New Book Outlines How Trinity Mathematicians Shaped Modern Ireland

Posted on: 19 October 2015

Trinity College Dublin recently welcomed Dr David Attis, Senior Director of academic research with the Education Advisory Board (EAB), to launch his new book Mathematics and the Making of Modern Ireland: Trinity College Dublin from Cromwell to the Celtic Tiger.

To mark Maths Week, Dr Attis also gave a fascinating talk on ‘Ireland’s mathematical achievements and the central role played by Trinity College Dublin.’

Trinity is famous for its association with Sir William Rowan Hamilton. His work in mechanics provided the foundations for quantum mechanics and his quaternions algebra now underpins modern space flight and allows computer graphics designers to create seamless, beautiful environments.

However, many other mathematicians working and studying at Trinity through the centuries also made huge contributions that shifted the horizons within the field, including John Lighton Synge, who is credited with anticipating the discovery of a ‘black hole’.

Professor of Pure & Applied Mathematics in Trinity's School of Mathematics, Sinead Ryan, said: “Dr Attis' book highlights the role that mathematics has played in developing modern Ireland. The curiosity-driven research of Hamilton and others now underpins modern technology and drives innovation.

“History teaches us that the hallmark of a forward-looking economy is its support for fundamental research, which will no doubt lead to applications that we cannot predict today.”

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