Researchers at UCD


Anthony Cronin

Lecturer and Maths Suport Centre Manager

School of Mathematics & Statistics
James Joyce Library, Newman Building, UCD
Dublin 4

Tel: 00 353 1 716 7536


BA - National University of Ireland, Galway - 1997-2000.
H. Dip in Education - National University of Ireland, Galway - 2000-2001.
H. Dip. in Mathematical Sciences, UCD - 2003-2004.
MSc. Mathematics - UCD - 2004-2005.
PhD Mathematics - UCD - 2006-2012.

I graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) in 2000 with an Arts degree in English and Mathematics. I subsequently received the Higher Diploma in Education also from NUIG in 2001. I taught English, Maths and Physics in the Holy Rosary College in Mountbellew, Galway for a year and I also taught Maths at Ardscoil Rath Iomhain in Kildare for over a year. I then spent a year teaching English in Berlin working with the language academy Berlitz.
I returned to Ireland to do a Higher Diploma in Mathematical Sciences at UCD and subsequently went on to do my Masters in Mathematics in the years 2003-05 under the supervision of Dr Rachel Quinlan now at NUI, Galway.

In 2006 I embarked upon pursuing a PhD in Mathematics under the supervision of Professor Thomas J Laffey on the topic of Matrix Theory, in particular, the nonnegative inverse eigenvalue problem and associated problems in Linear Algebra.  

Throughout my time at UCD I have been very fortunate to lecture on modules such as, Maths for Business, How to Communicate Mathematics, Graph and Network Theory, Quantitative Methods, Complex Analysis, Data Analysis for Business Decision Makers, Calculus 1 and 2, The Mathematics of Google and Linear Algebra II in both the UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Smurfit and Quinn Schools of Business.

Upon completing my PhD in 2012 I co-founded a startup company Infonalis, a web based solutions platform specialising in music creation and content. As COO I helped the company secure accelerator funds through Enterprise Ireland, the New Frontiers programme and the Innovation Vouchers scheme.

In 2013 I spent a semester lecturing on the Science programme at NUI, Maynooth, as well spending just over a year working in industry as a Senior Content Analyst and Researcher for the Learning Analytics and mathematical software company CCKF RealizeIT based in Dublin. 
From 2003-2013 I was the maths programme coordinator and lecturer for the Access to Science, Engineering and Agriculture and the Access to Commerce (2003-2007) programmes at the Adult Education Centre in UCD. I am currently the Module Coordinator for both mathematical modules on the Access to Science, Engineering and Agriculture programmes, and the second year computer science and final year Arts module Linear Algebra II.
My current role (from September 2013) is as mathematics lecturer and Manager of the Maths Support Centre in UCD, a free drop-in service for any UCD student registered to a Level 0, 1 or 2 module requiring support on any component of their course with which they are experiencing mathematical or statistical issues. For more information on the MSC please check our website at

My research interests are Matrix Theory (nonnegative matrices and integer matrices) in pure mathematics and supporting mathematics learning via Learning Analytics methods in the area of maths education.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2017.
Title: University Teaching & Learning Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
Year: 2015.
Title: SPARC
Year: 2014.
Title: Top prize in the judges' choice for the UCD Working Smarter Together symposium poster competition
Year: 2017.
Title: Erasmus Mundus Action 2 EMAIL III


Association: Irish Maths Learning Support Network, Function/Role: Vice Chairperson
Association: Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (UK), Function/Role: Member
Association: Irish Mathematical Society (IMS), Function/Role: Member of the education committee
Association: The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (ISSOTL), Function/Role: Member
Association: Adults Learning Mathematics , Function/Role: Member
Association: British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics , Function/Role: Member

