The Atlas of Irish Mathematics: Westmeath (Feb 2018)
Starting in June 2017, we've taken bimonthly looks at the careers of some mathematically trained people associated with various counties of Ireland, specifically, Donegal, Wexford, Armagh and Limerick. This month, we head inland and focus on Westmeath people.
As usual, those listed generally started with a degree in maths, maths physics, statistics or a related field.
Of course, some lives (and careers) drifted far from the mathematics studied in university.
The information below is extracted from the Annals of Irish Mathematics & Mathematicians, which currently documents over 3600 people. Its spinoff Atlas of Irish Mathematics highlights some of the more notable careers, county by county. Corrections, as always, are welcome.
Last updated 9 Feb 2024.
1. Francis Swift (1827?1892) was born in Westmeath and was educated at TCD (BA 1850+, MA 1865). His career was spent as a clergyman, mostly in Mullingar. 

2. Thomas Gray (18331924) was born near Drumraney, Westmeath, NE of Athlone, and was educated at TCD (Scholar 1852, BA 1855+, MA 1859, Fellow 1862, Senior Fellow). He spent his 6 decade plus career there, switching from maths to classics. He also served as dean, bursar, and registrar, and vice provost until just before his death. 1901 Census / 1911 Census / Grave / Obit 

3. Anatomist, surgeon and academic Thomas Little (1840?1891) was born in Athlone, Westmeath, and was educated at TCD (Scholar 1860, BA 1861+, MB 1866, MD 1870). He lectured at TCD for many years, as University Anatomist, and was also surgeon at Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital. 

4. James de Glanville (1843?1901) was born 16 October in Kinnegad, Westmeath, and was educated at TCD (BA 1870). His career was spent as clergyman in Hampshire then Lancashire. He also served as a navy chaplain. 

5. Robert Baile (18391914) was born in Castlebellingham, Louth, and was educated at TCD, graduating in his late 30s. He taught "mathematics, electricity, and magnetism" (among other subjects) for over 30 years (starting in 1878) at the Ranelagh School in Athlone (shown here), where he also served as principal or headmaster. This elegant school had been built on the west river bank in 1764 by Richard Jones, 1st Earl of Ranelagh, "to provide free education for the children of poor protestants". It closed in 1936, and the buildings were later used by Gentex textile works, before being demolished in 1991. Baile (sometimes recorded as Bailie) is credited with contributing to the book Elements of Plane Trigonometry fot the Use of School, and Students in Universities (Alexander Thom & Co, 1885) by TCD graduate Issac Warren. 

6. Frederick Maurice Hodson (18701960) was born 17 November in Athlone, Westmeath. He was educated at TCD (BA, 1894). He worked as an accountant, and moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1924.


7. Doctor Gustav Thompson (18781944) was born 8 December in Liverpool, England, and grew up there and in Westmeath. He was educated at TCD (BA 1903, MD? 1906), and then worked as a doctor in India for 2 decades, and then in England. Birth / 1901 Census / India / BMJ


8. Marjorie J. Long (18861937) was born 16 July in Arklow, Wicklow, and grew up there and in Mullingar and Dundalk. She was educated at Girton (4th wrangler), her performance being the best by any Cambridge woman since 1890. She received an RUI BA (1908) as a result, and was ranked the top mathematics graduate in Ireland. The Educational Times (1 Jul 1909, page 274) reported that in the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos Part II, "Miss Marjorie Long (North London Collegiate School and Girton), equal to the Fourth Wrangler of last year, is placed (with two men) in Class I, Division 2." In 1910, she submitted the paper "On Geiser's Method of Generating a Plane Quartic" to the Proceedings of the LMS. She taught at Bedford College (at least 19111922). She translated the influential book Lezioni di calcolo differenziale assoluto (Alberto Stock Editore, 1925) by Tullio LeviCivita, ed by Enrico Persico, as Absolute Differential Calculus (Blacktie & Son, 1927). She worked in the library of the International Labour Office in Geneva in the 1930s. 1901 Census / 1908 / Death 

9. Arthur West (18921916) was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, and grew up in Mayo and Westmeath (his father worked for the Inland Revenue). He attended the Ranelagh school and also Mountjoy School in Dublin. He was educated at TCD (BA 1915), where he was president of the Philosophical Society. Soon after graduating in the same class as physicist John (Jackie) Poole, he died in action in France. 

