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MIOL (1)
William Rowan Hamilton

The aim of this initiative is to grow awareness and interest among students about the broader impact of mathematics, exemplified by the unique contribution of William Rowan Hamilton. The lesson plans were created at UCC as part of the Mathematicians in Our Lives series at the Irish Mathematical Trust, with generous support from SFI Discover, Smart Futures and the Hamilton Foundation. 

These lessons aim to introduce William Rowan Hamilton's contributions to Optics and Mechanics, Graph Theory and Algebra in a visually compelling and practical manner. 

The Lessons


The age ranges are suggestions based on the Irish curriculum. Please feel free to 

  1. use any appropriate lesson for your class;

  2. adapt the language in the lesson plans to make it more relevant or accessible to the students in your class;

  3. use material from all of the lessons (for example, by using all of the puzzles from the lessons with students of any age group)

  You can get your students working hands-on with Hamilton graphs and Quaternions by using these resources:


    Quaternion Ball kit                     including templates and instructions on how to build the ball. 

    Museum Circuit templates        for Hamilton graphs.

   Further suggestions on how to use these can be found inside the lesson plans. 

Lesson plans

Hamilton Lesson Ages  9-10

Hamilton Lesson Ages 11-12

Hamilton Lesson Ages 13-14

Hamilton Lesson Ages 15-16

Hamilton Lesson Ages 17-18

Student Worksheets

Worksheet Ages 9-10

Worksheet Ages 11-12

Worksheet Ages 13-14

Worksheet Ages 15-16

Worksheet Ages 17-18

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