Conference Contributions

Anthony Cronin (2017) Unsolved problems in Matrix Theory. [Invited Lecture], UCD Maths Society, Science Centre UCD , 26-SEP-17 - 26-SEP-17.
Anthony Cronin (2017) Evidenced-based decision making in mathematics support. [Invited Lecture], Mathematics Education beyond 16: Pathways and Transitions, University of Birmingham , 10-JUL-17 - 12-JUL-17.
Anthony Cronin and Maria Meehan (2015) Real-time anonymous feedback on student visits to the Maths Support Centre - a study of lecturers' views on its relevance to, and roles in, their practice. [Oral Presentation], Inaugural European Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning: Bridging Boundaries through the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, UCC , 08-JUN-15 - 09-JUL-15.
Anthony Cronin (2015) The evolution of a Maths Support Data Management System: What qualitative data should a Maths Support Centre collect & Lecturers' views on its nature and relevance. [Invited Oral Presentation], PRISM - Pedagogic Research in Sciences and Mathematics, University of Leeds , 10-SEP-15 - 10-SEP-15.
Anthony Cronin and Maria Meehan (2015) Lecturers' views on the nature and relevance of qualitative feedback collected at a Maths Support Centre. [Oral Presentation], 2015 CETL-MSOR Conference - Sustaining Excellence, University of Greenwich, London, UK , 08-SEP-15 - 09-SEP-15.
Anthony Cronin (2015) [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], The 9th Annual Irish Workshop on Mathematics Learning and Support Centres, Maximizing the impact of digital supports in Mathematics Learning Support in Higher Education , 29-MAY-15 - 29-MAY-15.
Anthony Cronin and Anthony Brown (2015) Putting an Old Head on Young Shoulders. [Oral Presentation], The 22nd International Conference of Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM) - Opening Our Mathematical Eyes: Seeing Math in Everything We Do, Washington DC , 13-JUL-15 - 15-JUL-15.
Cronin, Anthony (2014) Three Problems in Matrix Theory. [Invited Lecture], DIT Mathematical Sciences Seminar Series, DIT Room 3-011, Annexe building, Kevin Street , 20-NOV-14 - 20-NOV-14.
Anthony Cronin (2014) 10 Years of the Mathematics Support Centre at UCD. An information conference on all the services offered and facilitated by UCD library. [Chaired Session], UCD Library Staff Programme Day, Fitzgerald Chamber, UCD Student Centre, Dublin , 10-JAN-14 - 10-FEB-14.
Anthony Cronin (2014) Annual Meeting of Maths Support Coordinators in Ireland and the UK. [Chaired Session], The 8th Annual Irish Workshop on Mathematics Learning and Support Centres, Tallaght IT, Dublin , 31-JAN-14 - 31-JAN-14.
Anthony Cronin and Danny Lynch (2013) Teaching Mathematics at Third Level. [Oral Presentation], The International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference, Leuven, Belgium , 08-APR-13 - 12-APR-13.
Anthony Cronin (2013) Nonnegative Matrices. [Invited Lecture], The International Linear Algebra Society, Providence, Rhode Island, USA , 03-JUN-13 - 07-JUN-13.
Cronin, Anthony (2013) Three Problems in Matrix Theory. [Invited Lecture], NUI, Galway Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics Seminar 2013/14, NUI, Galway , 19-DEC-13 - 19-DEC-13.
Cronin, A (2012) The nonnegative inverse eigenvalue problem. [Invited Lecture], Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory connections, applications and computations: 6th de Brun Workshop - National University of Ireland, Galway December 3-7, 2012, National University of Ireland, Galway , 03-DEC-12 - 07-DEC-12.


Committee : Mathematics Support Centre Oversight Committee
Committee : International Linear Algebra Society (ILAS)
Committee : Access to Science, Engineering and Agriculture programme at UCD
Committee : Irish Mathematical Society (IMS)
Committee : Irish Mathematics Learning Support Network (IMLSN) - Vice Chairperson


Client: SUAS

Outreach Activities

Maths Week and Science Week 2015-2017

I presented to 5-9 year olds in local Primary Schools including Our Lady's Grove, Goatstown, on the topics of Coding, Cryptography, the Mobius Strip and Topology over the last number of years a apart of Maths Week (October) and Science week (November)
Maths Sparks at UCD January-March 2015. Maths Sparks II at UCD January- April 2016.
Maths Sparks III at UCD January- April 2017.
UCD James Joyce Library and Maths Support Leaving Certificate Programme May-June 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Other Activities

Research Visit
January 2nd-30th 2017.
The Technion, Israeli Institute of Technology - under the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 EMAIL III mobility programme - to work with Professor Raphael Loewy on open problems in nonnegative matrix theory.
Funded by the European Union - Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Union



