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Public Lecture - George Boole Focus Programme in Mathematical Sciences

Pioneering Irish Women in Mathematics

Pioneering Irish Women in Mathematics

  • 14 Mar 2017

Title: Pioneering Irish Women in Mathematics Public Lecture on Tuesday, 14th March at 6:00pm. The Lecture will be delivered by Colm Mulcahy (Spelman College, USA) in Room 107, Western Gateway Building.

Public Lecture - George Boole Focus Programme in Mathematical Sciences ============================================================

 TIME: Tuesday, 14th March 2017, 18:00 - 19:00

VENUE:  UCC, Western Gateway Building, Room 107

SPEAKER: Colm Mulcahy (Spelman College, USA)

TITLE: Pioneering Irish Women in Mathematics

 ABSTRACT: The first Irish-born woman to get a PhD in pure mathematics in Ireland appears to have been Siobhan Vernon (nee O’Shea) from Cork, in 1964. In the century before that at least 75 women in Ireland earned degrees in maths or maths physics, and/or became engaged in mathematical work of some sort. Some of these were educated privately, and several were British women who’d been denied the opportunity of being awarded university degrees closer to home.

Very few of these pioneering women had the chance to enter academia. Some of the early ones ended up as astronomers, many more as teachers. Even those who started relevant careers generally had them cut short if they married. We’ll highlight the more notable ones, from Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Galway, and elsewhere, taking the story up to the turn of the last century.

We'll also discuss some of the very diverse careers pursued by women with advanced mathematical training. These range from the expected--teachers at all levels, academic department heads, researchers in industry and government--to surprises such as leading the National Library.

This is based in part on information buried in The Annals of Irish Mathematics & Mathematicians (AIMM) at 

BIO : Colm Mulcahy is a UCD grad who has long taught at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. He is author of the 2013 book " Mathematical Card Magic: Fifty-Two New Effects<>" (CRC Press) which explores original mathemagical principles, and a keen maths blogger (at, Huffington Post, Scientific American, etc). He is Vice President of Gathering 4 Gardner, which seeks to promote the legacy and spirit of Martin Gardner (1914-2010). He is also the creator and curator of the free online Annals of Irish Mathematics and Mathematicians, and a personal friend of Arthur Ceili, author of the song "The Bould Georgie Boole."

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