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Des MacHale honoured with Maths Week award

19 Oct
Des MacHale honoured with Maths Week award

On Saturday 15th October, in Dublin, Maths Week Ireland presented their inaugural award for raising public awareness of mathematics to emeritus professor Des MacHale.

The award was presented at a short ceremony at the Fitzwilliam Hotel St Stephen’s Green.

The Maths Week Ireland Award for Raising Public Awareness of Mathematics has been established to give recognition to people making a significant contribution to this important effort and also to highlight the importance of promoting mathematics.


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Taoiseach Enda Kenny also sent greetings to Des as follows:


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’d like to convey my best wishes to everybody involved with Maths Week Ireland, the largest maths festival in the world with over 250,000 people of all ages set to take part in events this year right across Ireland.

Maths is a core life skill for all and even more so now as we move quickly towards a digital society.

Maths underpins attributes such as problem solving which are of critical importance across all sectors.

It leads to many exciting career opportunities and is vital in producing a world class workforce.

Undoubtedly, maths is a key driver of innovation and growth which impacts on our country’s economic development and technical progress.

This festival promotes an appreciation and an understanding of mathematics in a fun and interesting way and can make it less mysterious and more accessible to all.

I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Calmast STEM Outreach Centre at Waterford Institute of Technology who co-ordinate Maths Week as well as the sponsors of the event. These include the Department of Education and Skills, Science Foundation Ireland and the Department of Education of Northern Ireland, who recognise the value of a solid grounding in maths as a stepping stone to a rewarding career.

I’m delighted that Professor Des MacHale, who is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at University College Cork, is being presented with the inaugural “Raising Public Awareness of Maths” award.

Through his internationally recognised research, Des has made an enormous contribution to the field of mathematics and has passed on his knowledge and experience to a whole generation of students.

Des is a passionate admirer of the legacy of George Boole, first professor of mathematics at UCC and indeed he wrote the first comprehensive biography of Boole.

I’ve been told that the award has been crafted by Irish silversmith Seamus Gill and is modelled to represent a Mobius Strip, a mathematical curiosity that can undoubtedly be better explained by Des than by myself.

I would like to congratulate Des on this richly deserved award.  Indeed I recall him very well as a brilliant Leaving Certificate student all those years ago in St Gerard’s De La Salle College in Castlebar when I attended there as a young first year student.  He has been a role model for many in the years since.

I also congratulate everybody associated with Maths Week Ireland.  You have put a tremendous amount of hard work and planning into this event over many months.   I wish you all continued success.

Enda Kenny, T.D.



Congratulations Des!

School of Mathematical Sciences

Eolaíochtaí Matamaiticiúla

Room 1-57, First Floor floor, T12 XF62