RIA Hamilton Mathematics Prize for DIT student

20th December 2011: Congratulations to Rachel Trimble, now in her final year on the programme BSc (Hons) Mathematical Sciences in Dublin Institute of Technology, who this year was awarded the prestigious Hamilton Prize at the Royal Irish Academy for her performance in the penultimate year of her studies. 


(l to r) Professor Luke Drury, Royal Irish Academy, and Professor Ed Witten, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, present Hamilton Mathematics Prize 2011 to Rachel Trimble, DIT student of Mathematical Sciences.

The Hamilton Prize is awarded each year to the outstanding student in each of nine Higher Education Institutions in Ireland in the penultimate year of their undergraduate mathematical studies.  The Mathematics Departments in each Institution were invited to submit their nominations and the nine winners were presented with a scroll and gift at an event in the Royal Irish Academy as part of Hamilton Day activities.  In keeping with the prestige of this award, the presentation was made by renowned theoretical physicist and Fields Medal winner, Profess Ed Witten, of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

Professor Witten also delivered this year’s Hamilton Lecture on Hamilton Day which celebrates the life and contribution to mathematics of William Hamilton.  The lecture and other celebrations organised by the RIA usually take place on or around October 16th, the anniversary of the day Hamilton scratched his fundamental formula for quaternion multiplication on Broome Bridge in Dublin.  The title of this year’s lecture was “The Quantum Theory of Knots”.  Outlining the theme of his lecture, Professor Witten said that “As a physicist, what interests me most about knots is that in a sense they are quantum mechanical in nature - many of the deepest insights about knots are most naturally understood using physics-based ideas of quantum theory. I will explain a physicist's view of the Jones polynomial and its contemporary cousin, Khovanov homology.”

The nine winners of this year’s Hamilton Mathematics Prize were:

Ben Quigley, DCU; Rachel Trimble, DIT; Fionnuala Connolly, NUIG; Jane Breen, NUIM; Andrew McKee, QUB; Stephanie Hyland, TCD; Liang Chen, UCC; Doireann O’Kiely, UCD; and Elaine Berkery, UL.

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