Book Chapters

Anthony Cronin and Aoibhinn Ní Shuilleabhain (2017) 'Maths Sparks: Learning Maths, Teaching Maths and Widening Participation' In: Lisa Padden, John O'Connor, Terry Barrett (eds). Universal Design for Curriculum Design. UCD Dublin: Access & Lifelong Learning UCD. , pp.102-112 Available Online [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Anthony Cronin, Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain, Emily Lewanowski-Breen, Christopher Kennedy (2017) 'Maths Sparks: Investigating the impact of outreach on pupils' attitudes towards mathematics'. MSOR Connections, 15 (3):4-13. Available Online [Details]
Cronin, A. (2017) 'Constructive methods for spectra with three nonzero elements in the nonnegative inverse eigenvalue problem'. Linear and Multilinear Algebra, . Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Cronin, A., Pfeiffer, K., Mac an Bhaird, C (2016) 'The key role of tutors in Mathematics Learning Support - A report of the 10th annual IMLSN workshop'. MSOR Connections, 15 (No. 1):39-46. Available Online [Details]
Anthony Cronin (2015) 'Irish Maths Learning Support Network 9th Annual Workshop, UCD, 29 May'. Irish Mathematical Society Bulletin, 76 (Winter):18-20. Available Online [Details]
Cronin, A., Fitzmaurice, O., Ní Fhloinn, E., O'Sullivan, C., Walsh, R. (2016) 'Preparing Tutors for Mathematics Learning Support'. MSOR Connections, 14 (No. 3):14-21. Available Online [Details]
Cronin, Anthony, Laffey, Thomas (2015) 'On a conjecture of Deveci and Karaduman'. Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 471 :569-574. Available Online [Details]
Anthony Cronin, Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain (2015) 'Maths Sparks: Developing Community and Widening Participation'. MSOR Connections, 14 (1):43-53. Available Online [Details]
Anthony Cronin and Cormac Breen (2015) 'Maximizing The Impact Of Digital Supports In Mathematics Learning Support In Higher Education - An Overview Of The 9th Annual IMLSN Workshop'. MSOR Connections, 14 (1):11-17. Available Online [Details]
Cronin, Anthony and Carroll, Paula (2015) 'Engaging Business Students in Quantitative Skills Development'. e-Journal of Business Education and Scholarship of Teaching, 9 (1):119-131. Available Online [Details]
Cronin, Anthony, Laffey Thomas (2013) 'Perturbations on constructible lists preserving realizability in the NIEP and questions of Monov'. Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 445 :206-222. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Cronin, Anthony and Laffey Thomas (2012) 'An Inequality for the Spectra of Nonnegatives Matrices'. Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 436 (9):3225-3238. Available Online [Details]

Conference Publications

Anthony Cronin and Anthony Brown (2017) Community Among Adult Learners in a Maths Support Centre Setting . In: Anestine Hector-Mason, Linda Jarlskog and David kaye eds. The 22nd International Conference of Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM) Washington DC - USA, , 12-JUL-15 - 15-JUL-15 , pp.21-28 Available Online [Details]
Cronin, Anthony, Meehan, Maria (2017) In what ways do lecturers receive and use feedback from large first year mathematics classes? . In: Pinto Alon , Gonzalez-Martin Alejandro eds. CERME10 Croke Park Dublin, Ireland, , 01-FEB-17 - 05-FEB-17 Available Online [Details]
Cronin, A. and Meehan, M. (2015) The development and evolution of an advanced data management system in a Mathematics Support Centre . In: D. Green eds. CETL-MSOR Conference University of Greenwich, UK, , pp.21-27 Available Online [Details]
Cronin, A., Clancy, M., Breen, C., O'Sé, D., Cole, J. (2016) Mathematics Learning Support in Ireland in 2015 . In: David Green eds. 2015 CETL-MSOR Conference - Sustaining Excellence UK, , pp.14-20 Available Online [Details]
Cronin, Anthony (2014) The effect of an online adaptive learning maths tool on Access to Science & Engineering students . In: Moira Petrie eds. Mathematics and Statistics Teaching, Learning and Support: Real, Virtual, Mobile University Of Cardiff - College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Queens Building, Available Online [Details]
Cronin, A (2015) Learning Mathematics Inside and Outside the Classroom . In: Anestine Hector-Mason and Sonja Beeli-Zimmermann eds. Adults Learning Mathematics - Inside and outside the classroom Bern, Switzerland - ALM international journal, , 30-JUN-14 - 02-JUL-14 , pp.82-87 Available Online [Details]
Cronin, Anthony (2014) Easing the transition to higher education for adult learners in an Access to Engineering course . In: Alpers, Burkhard eds. 17th SEFI MWG Seminar (European Society for Engineering Education - Maths Working Group) Available Online [Details]
Cronin, Anthony (2014) Towards 2020: Advancing Mathematics Support . In: Murray, N eds. EdTEch 2014 - The 15th Educational Technology Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) TEL Ireland Journal, Available Online [Details]
Cronin, Anthony, Carroll Paula (2013) Building analytic skills in undergraduate business students: The impact of Project Maths . In: Maurice O'Reilly, Therese Dooley eds. MEI 5 MATHEMATICS EDUCATION: CROSSING BOUNDARIES St Patricks College, Drumcondra, Dublin, , pp.113-124 Available Online [Details]

Published Reports

Cronin, A., Cole, J, Clancy, M, Breen, C., O'Se, D. (2016) An audit of Mathematics Learning Support provision on the island of Ireland in 2015. National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Dublin. Available Online [Details]
Anthony Cronin (2015) Irish Maths Learning Support Network 9th Annual Workshop - University College Dublin. Irish Mathematical Society, MU, Ireland. [Details]


Ni Shuilleabhain, Aoibhinn, Cronin, Anthony (2016) Maths Sparks Problem Solving Workshops Booklet. Dublin: Manual Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

To see a selected list of my published research articles click on the following ResearchGate link:

 A: Pure Mathematics
My Pure Maths research interests are in Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory. In particular I study the following problems:
(1) The Nonnegative Inverse Eigenvalue Problem (NIEP), this is the problem of finding necessary and sufficient conditions on a list of n complex numbers so that these numbers form the spectra (the list of eigenvalues) of a nonnegative matrix of dimension n. Variants of this problem include the Real Nonnegative Inverse Eigenvalue Problem (RNIEP) and the Symmetric Nonnegative Inverse Eigenvalue Problem (SNIEP) where the list of n numbers is constrained to be real (and the realising matrix to be symmetric).

(2) Integral Similarity of Matrices
Given two matrices A and B with integer entries can we decide if these are integrally similar, i.e. can we find an invertible matrix P with integer entries such that P^{-1}AP=B?

(3) The Pascal Matrix
I consider the problem of finding the multiplicative order of the matrix S_n which is derived from the Pascal Matrix.
B: Mathematics Education
In the discipline of Mathematics Education I am interested in mathematics support in Higher Education, in particular the use of Learning Analytics. I also enjoy investigating the research-teaching linkages between the teaching and learning of mathematics (including statistics) at third level and in transitioning from second to third level. I have taught on Adult and Access to Education programmes to non-traditional entry students for over 13 years and I enjoy designing and researching tools (including the use of Technology-Enhanced Learning tools and methods) which can support their learning at third level. I am also interested in how educators at third level can build analytic and self-organised learning skills in students.


Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : OBRSS Research Support Scheme
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-16 / 31-OCT-19
Sponsor : National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning
Title : National Seminar Series: Maximizing the impact of digital supports in Mathematics Learning Support in Higher Education
Start Date / End Date : 23-OCT-14 / 30-JUN-15

Recent Postgraduates

Emma Howard MSc student 2014/15 (Second Reader)
David Julian MSc student 2015/16
Cesar Hernandez Scrochi PhD student 2017 


Teaching Philosophy

Try something, if it works improve it, if it doesn't, improve it further. Find your own teaching style; what works for others may not suit you and conversely if something doesn't work for a colleague don't be afraid to try it for yourself.

Enhancement of Teaching

Currently undertaking the Teaching and Learning Professional Diploma studying modules Becoming a Better University Teacher and Assessment in Learning

Review and Enhancement of Curriculum

Part of the Curriculum Enhancement and Review team for the Access to Science, Engineering and Agriculture programme

Developing as a Teacher

Currently undertaking the Teaching and Learning Professional Diploma studying modules Becoming a Better University Teacher and Assessment in Learning


Internal Collaborators

In UCD I collaborate with Professor Thomas Laffey, Dr Maria Meehan and Dr Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain in the School of Mathematical Sciences, and Dr Paula Carroll in the Smurfit School of Business.

External Collaborators

Externally I collaborate with Professor Raphael Loewy of the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel, Dr Jonathan Cole in Queens University Belfast and Dr Cormac Breen at the Dublin Institute of Technology.