As indicated in the last newsletter, we have undergone a bit of a makeover in the School of Mathematics. Our aim was to make the Watson Building an even more inviting and user friendly environment for our students and to update things a bit. With that in mind, we have had the Teaching Support Office fitted with a desk with a counter to it where either the lovely Graham or Kirsty sit to help students out with any queries that they might have. They are available during normal working hours on weekdays, except Wednesday afternoons when there aren’t any lectures, and therefore few students around. This has been well received and seems to work very well although it can get a bit draughty in the corridor on the second floor of the Watson Building.
We have also created some areas around the school with sofas and whiteboards for maths discussions to take place and indeed we do see students making use of both and it seems to have created a more community feel to the environment. It is always useful for mathematicians to have black and white – boards dotted around in case they need them!
The foyer has also had some attention. There are now sofas to sit on a welcome to the school of mathematics mat and even some greenery. The foyer provides the first impression for so many visitors to the School from admissions applicants to visiting professors, that it seemed important that it was immediately recognisable as a part of the Maths Department as well as being a welcoming entrance. We now host the Popular Maths Lecture refreshments here, receiving the applicants on Applicant Visit Days and generally having students feeling able to wait, meet and chat on the sofas in between lectures.