Simons Foundation Grant to Develop Hamilton Mathematics Institute

Posted on: 27 June 2016

The Simons Foundation has awarded Trinity College Dublin’s Hamilton Mathematics Institute (HMI) a grant of $600,000 (~ €550,000) to develop a Simons Distinguished Visiting Professor, Simons Visiting Scholar and Simons Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme.

The US-based Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. The foundation exists to support discovery driven scientific research, undertaken in pursuit of understanding the phenomena of our world.

The HMI, named after William Rowan Hamilton — Ireland's greatest mathematician — is aligned with the Trinity School of Mathematics.  It aims to foster and support the economic, cultural and societal benefits of mathematics and fundamental science as drivers of progress in Ireland.

The grant was awarded through the Simons Foundation’s programme of ‘Targeted Grants to Institutes,’ which support centres of excellence in mathematics and physical sciences by providing funding to establish scientific culture and strengthen contacts within the international scientific community.

This programme has supported renowned centres including the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHES) in France; the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in the US; and the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in the UK.

The Simons Foundation funds two to three institutions annually and the HMI joins an elite group of institutes that are supported in this way.

HMI Director and University Professor of Natural Philosophy (1847), Samson Shatashvili, said: “This support from the Simons Foundation to the HMI will provide significant energy to the institute and allow us to extend our national and international role by building on the many strengths that already exist and by stimulating and nurturing mathematics research with renewed vigour."

"It will enable the HMI to bring about a step-change by creating the conditions for greater collaboration and the exchange of ideas and expertise through visits by leading international mathematicians and theoretical physicists to Ireland and associated workshops, seminars and conferences crucial for maintaining the central role of mathematics in today’s world.”

Head of the School of Mathematics at Trinity, Sinéad Ryan, said: “The award from the Simons Foundation will support and grow HMI’s research and outreach activities in a number of ways. The Simons Visiting Professors will provide leadership in their disciplines to nurture the new generation of mathematicians excited about its fundamental role in science. Appointed for 2-3 years, the Simons Postdoctoral Fellows will undertake research projects that will enhance and enrich HMI’s activities. Finally, the Simons Visiting Scholars Programme will facilitate the participation of a number of scholars in collaborative activities such as workshops and conferences. The HMI will also host a number of public engagement events involving top academics from around the world.”

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