Mathematics
Ireland

The Atlas of Irish Mathematics: Mayo (Apr 2018)

 

This month we complete the first year of our bi-monthly surveys of the careers of some mathematically trained people associated with various counties of Ireland. Following Donegal, Wexford, Armagh, Limerick, and Westmeath, this month we focus on Mayo people.

As usual, those listed generally started with a degree in mathematics, maths physics, statistics or a related field, and some careers drifted far from what was studied in university.

The information below is extracted from the Annals of Irish Mathematics & Mathematicians, which currently documents over 3660 people.  Corrections, as always, are welcome.  Thanks to Paul Greaney for genealogical research assistance.

 

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1. John Fraser (1868-1950) was born in Crosspatrick, Ballysakeery, Ballina, and was educated at TCD (BA 1895, MA).  He taught at TCD from 1903 to 1949.

1901 Census / 1911 Census???

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2. Robert Hallidy (1875-1933) was born in Belmullet, and was educated at Queen's College Galway (BA 1898, BE 1901).  He worked primarily as a railway engineer, in Donegal, England, Gold Coast, South Africa, India and the USA.

Railways

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3. Frederick Faloone (1877-1921) was born 21 December in Westport. He was educated at TCD (BA 1901) and taught at Clongowes and the High School (Dublin), but died relatively young.

1901 Census / 1911 Census

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4. Physicist and priest John Donaghey (Donaghy) (1878-1949) was born 3 December in Kilmovee (near the Roscommon border).  He was educated at RUI (BA 1904) and at Bonn (MA 1905), earning his PhD at Munich on "The Spectrum of Nitrogen at Low Temperatures" with Röntgen (1908). For 16 years he taught at St Eunan's College (Raphoe), Maynooth and Munich, before moving to the USA where he spent another 25 years at Marquette University (Wisconsin) and Incarnate Word College (Texas).

1901 Census / 1911 Census / Marquette / Grave

 
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5. Bob Walker (1880 to at least 1945) was born 15 April in Ballaghamuck, Crossmolina, and was educated at Blackrock (RUI BA 1905).  He taught for many years at Rockwell.

1901 Census / 1911 Census

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6. Thomas McHugh (1900-??) was born 2 August in Caltragh, west of Claremorris.  He was educated at UCD (BSc 1923, MSc 1931 for a thesis on "A Pair of Circular Cubics Generated by Two Rigid Quadrangles"). Information on his subsequent career would be very welcome.

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7. Margaret Gillan (later McDonnell, 1906-1989) was born 12 June in Newport.  She was educated at UCG (BA 1928, MA 1934) and she taught at secondary schools for much of her career, both before and after a few years spent as assistant to Schrödinger at DIAS.

RTE / 1911 Census

 

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8. Kevin Killeen (1908-1995) was born in April in Carrowmore, near Claremorris, and grew up close by in Hollymount.  He was educated at UCG (BComm 1927, BA 1928, MA 1929), winning the first NUI Travelling Studentship Prize there. After a few years on the staff at QUB, his career was spent in vocational education, first in Wicklow and Wexford, and then for over 30 years in Waterford.

1911 Census / 1941 / Hon degree

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9. Alice Molloy (later McKeogh, 1910-??) was born 2 January in  Culleens, Killala Road, Kilmoremoy near Ballina.  She was educated at UCG (1932).  Information on her career is welcomed. She married in 1938.

1911 Census

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10. Seán McDonagh was born in Westport, Mayo, and grew up in Galway. He was educated first at UCG (1959 & 1960), where he earned an NUI Travelling Studentship Prize. His "1965 PhD "On some problems in the theory of numbers" was done at ?? (and conferred by TCD) under Heini Halberstam. After some years on the staff at UCC, he moved to the Regional College (later the Institute of Technology) in Dundalk, where he worked for 30 years, rising to the rank of principal.

 notable_photo  11. Tom McDonough was born in Castlebar and was educated at UCG (1963 & 1964), where he earned an NUI Travelling Studentship.  His 1972 PhD on "Some Problems in the Theory of Groups" was earned at Oxford under Graham Higman.   Most of his career has been spent at Aberystwyth, and he co-edited the Proceedings of the 1973 British Combinatorial Conference.
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12. Sean Mulhern (1942-1977) was born in Ballyhaunis and was educated at UCG (1963 & 1964), where like his classmate Tom McDonough above he was awarded an NUI Travelling Studentship.  His PhD on elasticity and fiber-reinforced material was done at Nottingham (1968) under Tony Spencer.  His sadly short career was spent at UCG.

 

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13. Tom Laffey was born 5 December in Cross, Mayo, and was educated at UCG, where he won an NUI Travelling Studentship Prize, and the University of Sussex. His 1968 PhD on "Structure Theorems for Linear Groups" was done under Walter Ledermann. For over 40 years he lectured at UCD, pursuing research in group theory and linear algebra, becoming department head and supervising 5 PhDs. He also played a major role in the successful establishment of the Irish Mathematical Olympiad.

UCD IMS

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14. Des MacHale was born on 28 January in Castlebar. He was educated at UCG (1967 & 1968), then completing his 1972 PhD on "Finite Groups with Automorphisms Inverting Many Elements" at Keele under Hans Liebeck.  His entire career has been spent at UCC, researching in groups and rings, and supervising numerous theses. He is an expert on George Boole, having written the definitive biography of him, and had published dozens of books on brainteasers and humour.

Wikipedia

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15. Ted Hyland was born at Straide near Foxford, and was educated at UCG (1969?).  His career was spent teaching physics at Dundalk IT.

 

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16. James McTigue was born in Claremorris and was first educated at Limerick (BE, 1994).  After a decade and a half working in industry, he started work on his 2015 PhD on "Completions of Partial Matrices", earned at NUIG under Rachel Quinlan.  He now works in software.

LinkedIn

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17. Aidan Naughton was born in Mayo and educated at UCG (2002?) and then at UCC, where his 2006 PhD on "A priori Bounds on Derivatives of Solutions to Singularly Perturbed Convection-Diffusion Problems" was earned with Martin Stynes. His career so far has been spent at St Andrews, where he is now doing research in mathematical education.

St Andrews

 

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18. David Henry was born in Castlebar and educated at TCD (BA 2003?, PhD 2007), where his PhD on "Aspects of the Mathematical Theory of Water Waves" was done under Adrian Constantin.  His career so far has been spent at UCC.

UCC

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19. Donie O'Brien was born in Castlebar and educated first at UCD (2004).  His 2008 PhD on " A Theoretical Study of Spin Filtering and its Application to Polarized Antiprotons" was done at TCD under Nigel Buttimore. His career has been in finance.

LinkedIn

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20. Theoretical physicist and maths educator Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin was born in Carnacon. She was educated at UCD (2005) and TCD, earning her 2014 PhD " Developing Mathematics Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge through Lesson Study: A Multiple Case Study at a Time of Curriculum Change" with Adrian Seery. Her career so far has been spent at UCD.

Wikipedia / UCD

 
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