Global mathematical phenomenon at NUI Galway
Professor Donal O’Regan of NUI Galway, who was honoured last year by being elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy, has just written his 1,000th peer-reviewed mathematical article making him one of the most prolific authors in the history of mathematics in the world.
“The quality of his research is as impressive as the quantity,” says his colleague at NUI Galway, Professor Graham Ellis. “His publications appear in some of the world’s top ranking mathematics journals.”
Professor O’Regan has been publishing an average of one mathematics paper a week and one mathematics book a year since he joined NUI Galway in 1990.
“I’m not surprised Donal has managed to reach the millennium,” says Dr Ray Ryan, head of the School of Mathematics. “He might very well beat the record of Paul Erdös (1913-96) who wrote around 1,525 articles over a 60-year career. O’Regan is still a relative freshman with his 22 years of publishing.”
“Donal is truly amazing”, says colleague and fellow mathematician Professor Michel Destrade. “His sheer output is unbelievable by any standard. He has also written 20 books. And he does it all on a 25 year old computer.”
Over the 2002 to 2006 period, O’Regan authored an average of 56 articles a year according to MathSciNet, the most extensive database of mathematical works worldwide. To put this number in perspective, during that same period the whole island of Ireland produced an average of 142 mathematical articles a year, according to the Forfás bibliometric report (Research Strengths in Ireland), putting his contribution at nearly 40 per cent of the entire Irish output.
“We are very privileged to have such a world-class academic on campus,” says Dr Ryan. “He is a one-man powerhouse.”