30am to 5pm, tickets £5 for over-60s).
- From 5pm we will meet back where the cars are parked.
- For the evening we shall travel back to
for a short walk, before visiting
Radhuni Indian Restaurant
for the farewell evening meal:
- We have told the Radhuni that most of us will have the following set meal (cost £21.95, excluding drinks and service charge):
- Starter: Mixed platter
- Main dish: Lamb or Chicken or Vegetable, served with rice and vegetables
- If you would prefer to order from the menu then please let us know by
email (see below)
- Sunday 5th April:
There will be at least one event planned for the morning:
- One possibility is
punting along the Cam,
probably along the stretch known as
which has fine views of the backs of several colleges, with the river passing under the interesting
Bridge of Sighs
(named after the one in Venice) and the Mathematical Bridge (mentioned above).
We would need to find out exactly how much interest there was in this,
and it probably would not be very appealing if the weather was predicted to be rainy.
- Another possibility would be a visit to
King's College Chapel
(King's Parade, CB2 1ST, open 9:30am to 5pm on all the days of our reunion and several days beforehand
but closed on the Monday afterwards, ticket £9, from the store opposite or online;
there are no concerts during the reunion).
- One more alternative is a visit to the
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
(1 Brookside, CB2 1JE, open daily 10am to 6pm, ticket £6 or £5.50 for over-65s).
For anyone being in Cambridge before or after the planned programme, there are other attractions within the city that may be of interest:
The Polar Museum (Scott Polar Research Institute)
(Lensfield Road, CB2 1ER, open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, open 12noon to 4pm Sundays, closed on Mondays, free entry).
Museum of Cambridge
(Castle Street, CB3 0AQ, open Sundays 11:30am to 4:30pm, other days 10:30am to 5pm, entry £4 for over-65s)
has collections representing Cambridge and Cambridgeshire history and heritage over 300 years.
(also at Castle Street, CB3 0AQ, closed Mondays but open 12noon to 5pm all other days, free entry) has various modern art exhibitions.
Cambridge University Library
(West Road, CB3 9DR, also accessible from Burrell's Walk, closed on Sundays)
is not open to the public except for some
occasional exhibitions and displays.
Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
(Downing Street, CB2 3EQ, open Mondays to Fridays 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm, Saturdays 10am to 4pm, closed on Sundays, free entry)
has fossils, minerals and rocks.
Museum of Zoology
(Downing Street, CB2 3EJ, open 10am to 4:30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, 12noon to 4:30pm Sundays, closed on Mondays, free entry).
The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
(Downing Street, CB2 3DZ, open Tuesday to Saturday 10:30am to 4:30pm, Sunday 12noon to 4:30pm, closed on Mondays, free entry).
Museum of Classical Archaeology
(Sidgwick Site, off Sidgwick Avenue, CB3 9DA, open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm, closed other days, free entry).
The Centre for Computing History
(Coldhams Road, CB1 3EW, 2 km from central Cambridge, open daily 10am to 5pm over Easter, £7 for over-60s)
has a collection of working vintage computers, along with other memorabilia, artefacts, documents and hands-on displays.
Cambridge Museum of Technology
(Riverside, 2 km from central Cambridge, open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm, £4 for over-65s)
shows the progression of power technology through steam, internal combustion, to electricity.
City Sightseeing Cambridge
(£13.50 for over-65s) is a hop-on hop-off open top bus tour showing various attractions in and around Cambridge.
Visitor Information Centre
(Peas Hill, CB2 3AD) might give you further ideas.
And of course there are those items listed above for Sunday, if you don't do them on that day.
contains the current information for the reunion.
It will be updated as details and times become more certain.
We will only occasionally send out emails - and then only to those who have said they are coming,
or who have come in the past and haven't said they can't come this time.
- There are a number of airports classed as serving London.
The ease of getting to Cambridge varies considerably.
is the easiest for Cambridge, because there is a direct train every half an hour, taking half an hour.
you need a coach or a coach and train, and it takes about 1½ hours.
London City Airport
there is the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) into London and then a train to Cambridge, taking about 1¾ hours altogether.
there is a direct train every half an hour, taking 2 hours.
there is a
Piccadilly line underground train
or other trains to London King's Cross, and then a train direct to Cambridge, taking about 2 hours altogether.
There is also a
direct coach service,
taking between 2½ hours and 3 hours.
- The cost of these options using a train varies in the order above: cheapest is using Stansted and most expensive is using Heathrow.
There may be further options using buses or coaches.
is useful for finding out travel options.
arrive at St. Pancras, then walk to King's Cross (5 minutes), then train direct to Cambridge (about 50 minutes).
Trains also run direct from St. Pancras to Cambridge, taking about 1 hour 10 minutes.
Cambridge Railway Station
(not Cambridge Heath or Cambridge North!) is about 1.6 km from central Cambridge
opposition from the university,
but buses run regularly (routes 1, 3, 7, and others).
Cambridge Bus Station
is in Drummer Street, but buses also arrive at Regent Street, and some coaches arrive at Parkside.
- Note that on Sunday 5th April, instead of the trains between
Cambridge and Stansted there will be a
replacement bus service,
so you should allow more time for your journey.
For places to stay in Cambridge there are various hotels, and it may well be useful for you to look at 'Bed & Breakfast' (B&B) or
But it can also be worthwhile to consider staying in one of the colleges that offer accommodation during university holiday times
(which is when April 2nd to 5th is).
is excellent for this.
If you use this site, do check carefully that you would be getting exactly what you want,
such as: shared bathroom or ensuite bathroom; single, twin or double beds;
breakfast included or not; in a historic or a new building; near the centre of the city or a little outside.
The colleges that came up when I tried the site for the dates in question were:
- in the college, which is central.
St Catharine's College
- in the college, which is central.
Gonville & Caius College
- not at the main college site,
but instead at 5 West Road near Queens' College;
there is Harvey Court which has accommodation in both historic and new buildings,
and Stephen Hawking court which is brand new.
- at the college, which is slightly further out,
on Grange Road, with 20th Century buildings, and rooms for single accommodation only.
- at the college, which is a bit out of town,
with 1960s buildings, with some parking facilities (which is a very rare thing!)
If you already know that you plan to come,
then it would be very helpful to us - in order to have an idea of numbers -
if you can tell us as soon as you can, and how many would be coming.
(This would not commit you at all!)
Please use the email address
to write to us.
This is not our usual email address and it will help to keep all the one subject in one place.
Please do contact us at any time if you have questions or suggestions.
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