10. John Desmond Parsons (19071968) was born 18 January in Athlone, Westmeath. He was educated at TCD, and is alleged to have obtained a master's there for a thesis on "Solution with Axial Symmetry of Einstein's Equations of Teleparallelism" (presented at the Nov 1931 meeting of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society and then published by the Proceedings of the EMS). Information about his subsequent career would be very welcome. 

11. Mathematical physicist Robert O'Connell was born in Athlone, Westmeath, and was educated at UCG (BSc 1953) and Notre Dame (PhD 1962). After a year back in Ireland at DIAS he settled at Louisiana State Univ for his career. He was awarded an honorary DSc by NUI in 1975. 

12. Mathematical physicist Ciaran Ryan (19341973) was born in Athlone, Westmeath, and brought up mostly in Longford. He was educated at Maynooth and the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, earning his 1962 PhD on "A Doublet scheme for the Leptons and On a Generalised Commutation Relation" under Lochlainn O'Raifeartaigh. A priest too, he taught at the University of Rochester and then at UCD, and coauthored the book Theory of Weak Interactions in Particle Physics (Wiley, 1969). He died young in a mountaineering accident near Geneva, soon after supervising the PhD of Sean Brown (1945?1981). 

13. Mathematical physicist Dermott McCrea (19341993) was born 25 April in Athlone, Westmeath. He was educated at UCG, Louvain, and the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies. His 1965 PhD on "Gravitational Radiation" was done under John L. Synge, and was published by the DIAS (1968). He was also a Franciscan priest. Most of his career was spent at UCD, where he developed EXCALC, an early computer algebra system for doing calculations in quantum theory and relativity. Both Peter Hogan and Gráinne O'Brien were his PhD students. He cowrote Algebraic Computing in General Relativity (Oxford, 1994) 

14. Paddy Barry (19342021) was born 20 October in Ballynacargy, outside Mullingar, and grew up in Glenville and Mallow, Cork. He was educated at UCC and the University of London, completing his PhD on "The Minimum Modulus of Integral Functions of Small Order" under Walter Hayman in 1959. After a postdoc at Stanford, he taught for 4 decades at UCC, as professor of maths and for many years dept chair too. He was responsible for 3 books: George Boole; a Miscellany (Cork University Press, 1969), the influential Geometry with Trigonometry (Horwood, 2001), and Advanced Plane Geometry (Logic Press, 2019). 

15. Michael Ryan was born in Athlone, Westmeath, and was educated at Maynooth (BSc 1957). Career?


16. Historian of physics and astronomy John Roche was born 26 June in Athlone, Westmeath, and grew up in Rahoon, Galway. He was at first educated at UCG. After a decade of teaching at a secondary school in Kenya, he obtained his 1977 PhD on "Thomas Harriot's Astronomy" from Oxford under John North. He then tutored the history of physics and astronomy for over 30 years at Linacre College, Oxford, as well as applied physics at Oxford Brookes University. He's currently associated with Wycliffe Hall at Oxford. 

17. Mathematics educator Olivia Fagan (later Bree) was born 3 July in Mullingar, Westmeath. She was educated at UCG where she was awarded an NUI Travelling Studentship Prize. Her career was spent at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, where she also served as registrar.


18. David Martin Creedon was born in Westmeath and was educated at TCD (BA 1974?), publishing a paper with John Miller while an undergraduate. He worked for British Gas. 

19. Biostatistician Marie Reilly was born 15 March in Multifarnham, Weatmeath. She earned physics and stats degrees at UCG, and then taught at Kevin St and at the Medical Lab Training Project in Lesotho. Her 1991 PhD on "Semiparametric Methods of Dealing with Missing or Surrogate Covariate Data" was done under Cork's Margaret O'Sullivan Pepe at the University of Washington in Seattle. After spells at UCD and UCC, she settled at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, where she has supervised several PhDs. 

20. Bishop Dermot Farrell was born 22 November in Castletown Geoghegan, Westmeath, and was educatedat first at Maynooth (BA 1976). After a decade of parish work (19801990), durinh which he did a doctorate in divinity at the Pontifical Gregorian Univ in Rome, he lectured back and Maynooth (19902007), also serving as its president. Since 2018 he has been bishop.


