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

Hamilton Day commemorates a ground-breaking discovery by one of 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

Each year mathematics departments in Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Cork, NUI Galway, Maynooth University, University of Limerick, TU Dublin and Queen's University Belfast are invited to nominate their "best" student in their penultimate year of undergraduate mathematical studies for the prize. 

A Celebration

The day includes an award ceremony to recognise the most gifted third level mathematics students in Ireland, a masterclass for early-career researchers and 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.

Watch lectures and interviews from Hamilton Day

The Cosmic Distance Ladder

Hamilton Day 2020 »

Parties, doughnuts and colouring: some problems in graph theory

Hamilton Day 2019 »

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 »

Twistor Theory: A Developing Hamiltonian Legacy

Hamilton Day 2013 »

Silver lining, codes and clouds: Error-correcting codes, their asymptotic bounds, and Kolmogorov complexit

Hamilton Day 2012 »

Hamilton Did It

An artwork project that commemorates William Rowan Hamilton's Eureka moment at Broombridge

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