THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY IS IRELAND'S LEADING BODY OF EXPERTS IN THE SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

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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.

Hamilton Prize

Every year the nine best students of mathematics are awarded the Hamilton prize. Mathematics departments in Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Cork, NUI Galway, Maynooth University, University of Limerick, Dublin Institute of Technology and Queen's University Belfast are invited to nominate their "best" student in the penultimate year of undergraduate mathematical studies for the prize. 

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 internationally renowned speaker.

Latest Hamilton Day News and Events

Previous Hamilton Days

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. See below for more details on our past Hamilton Day events.

On coin tosses, atoms and forest fires

Hamilton Day 2018 »

Design, Disasters and Development

Hamilton Day 2017 »

Modern cryptography in the age of cloud computing

Hamilton Day 2016 »

Understanding networks through physical metaphors

Hamilton Day 2015 »

Thinking the inaccessible - Large time behaviours, from infinitely small to infinitely large to infinitely long

Hamilton Day 2014 »

Previous Hamilton Lectures

Hamilton Day 2013 and 2012 »

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