Person: Allotey, Francis
Francis Allotey was a mathematician and physicist from Ghana who was awarded a Ph.D. by Princeton University in 1966. He returned to Ghana where he spent his career as a professor of mathematics and did outstanding work promoting mathematics and physics at all levels throughout Africa.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Joseph Kofi Allotey owned a shop which sold books, musical instruments and fishing equipment.
- Alice Allotey was a dressmaker.
- At the Imperial College of Science and Technology, Allotey was taught by Abdus Salam (1926-1996), a Pakistani born theoretical physicist who was appointed to a chair at Imperial College in 1957 and set up the Theoretical Physics Department.
- Allotey was also taught by Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett (1897-1974), who had been appointed as head of the Physics Department at Imperial College in 1953.
- Allotey's other teachers included Eric Thomas Eady (1915-1966), a meteorologist, and Harry Jones (1905-1986), a theoretical physicist who made important contributions to the study of electrons in metals and who was head of the Mathematics Department at Imperial College from 1955.
- Allotey said that he got ahead of the others in his class by studying papers published in the previous ten years.
- This university had been Kumasi College of Technology, but had been awarded university status in 1961, the year Allotey began teaching there.
- Although he was now well-qualified, Allotey wanted to undertake research for a Ph.D. on a topic he had started researching at Imperial College and was accepted by Princeton University in the United States.
- Allotey says he was the first black student to be admitted to the graduate school, and that was the most exciting moment of his life.
- Allotey was awarded the Prince Philip Gold medal of the Ghana Academy of Sciences for his contribution to physical sciences in 1973.
- It was one of a great many awards that Allotey received.
- It was the support of his professor at Imperial College, Abdus Salam, that helped Allotey use his skills to promote the study of mathematics and physics at all levels throughout Africa.
- Allotey was one of 33 participants who attended the General Assembly; they all became founding fellows of the Academy.
- Allotey took a leading role in the UN declaring that 2005 would be the International Year of Physics and 2015 would be the International Year of Light.
- The first African Institute of Mathematics opened in South Africa in 2003 followed by a Senegal Institute in 2011, the Ghana one on Allotey's initiative in 2012, then Institutes in Cameroon 2013, in Tanzania 2014, and in Rwanda 2016.
- Allotey reached the age of 85 in excellent health.
- From very humble beginnings, Prof Allotey defied all the odds and obstacles that came his way, and indeed there were many of those.
Born 9 August 1932, Saltpond, Gold Coast (now Ghana). Died 2 November 2017, Accra, Ghana.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
African, Origin Ghana
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive