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Top nine final year maths students get Hamilton Prize

20 October 2021

Sponsors Ibec see developing STEM talent as a key role in safeguarding Ireland’s economic future.

The Royal Irish Academy has awarded the prestigious undergraduate Hamilton Prize to the top mathematical students in their penultimate year of study as nominated by their university.


The ceremony took place to mark Hamilton Day, the anniversary of famed Irish scientist William Rowan Hamilton’s discovery of quaternion algebra on 16 October 1843. The ceremony was attended by the nine prize winners, along with Hamilton Day speaker, Emeritus Professor Caroline Series, President of the Royal Irish Academy, Mary Canning, Science Secretary, Catherine Godson and CEO of Ibec, Danny McCoy. Joined online, were family and friends, as well as representatives from the nine university departments and members of the mathematics community in Ireland.

The 2021 Hamilton Prize winners are:

  • Edwina Aylward, Trinity College Dublin;
  • Isabel Cooke, TU Dublin;
  • Aaron Cooney, Dublin City University:
  • Emma Herd, Queen’s University Belfast;
  • Daniel Kelly, University of Limerick;
  • Eoghan Murphy, Maynooth University;
  • Ciara Murphy, University College Dublin;
  • Ciara O'Keeffe, University College Cork; 
  • Lijun Zou, NUI Galway.


In recognition of their mathematical excellence, the students each receive a cash prize of €250, a certificate of achievement and were invited to attend a private masterclass with the 2021 Hamilton Lecture speaker Emeritus Professor Caroline Series. 

 Dr Mary Canning, President of the Royal Irish Academy said,

“It’s wonderful to be able to recognise the skill and hard work of these budding mathematicians as they enter their final year of studies in universities all around the island of Ireland. These are particularly challenging times for students and universities, but awards like the Hamilton Prize and its associated events give us a chance to celebrate the excellence of academia in Ireland, and to support and encourage the next generation of mathematicians.”

Danny McCoy, Chief Executive Officer of Ibec stated

“Ireland’s scientific and mathematic tradition underpins our economy. Over the last 50 years, it has transformed to become dynamic, innovative, high-tech and has digital at its core. As this transformation continues at pace, so too will the need for people to have advanced digital and numerical literacy skills. Ibec is committed to promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education to encourage people to consider STEM related careers but also because we recognise STEM’s key role in safeguarding Ireland’s economic future. Ibec is delighted to partner with the Royal Irish Academy on Hamilton Day to promote the lasting legacy of an Irish scientist who made a seminal contribution to how we live our lives and is still inspiring mathematicians today.”


Supported by Ibec and the Irish Times.

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