The University library
In the Student Reference Collection (SRC) you will find copies of the most useful textbooks for undergraduate study, with very restricted borrowing to make sure that they are available to the largest possible number of people.
In the main part of the University Library is an excellent wider collection of mathematics books. Get into the habit of browsing - books contain all sorts of interesting things! If you don't understand part of a module, try to find the material in a book. Learn how to track down books on a particular topic by browsing, using the library online catalogues and the review journals, guessing, and, when all else fails, searching physically through large numbers of books. You can't be a serious academic or scientist without detective work in libraries, and although resources available on the Internet are easier to locate there is still no substitute for browsing books.
During your first week at Warwick you should make yourself familiar with the Central Campus Library, there are excellent resources on their website to introduce you to the facilities available. If you need further help during your course, ask at the Enquiry Desk on Floor 1 during office hours, consult the printed guides and leaflets available on each floor or contact the Library's Science Team. Helen Ireland (email: H.Ireland@warwick.ac.uk) is the Subject Librarian for Mathematics and the departmental library representative is Karen McKinley. Contact either of them about any books which you feel ought to be in the Library, or if there are not enough copies of key texts. (Library matters can also be raised at SSLC meetings.)
You can also find books in the University bookshop as well as well-known online retailers! We do not expect you to buy your own copies of textbooks, but for some modules you may find it useful to do so, especially modules that you may find yourself struggling on. Standard maths textbooks will typically be around 40 pounds to buy from new, but cheaper copies can be found online second-hand (Amazon is good for this), or sometimes you can find students from higher years selling their old copies through the Student Union.
The Student Staff Liaison Committee
We want to know how we are doing, from your point of view. Mathematics lecturers always welcome criticism, comments and any other feedback from students on teaching and other matters affecting the Department. We believe that such things should be constantly open for discussion. Such discussions often happen informally and spontaneously: please approach the lecturers after the lectures and get into a debate, it will be good for all concerned. Alternatively, jot down your comments in writing and put them in the lecturer's pigeon hole in the graduate common room, or send them by e-mail. If the lecturer writes illegibly, or mutters inaudibly (or both) then you're doing everybody a big favour if you tell him or her.
The Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) is a regular forum, meeting twice a term, for matters affecting maths staff and students. If you have any general grumbles or suggestions, you can make them heard by contacting your representative (see the noticeboard), and get him or her to present them to the next meeting. This is the formal channel for complaints, discussions and suggestions concerning your course and your worries about it. Please find out about it, help it, and make it effective. If you want a say in how the system runs, make your voice heard through this and other channels. Representatives are elected at the start of each year.
In the past the SSLC has contributed to departmental policy, passing on resolutions for consideration at staff meetings - for example, recommending new modules. One student member attends staff meetings and the department's Teaching Committee to present student views.
The Mathematics Society: WMS
The Maths Society (WMS) offers opportunities for involvement in both academic and social activities. Although officially a society of the Students Union it also has close links to the department.
They publish guides to the more difficult and important modules for the benefit of first year students. They also arrange extra informal tuition by second and third year students, in addition to official supervisions. They also hope to provide an introductory course and guide to LaTeX, the popular computer typesetting package for maths, which is invaluable for writing essays and projects.