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.

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Hamilton Day 2014

16 October 2014

Commemorating the anniversary of William Rowan Hamilton’s historical discovery of the formula for quaternion algerbra, the Academy put together a programme of events on Thursday, 16 October 2014.


At 10am on 16 October 2014 the Hamilton Masterclass began in the Arup offices. This was an informal event with Fields Medallist Professor Cedric Villani and 28 participants, all undergraduate university students. Science journalist Dr Claire O’Connell chaired the class.

STEM Public Conversation

In the afternoon, a public conversation was held in the Royal Irish Academy. Mathematician Professor Cedric Villani, with Engineer Dr Salam Al-Sabah discussed the future of science, technology, maths and engineering with a view to motivate and engage young people. The voices of the mathematician and the engineer showed the diversity of opportunities open to students in these sectors. Science Communicator and educator Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleanbhain moderated the event attended by 80 professionals across engineering and mathematics.

Hamilton Prize Ceremony 2014

Following the Public Conversation, nine of Ireland’s top mathematics students were awarded the Hamilton Prize in recognition of their achievements. The students were from Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, National University of Ireland, Galway, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Queens University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin, and University of Limerick.

Annual Hamilton Lecture 2014

Burke Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin, 7pm

Internationally renowned for his scientific work in partial differential equations and mathematical physics, Professor Cedric Villani delivered a public lecture entitled Thinking the inaccessible – Large time behaviours, from infinitely small to infinitely large to infinitely long. Ireland’s most prestigious scientific lecture was attended by 400 members of the public in Trinity College.

“The lecture was of the highest calibre, both accessible and sophisticated...”

“I already told a friend he is an idiot for missing it!”

“The speaker was absolutely fantastic...”

“Excellent presentation, very accessible and entertaining”

“The talk was excellent. Villani really showed the human side of science...”

“...Best Hamilton Lecture yet!”

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