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RIA celebration of ‘Ireland greatest scientist’ discussed on podcast

Dr Mary Canning, President of the Royal Irish Academy features on the latest Ibec Voices podcast episode to discuss the upcoming 2022 RIA Hamilton Day celebrations.

Mary Canning PRIA was recently invited to join Ibec CEO Danny McCoy on the Ibec Voices podcast to mark the 2022 RIA Hamilton Day which will take place on Monday, 17 October. Dr Canning speaks about William Rowan Hamilton MRIA, Ireland’s greatest mathematician and scientist and explains why the Academy chooses a day every year to commemorate and celebrate Hamilton’s ‘Eureka moment’ the discovery of quaternions. They discuss the ongoing impact of this discovery in the modern world and even its influence on the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Alice in Wonderland!

Danny McCoy also spoke to Professor Avi Wigderson, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, who will deliver the 2022 RIA Hamilton lecture titled ‘Cryptography: Secrets and Lies, Knowledge and Trust’ on Monday,17 October at 6pm at the Edmund Burke Theatre, Trinity College Dublin. Professor Wigderson describes Hamilton’s influence on algebra and graph theory, and on the maths he uses as a ‘theoretical computer scientist.’ Professor Wigderson’s upcoming lecture will discuss the mathematical and computational ideas behind what protects your computer password when you log on from hackers and how it is possible for a group of people to play a (card-less) game of Poker online without anyone being able to cheat. For more details on the RIA Hamilton lecture and booking, see here.

Dr Rachel Quinlan, University of Galway, will also be In Conversation with Professor Avi Wigderson on Monday, 17 October at 12 noon in Ibec. Questions for Professor Wigderson can be submitted via email to or on social media using #RIAHamilton. In-person and online tickets are available. For more details and booking, visit here.

Professor Avi Wigderson is the Herbert H. Maass Professor of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Studies. His research interests include complexity theory, parallel algorithms, graph theory, cryptography, distributed computing, and neural networks. He has received numerous prizes including the Knuth Prize 2019, Gödel Prize in 2009, Nevanlinna Prize in 1994 and in 2021, Wigderson shared the Abel Prize with László Lovász “for their foundational contributions to theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics, and their leading role in shaping them into central fields of modern mathematics”.

The Royal Irish Academy Hamilton Day activities are kindly supported by Ibec(link is external). Media Partner The Irish Times (link is external).