MCR-SCR Seminars

MCR-SCR seminars are held on Fridays, four times per term, at 1pm. These are an opportunity to hear what research other members of the MCR are doing. The 30 minute talks cover subjects ranging from medieval history to experimental physics. They are all aimed at a non-specialist audience, so everyone can enjoy them! A free lunch is also provided. Talks are held in one of the college seminar rooms. See the term card below for more details.

If you are interested in presenting at one of these talks, please get in touch with the MCR Academic Officer, Tom Fay (


Week 2 – Friday 5th May – Rainolds Room

Christopher Ian Lillington-Martin
Procopius of Caesarea’s Career and Participation in Contemporary History

In the introduction to his “Wars” (1.1.3), Procopius states that “he was aware that he was able to write this history better than anyone else, if for no other reason, because it fell to his lot, when appointed adviser to the general Belisarius, to be an eyewitness of practically all the events to be described”. So his focus was contemporary history, he was closely acquainted with several major participants and he explains his own deeds as a participant. This paper will outline Procopius’ career and participation in the events he describes.

Week 3 – Friday 12th May –¬† Fraenkel Room

Adam Wright
Band-tail recombination in hybrid lead iodide perovskite

Solar cells based on crystalline silicon account for the vast majority of the world’s market in photovoltaic devices, with commercial silicon cells achieving power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of up to 20% and research-grade devices demonstrating PCEs of up to 25%. However, silicon cells require expensive purification processes in their manufacture. Solar cells based on hybrid lead halide perovskites have attracted a great deal of attention in recent years due to their potential for cheap manufacture via solution processing, and the rapid progress in their PCEs, which have reached 21% in research-grade devices after only six years. Understanding how charges behave in these materials is essential for the development of efficient commercial perovskite photovoltaics. In this talk I will give an introduction to the physics of photovoltaics (perovskites in particular) with the aim of ultimately conveying why band-tail recombination in these materials is worth talking about.

Week 5 – Friday 26th May – Rainolds Room

James Parkhouse
Classical Influence on Early Germanic Heroic Legend: Medea and the Nibelung Tradition

This presentation will argue for the influence of the Classical legend of Medea on the Germanic Nibelung legend (the basis for Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelung). The latter originated during a period of extensive interaction and cultural exchange between the Germanic and Roman worlds. It contains motifs that are inadequately paralleled elsewhere in Germanic legendary tradition, but are strikingly paralleled in the Graeco-Roman legend, which was in wide circulation during this same period.

 Week 7 РFriday 9th June РFraenkel Room

Sebastian Eterovic Restaino
Classification of Abelian Varieties

Have you ever used an analogue clock to keep track of time? Have you ever considered maybe using a doughnut instead? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are one step away from getting a handle on abelian varieties. Abelian varieties are central objects of study in mathematics, specially in number theory and algebraic geometry. In this talk we will walk through the definitions and properties of these complex objects (pun intended).