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 2018 Review

18 October 2018

This year we were honoured to have Fields Medallist Martin Hairer with us to celebrate Hamilton Day, commemorating famed mathematician William Rowan Hamilton's 'Eureka moment'.

On 16 October 2018 the Royal Irish Academy celebrated the 175th anniversary of William Rowan Hamilton’s discovery of quaternion algebra on 16 October 1843. This year’s guest speaker was 2014 Fields Medallist Martin Hairer (Imperial College London), a leading scientist in the field of probability theory.  Hamilton Day 2018 began with a masterclass for students and early career researchers in mathematics, given by Professor Hairer. The masterclass was hosted by ARUP, sponsor of Hamilton Day, and gave young researchers the opportunity to learn from a leading expert in the field.

Hamilton Day celebrations continued with the Hamilton Prize award ceremony honouring the top nine undergraduate mathematics students in Ireland. The ceremony took place at Academy House and was attended by family and friends of the recipients, as well as representatives from their university departments and members of the mathematics community in Ireland. The 2018 Hamilton prize winners are:

  • Adam Cohalan – University College Cork
  • Gavin Elliott – Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Troy Gawley – NUI Galway
  • Nathan Keenan – Maynooth University
  • Chaoyi Lu – University College Dublin
  • Jamie Lutton – Queen’s University Belfast
  • Ronan O’Gorman – Trinity College Dublin
  • Eamonn Organ – University of Limerick
  • Eanna Reilly – Dublin City University

Finally, the RIA Hamilton Lecture rounded off a day of commemorating the great Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton. In his Hamilton lecture, Professor Hairer discussed mathematical objects arising naturally in probability theory, as well as some of their surprising properties. In particular, he showed how one of these objects was involved in the confirmation of the existence of atoms over 100 years ago and how new properties of related objects are still being discovered today.

Read The Irish Times interview with Martin Hairer Exams encourage idea maths is hard and boring, says top mathematician

Hamilton Day is supported by ARUP and The Irish Times.

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