Michael Roberts, Irish Mathematician Is Born in Cork

  • April 18, 1817

Michael Roberts (18 April 1817 – 4 October 1882), was an Irish mathematician and academic of Trinity College, Dublin (TCD), who served as Erasmus Smith’s Professor of Mathematics there 1862-1879.

Roberts was born into a well-established landed gentry family in County Cork, whose ancestors had settled there from Kent about 1630. His mother was of Scottish origins, descended from the Colonel Stewart who was governor of Edinburgh Castle and took part in the Jacobite rising of 1715.

Among Roberts’s earlier lectures were a series on the Theory of Invariants and Covariants, on which he published papers. Next he took an interest in hyperelliptic integrals, a subject developed by Jacobi, Riemann, and Weierstrass. In 1871 he published a “Tract on the Addition of Elliptic and Hyperelliptic Integrals”, constructing a trigonometry of hyperelliptic functions on the analogy of that of elliptic functions.