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Top nine final year math’s students get Hamilton Prize

16 October 2020

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

The Royal Irish Academy has today awarded the prestigious undergraduate Hamilton Prize to the top mathematical students in their penultimate year of study as nominated by their university. Ibec, who sponsor the RIA prize and Hamilton Day activities, see developing STEM talent as a key role in safeguarding Ireland’s economic future.

The online ceremony took place today to mark Hamilton Day, the anniversary of famed Irish scientist William Rowan Hamilton’s discovery of quaternion algebra on 16 October 1843. The virtual ceremony was attended by family and friends of the winners, as well as representatives from their university departments and members of the mathematics community in Ireland.

The 2020 Hamilton Prize winners are:

  • Daniel Devine, Trinity College Dublin;
  • Chuan En Lau, TU Dublin;
  • Emily Gribbin, Queen’s University Belfast;
  • Mark Jennings, University College Dublin;
  • David McMahon, University of Limerick;
  • Peter Moody, Maynooth University;
  • Oisín Morrison, NUI Galway;
  • Diarmuid O'Donoghue, University College Cork; 
  • Ronan Smith, Dublin City University.


In recognition of their mathematical excellence, the students each receive a cash prize of €250, a certificate of achievement and are invited to attend a private masterclass with the 2020 Hamilton Lecture speaker Professor Terence Tao, renowned Fields medallist, 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.”

Professor Stephen Buckley, Chair of the Physical, Chemical, and Mathematical Sciences Committee of the Royal Irish Academy commented,

“I would like to congratulate all our prize-winning students on their fine achievement. They, and other students their age around the world, will inherit mathematics research and no doubt bring it in new exciting directions in the years ahead! To quote an old Irish seanfhocal, Tús maith, leath na hoibre, which basically says that their great start (in mathematics) will help them achieve greater success in the future.”

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