DCU student awarded with Hamilton Award for mathematics

Rachel Halpin

Eanna Reilly is one of nine students in Ireland studying mathematics who received the Hamilton award.

DCU student Eanna Reilly becomes one of nine students across Ireland to be awarded with the Hamilton Prize in Mathematics for 2018.

Reilly is one of nine students in Ireland studying mathematics who received this prestigious award.

He is an undergraduate student in DCU’s School of Mathematical Sciences, and is currently in his fourth and final year.

The Hamilton Prize was awarded to these nine undergraduates in a ceremony hosted by the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). These students were nominated by their respective colleges.

“It’s really cool, it’s good. I didn’t know it existed before this,” said Reilly about winning the award, “I’ve been trying to keep it under the radar”.

He found out he won this award when he got an email from the Royal Irish Academy on September 3rd.

Every year the RIA celebrates the life of William Rowan Hamilton, Ireland’s most famous scientist, to commemorate his groundbreaking discovery of quaternion algebra, made on October 16th, 1843.

Described as a ‘very rare eureka moment’ in the history of science, Hamilton came up with this while he was walking along The Royal Canal to the Royal Irish Academy. He was so excited by his discovery that he scratched the equation into the wall of Broome Bridge in Cabra.

The day Reilly received the award began with a masterclass hosted by 2014 Fields Medallist Professor Martin Hairer, from Imperial College London, who was this year’s Hamilton speaker. This masterclass was put on for the students and early career researchers in mathematics and was sponsored by engineering and design company Arup.

Professor Hairer talked for 10 to 15 minutes and the students were encouraged to ask questions. He talked about his career in maths and how he got into his field of work.

The talk was followed by a ceremony where the nine students were given their certificates, which took place in the Royal Irish Academy House on Dawson Street.

The friends and families of the 2018 recipients were invited, Reilly had his parents and sister in attendance with him. Representatives from the colleges of the students were also in attendance.

The day ended with a Hamilton lecture in the evening that was open for anyone to attend. The lecture was thought by Professor Martin Hairer, he discussed mathematical objects arising in probability theory. Next year’s Hamilton lecture takes place on October 16th, 2019.

Rachel Halpin

Image credit: DCU