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Public awareness award for UCD maths professor

Posted October 20, 2017

  • Professor Peter Lynch has applied power of maths as meteorologist, professor and writer
  • He has promoted the subject nationally through his blog and Irish Times column 

For bringing the importance of maths to a national audience, UCD professor and meteorologist Peter Lynch has been named as winner of the Maths Week Ireland public awareness award.

Professor Lynch is an applied mathematician with expertise in weather and climate. He has written for the public as a blogger, author and columnist with The Irish Times.

Lynch is Emeritus Professor of Meteorology in the UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics, University College Dublin. His research interests include the knock-on effects of changes in atmospheric motion, computer-based weather prediction and climate change modelling.

In 2012, he started a blog called That’s Maths. Many of its posts were syndicated by The Irish Times and a collection of them was published in book format in 2016.

Pictured top (l-r): Sheila Donegan of Maths Week Ireland and UCD Emeritus Professor Peter Lynch

Professor Lynch received both his undergraduate and master’s degree in Mathematical Science from UCD. Joining Met Éireann soon after graduation, he would go on to spend more than 30 years with the national weather service. The work he did at Met Éireann contributed to the development of systems for weather forecasting and climate modelling that are still in place.

In 1982, he completed his PhD at Trinity College Dublin. His thesis was titled “Planetary Scale Hydrodynamic Instability in the Atmosphere”.

As Deputy Director of Met Éireann in, he played a key role in setting up the Meteorology and Climate Centre (MCC) at UCD in 2004. MCC is now the leading academic centre for meteorology and climate science in Ireland.

In 2014, Professor Lynch received the European Meteorological Service Silver Medal for his distinguished contributions to the development of meteorology in Europe. He has published more than 20 academic articles since his formal retirement in 2011.

He released a book titled The Emergence of Numerical Weather Prediction: Richardson’s Dream in 2006. L.F. Richardson was an English mathematician born in 1881 who was responsible for developing modern forecasting techniques.

Professor Lynch is a founding member of the Irish Meteorological Society and Irish Mathematical Society. He is Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society and Royal Astronomical Society.

The public awareness award was presented to Professor Lynch during the biggest maths festival in the world, Maths Week Ireland. More than 200,000 students are taking part in this year’s festival which runs from October 14 – 22.

By: Jonny Baxter, digital journalist, UCD University Relations