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Very rubin observatory, Credit: Rubin Obs/NSF/AURA

Kevin Costello admitted as honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy

Perimeter Faculty member Kevin Costello was one of 29 members admitted in a virtual ceremony in May.

Perimeter Faculty member Kevin Costello was admitted as an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy during an online ceremony, the first virtual ceremony in the Academy’s 235 years. Originally from Cork, Ireland, Costello was one of 29 members admitted on May 22.

Perimeter Institute faculty and Royal Society member Kevin Costello
Kevin Costello, the Krembil William Rowan Hamilton Chair in Theoretical Physics at Perimeter Institute

The Royal Irish Academy is an independent forum that was founded in 1785, and election to membership of the Academy is considered the highest academic distinction in Ireland. There are currently 618 members, including 88 honorary members, all exceptionally renowned in their respective fields across humanities, social sciences, and science.

Honorary membership is usually reserved for academics who have made a major contribution to their disciplines, but who do not live in Ireland.

Welcoming the newly admitted members, Royal Irish Academy president Dr. Mary Canning said, “Ireland should be immensely proud of these women and men who have brought international acclaim to our country. As members of the Royal Irish Academy they will strengthen our capacity to provide the expert advice Ireland needs at this time.”

Costello is a leading mathematical physicist whose research uses tools from mathematics to explore string theory and quantum field theory. He received his PhD from Cambridge, and joined Perimeter in 2013, where he holds the Krembil William Rowan Hamilton Chair, a research chair supported by the Krembil Foundation. Sir William Rowan Hamilton, the namesake of Costello’s research chair, was also a Royal Irish Academy member, admitted in 1827.

“It is said that the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics, and no one speaks that language more eloquently than Kevin Costello,” said Perimeter Director Robert Myers. “He has forged new bridges between mathematics and physics, opening new paths into some of the deepest and most challenging mysteries in the universe. His work is exactly the kind of research Perimeter strives for: bold, ambitious, and deep.”

Costello is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (elected in 2018). He was the recipient of the Berwick Prize of the London Mathematical Society in 2017, and in 2020 he earned the Leonard Eisenbud Prize awarded by the American Mathematical Society.

About PI

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement. 

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