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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Remembering George Salmon, mathematician, theologian and provost of TCD | Science - The Irish Times

Peter Lynch, emeritus professor at UCD School of Mathematics & Statistics says, The outstanding mathematician switched his focus to higher matters and devoted his last 40 years to theology.

George Salmon: In 1833, aged just 14 years, he entered Trinity College, where he was to spend his entire career.
As you pass through the main entrance of Trinity College, the iconic Campanile stands before you, flanked, in pleasing symmetry, by two statues. On the right, on a granite plinth, is the historian and essayist William Lecky. On the left, George Salmon (1819-1904) sits on a limestone platform. 

Salmon was a distinguished mathematician and theologian and provost of Trinity College.
For decades, the two scholars have gazed down upon multitudes of students crossing Front Square. The life-size statue of Salmon, carved from Galway marble by the celebrated Irish sculptor John Hughes, was erected in 1911. Next Wednesday will be the 200th anniversary of Salmon’s birth.

Salmon was born in Dublin. His father was a linen merchant from Cork and George grew up and went to school in that city. In 1833, aged just 14 years, he entered Trinity College, where he was to spend his entire career. He graduated in the year 1838 after an outstanding undergraduate performance. In 1841, he was elected to a fellowship. In 1858, Salmon was appointed Donegall lecturer in mathematics.

As a tutor, Salmon would lecture twice each day, advising, directing and examining his students. In addition to this heavy load, he produced 41 mathematical papers and four influential mathematical texts during the following 20 years or so. Salmon did research in algebra, matrices and group theory, in close collaboration with Arthur Cayley and Joseph Sylvester, the leading English mathematicians of the day.

Salmon is mostly remembered today for his four textbooks on mathematics...

An evening course on recreational maths, Awesums: Marvels and Mysteries of Mathematics, is open for booking online at UCD ( or by phone (01-716 7123).

Source: The Irish Times