Maths Ireland Map


Where does mathematics (Irish or otherwise) come from?  That's a tough conundrum, so let's ask a different question: where in Ireland do mathematicians come from?

The answer, of course, is "from all over the island", a reality made explicit in the map below.  Documenting the island's mathematical output county by county has long been a goal of ours, inspired in part by the late Mary Mulvihill's Atlas of Ingenious Ireland.

A series of 16 bi-monthly blogs at (which started in June 2017) sees us at roughly the midway point of a geographical tour of Ireland. People associated with Donegal, Wexford, Armagh, Limerick, Westmeath, Mayo, Belfast, Wicklow, Kerry, Galway, Monaghan, Tipperary, Sligo, Carlow, Down and Cork (pending late December 2019) have been surveyed, although in the cases of Belfast, Galway and Cork we have yet to make it out of the 19th century.  Over the next three years, we aim to account for the rest of Ireland county by county, and bring the story for the larger urban areas up to the current day.

Here’s the big picture (2.5 MB, measuring about 3600 x 4000 pixels):


(map created by Dan Basceli)


This is just a first draft to mark the mid December 2019 completion of the 5th year of the Annals of Irish Mathematics and Mathematicians (AIMM). The map reflects the fact that mathematical talent has emerged from virtually every corner of Ireland. Unsurprisingly, sparsely populated areas produce proportionally fewer people, and Dublin and Belfast are responsible for more mathematicians than other regions.

Alas, there are a great many Irish maths people—including living ones—for whom the county of origin is not known. That's one reason that the displayed map needs updating, and may partially explain why the lists of names for Leitrim, Longford, Westmeath and Meath are particularly thin.

AIMM now documents over 4500 people (including those from overseas with Irish doctoral advisors) and 900 books. It includes people from abroad who spent significant periods of their careers in Ireland; in time, so will the map (hence listing Boole under Cork, and Gosset under Dublin).

This map will continue be adjusted, refined and polished over time. The jpg is based on a photoshop file with separate adjustable layers for each county and so can be edited to generate new versions. Comments and corrections are, as always, welcome.

2nd version uploaded 25 Dec 2019.

Note: Getting the names of people listed close to the right region of the county (e.g., a Dingle born person shown west of Tralee) would be ideal but is not realisable in the foreseeable future.


Names to be added:

Belfast (Armitage, Maddox, Wickstead), Cork (Boole), Dublin (Gosset, O'Riordan), Tyrone (Henry Dawson).


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