21. Brendan P.M. Ryan was born in Westmeath and was educated at UCD (BSc 1976?). Career?


23. Education expert Tony Kelly (aka Anthony ElliottKelly) was born in Athlone, Westmeath. He was educated at first at Maynooth (BSc 1978) and Cambridge (MA 1979). He later did an MSc at HeriotWatt (1988) under Robert Craik, and PhD on "The Management and Administration of Irish PostPrimary Schools" at Hull (1996). His career since 2001 has been spent at Southampton. He focusses on the theory of educational effectiveness and improvement as it relates to educational leadership, higher education, governance and policy analysis. His is cocreator on the Lab in a Lorry street physics initiative. His 7 books include Decisionmaking through Game Theory. (Cambridge, 2003). Wikipedia / Southampton / LinkedIn / ResearchGate / Conversation 

24. Statistician Catherine Finneran was born near Athlone, Westmeath, and was educated at UCG (BSc 1977, MSc 1978?), then lecturing at NIHE Limerick for a few years. The rest of her career was spent at the Central Statistics Office. She was married to Dave Jennings (19492009), a UCC maths grad and Travelling Studentship winner whose career was also at the CSO.


25. Eugene Curtin was born in Athone, Westmeath, and grew up there, in Longford, and in Dublin. He was educated at first at UCD (BSs 1981, MSc 1982), being awarded an NUI Trevelling Studentship. His 1988 PhD on "Intermediate Tautness and Relative Tautness for Submanifolds" was done under Tom Banchoff at Brown. His entire career has been spent at Texas State Univ. 

26. Susan MacDonald was born in Mullingar, Westmeath, and was educated at Maynooth (BA 1983, MA 1986, PhD 2008+). Her thesis on "The Paradigm Shift from Euclid to a Composite System of Geometry in Intermediate Certificate Mathematics in Ireland, 19661973" was done with Richard Watson & John Coolahan. Her whole career has been spent at WIT (SETU). 


27. Statistician David Madigan was born 11 December in Athlone, Westmeath, and was educated at TCD (BA 1984, PhD 1990). His thesis on "An Investigation of Weights of Evidence in the Context of Probablilistic Expert Systems" was done under Kris Mosurski. His career started at the University of Washington (Seattle) and Rutgers. After a long spell at Columbia, he became Provost at Northeastern. He has supervised 18 PhD students. 

28. Theoretical physicist Ralph Kenna (19642023) was born 27 August on the Roscommon side of Athlone, and was educated at first at TCD (BA 1985, MSc 1988). His 1993 Dr rer Nat on "Nullstellen der Zustandssumme und RenormierungsgruppenAnalyse im ϕ^4_4 Modell" ("Zeros of the Partition Function and RenormalizationGroup Analysis of the \phi^4_4 Model") was done under Christian Lang at Graz, Austria. After several years each at Liverpool and TCD, in 2002 he settled at Coventry. His interests included phase transitions in statistical mechanics and critical phenomena, as well as digital humanities and sociophysics. He supervised 8 PhD students and coauthored the book Maths Meets Myths: Quantitative Approaches to Ancient Narratives (2017). In 2019, he was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa by the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine 

29. Applied mathematician Mike Lough was born in Athlone, Westmeath, and was educated at UCD and Caltech. His 1994 PhD on "The Motion of ThinCored Vortex Filaments: The Equations of Motion and their Solution for Some Special Cases" was done under Philip Saffman. He then worked at JPL for a while, before switching to finance. 
30. Theoretical physicist Colm Connaughton was born in Westmeath, and was educated at TCD and Warwick. His 2002 PhD on "New Directions in Wave Turbulence" was done under Alan Newell & Sergey Nazarenko. After a few years at ENS (Paris) and Los Alamos, in 2007 he settled back at Warwick. He has supervised 2 PhDs.  
31. Maths ed expert Miriam Ryan was born 8 Dec in Westmeath and was educated at first at UCD (BA 2001). After teaching for a while she continued her education at TCD (MSc 2010) and Cambridge (MA 2014). Since then she has been on the staff at St Pat's Drumcondra, where she is also working on her doctorate. 

32. Theoretical physicist Clodagh Carroll was born in Delvin, Westmeath, and was educated at UCC. Her 2010 PhD on "Supersymmetric Quantum Stochastic Analysis" was done under Stephen Wills. She works at CIT.  
33. Statistician Marie Galligan was born in Westmeath and educated at Limerick and UCD. Her 2013 PhD on "Novel Statistical Methods for the Analysis of Glycan Chromatography Data for Biomarker Discovery and Validation" was done under Brendan Murphy and Pauline Rudd. She works at UCD.  