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The Ingenious Irish: JL Synge

Dublin-born John Leighton Synge (1897-1995) was an internationally renowned mathematician and physicist.  He taught the Nobel prize-winning economist John Nash, and his books prompted Stephen Hawking to study relativity.

Synge is best remembered for his work on the geometry of relativity, and he had an international career, including ballistics research for the US Army.  He also worked at Princeton University, and Toronto, and later founded the mathematics department at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

The playwright John Millington Synge  was a nephew, and he was distantly related to Richard Laurence Millington Synge, the 1952 Nobel prizewinner in chemistry.

In 1948, JL Synge returned to Ireland, to a position at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

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