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About Cork Maths Centre

Cork Maths Centre is a newly created Mathematical Centre. At Cork Maths Centre we strive to provide a supportive maths study environment, and to help make maths accessible and enjoyable for students.

We promote the problem solving method of the Hungarian mathematician Pólya.


Cork Maths Centre is run by Dr. Julie O'Donovan

Dr. O'Donovan has lectured in Maths for Business, Engineering and Science. Her focus is on the Communication of Mathematical concepts in a way that is accessible to all listeners, even those from non-mathematical backgrounds. Her success at this has been demonstrated many a time, in particular in 2009 when she won Ireland's National Science Speak competition with a humorous presentation of her research in the area of Brownian Motion. Who would have thought that Drunken flies would get a mention in a Maths Presentation? Curious? Read more here

Science Speak Presentation
Science Speak, Dublin 2009

Curriculum Vitae for Dr. Julie O'Donovan

Julie's formal education started in Cloghroe National School near Blarney in Co. Cork. This was followed by five years in St. Aloysius Secondary School in Cork City. In 1998, Julie started a Joint Honours Degree in Mathematics and Physics in University College Cork, graduating in 2002. During her final year of her degree her teaching career began as she tutored first year engineers.

In 2003, she started a reseach masters in Mathematics with Professor Finbarr Holland in University College Cork during which time she continued tutoring mathematics. After graduating with an M.Sc. in 2004, Julie then spent some time in Eastern Europe settling in Warsaw, Poland. In Spring 2005, Julie returned to Cork as most Corkonians do. She started lecturing Mathematics at Cork Institute of Technology. During her time in C.I.T. Julie lectured maths to physics, computing, engineering, business and culinary arts students as well as lecturing in the National Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork.

During invitation for tea with President of UCC Dr. Michael Murphy
Julie with President of UCC Dr. Michael Murphy

In October 2006 Julie returned to education. She started her Ph.D in Mathematics with Dr. Tom Carroll of University College Cork on the topic of Brownian motion. Throughout her Ph.D. she tutored maths to computing, science, commerce and arts students. In the final year of her doctorate she gave two courses "Introduction to Mathematical Techniques" and "Complex Numbers and Functions". At the end of 2009, she returned to CIT as a lecturer of Mathematics. For numerous summers, she has led the Summer Maths Learning Support Sessions for Autumn repeat exam students in the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT).

Julie has also experience working with mathematically gifted students through the Mathematical Enrichment Program in University College Cork, the Centre for Talented Youth run by Dublin City University and Murphys Maths Circles a recent initiaive piloted in a secondary school in Cork city.


  • “My favourite functions”, University of Limerick. April 2010.
  • “Some drunk flies in a pub”, IGNITE, Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, December 2009.
  • “Brownian motion in a ball in the presence of spherical obstacles”, London Mathematical Society, London, September 2009.
  • “Collections of Spherical Obstacles that Brownian motion can avoid”, RDS, Dublin, April 2009 and UCC, Cork, March 2009.
  • “A characterization of avoidable collections of spherical obstacles in the unit ball”, Analysis Seminar Series (3 talks), UCC, Cork, February 2009.
  • “My favourite functions –the journey thus far”, Postgraduate Seminar, University College Cork, November 2008.
  • “A fly on Murphys”, International Workshop on Multi-Rate Processes and Hysteresis, University College Cork, 2008.
  • “Regulated Functions”, International Conference on Hysteresis and Mutli-scale Asymptotics, University College Cork, 2004
  • “Regulated functions on Davison Spaces” at the British Mathematics Colloquium, Queens University Belfast, 2004.


  1. Brownian motion in a ball in the presence of spherical obstacles, Proc. Amer. Math. Soc. 138 (2010), 1711-1720.
  2. Brownian motion in the presence of spherical obstacles, Ph. D. thesis (2009).
  3. Percolation phenomena for Brownian motion from a geometric viewpoint, J. Phys. Conf. Ser.138 012016 (2008)
  4. Regulated Functions on Topological Spaces, Real Anal. Exchange Volume 33, Number 2 (2007), 405-416.
  5. Regulated Functions on Davison Spaces, M.Sc. Thesis (2004).

Recent Conferences Attended:

  • Science and Mathematics Education Conference, Dublin City University, September 2010.
  • 5th Annual Conference of Mathematics and Statistics Learning Service Teaching, Carlow Institute of Technology, May 2010.
  • Workshop on the Mathematical Identity of Student Teachers, St Patricks, Drumcondra, May 2010.
  • NDLR Fest 2010: Showcase of National digital learning resources, Trinity College Dublin, April 2010.
  • Women in Mathematics Day, University of Limerick, April 2010.
  • One Day Function Theory Meeting, London Mathematical Society, London, September 2009.
  • Summer School in Conformal Geometry, Potential Theory, and Applications, NUI Maynooth, June 2009.
  • Joint Meeting of the 61st British Mathematical Colloquium and the the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Irish Mathematical Society, NUI Galway, April 2009.
  • Mathematical Neuroscience 2009, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, March 2009.
  • One day Function Theory Conference, Open University, Milton Keynes, U.K., September 2008.
  • 5th Advanced Course in Operator Theory and Complex Analysis, Seville, Spain, June 2008.
  • International Workshop on Multi-Rate Processes and Hysteresis, Uninversity College Cork, April 2008.
  • Workshop on Theory and Applications of the Hyperbolic Metric, Heilbronn Insitute, University of Bristol, U.K., September 2007.
  • Lars Ahlfors Centennial Celebration University of Helsinki, Finland , August 2007.
  • International Conference on Adults Learning Mathematics, University of Limerick, May 2007.