The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest Academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

Hamilton Day

Hamilton Day commemorates a groundbreaking discovery by Ireland’s most famous scientist. On 16 October 1843, William Rowan Hamilton discovered quaternion algebra, while walking along the Royal Canal from Dunsink Observatory to the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). This was one of those very rare Eureka moments in the history of science. So excited was he by his discovery that he scratched his equation on the wall of Broome Bridge, Cabra. 

 Sir William Rowan Hamilton

A celebration

Each year the RIA celebrates Hamilton’s life and contribution to mathematics by holding Hamilton Day to coincide with the anniversary of Hamilton’s discovery in October 1843. The day includes an award ceremony to recognise the most gifted third level mathematics students in Ireland; a masterclass for early-career researchers; a public discussion on a topical issue and the day concludes with the Hamilton lecture which is given by an international renowned speaker.

With support from Arup and the Irish Times, the next Hamilton Day will take place on Tuesday 16 October 2018.

Can you update this to: Professor Martin Hairer, Imperial College London, will give the Hamilton lecture in the Mac Neill Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin. Booking for the lecture is essential, details to follow in due course.

Professor Martin Hairer Biography

Martin Hairer is an Austrian mathematician working in the field of stochastic analysis, in particular stochastic partial differential equations. He is Professor of Mathematics at Imperial College London, having previously held a position at the University of Warwick and the Courant Institute of New York University.

Martin Hairer has advanced the field of stochastic partial differential equations (SPDEs) by providing a toolkit for addressing these previously thought inaccessible problems. Martin’s work is also furthering the more general areas of stochastic analysis — a part of mathematics concerned with random processes — and stochastic dynamics. In August 2014 he was awarded the Fields Medal for his outstanding contributions to the theory of stochastic partial differential equations, and in particular for the creation of a theory of regularity structures for such equations.

Past Hamilton Day speakers

Past Hamilton Day speakers have included Roger Penrose, Robert Merton, Cédric Villani, Lisa Randall and Frank Wilczek. A complete list of all Hamilton Day speakers can be viewed here.

Read about Hamilton Day 2016 here. If you missed the Hamilton Lecture, you have an opportunity to learn a bit more about the field of cryptography from the Hamilton speaker in this video interview

In 2015, Professor Daniel Spielman, Henry Ford II Professor of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Applied Mathematics at Yale University gave the Hamilton lecture.

Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

Sign up now