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University of Ibadan flags off fundraising for International Mathematical Centre

By Mayowa Okekale, Ibadan on 08/05/2014

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It was  quite a dignified gathering of professors, top public functionaries, university lecturers and well-meaning individuals, at the launching/fundraising ceremony for the proposed Adegoke Olubummo International Mathematical Centre, University of Ibadan, which Vice-President Namadi Sambo said couldn’t have come at a better time, given its significance to research and the teaching of mathematics in the country. The event which is in honour of Prof. Adegoke Olubummo, the institution’s pioneer professor of Mathematics, was held recently at the Trenchard Hall of the Institution.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole, in his opening remark, explained that the event was tremendously unique as it was designed to honour an icon and first Professor of Mathematics, who has done a lot in the discipline, adding that the institution of the mathematical centre is a global concept which was being replicated at the University of Ibadan. “We are copying this initiative because we believe it is the way it is being done in the developed world. We have to imitate good things and use them for our own benefits and development,” he said.

Prof. Adewole said the centre will derive support and nutrition from the university community, and also train people in the area of mathematics and engineering. According to him, “In this country, we can only be developed through plans and calculations, and that is why the centre would be instituted to look into the challenges surrounding these aspects and assist our students in the right attitude of getting data and figures to develop the society and country at large.”

In his inaugural speech, the Vice-President, Arc. Namadi Sambo, who was represented by the Chairman, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Dr. Musa Babayo, submitted that UI should be commended for the noble initiative, adding: “Today’s event is also supported by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, to improve the needed research and teaching of mathematics as the time would not have come better than now. More so, it is a laudable achievement which would go a long way in providing adequate training for staff and students, so as to be able to use mathematical science to solve our daily problems in the nation. Therefore, it must meet national standard.”

He called on well-meaning Nigerians to generously donate to the initiative, “as government alone cannot provide everything needed for its sustainability.”

Reading the profile of Prof. Olubummo, the Head, Department of Mathematics, Prof. Ezekiel Ayoola, introspected: “The Orin-Ekiti indigene had established a respectable tradition of good functional analysis in Nigeria in general, and in Ibadan in particular.”

Highlighting the major objectives of the proposed International Mathematical Centre, Prof. Ayoola said that it shall be a focus of excellence in the mathematical sciences that would reach across the discipline, and out to other disciplines; it shall provide opportunities for students and post-doctoral fellows to interact with leading researchers in the mathematical sciences and other disciplines.

Prof. Olabisi Ugbebor of the Department of Mathematics, in her goodwill message during the inauguration, described the honouree as a thorough teacher and supervisor, saying he teaches with simplicity and moderation. She further described him as a simple Nigerian who believed in his students’ ability, and who was always contented with what he had. “I hope and pray that this centre will become an oasis for those searching for knowledge,” Prof. Ugbebor.

The Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, was represented by the state’s Commissioner for Education, Prof. Solomon Olaniyonu, averred that Mathematics, as a subject of value, must be given due attention if Nigeria must develop technologically and scientifically.

He, however, expressed shock at the behavioural disposition of students towards the subject, noting that it is quite unfortunate that students have phobia for the learning and internalisation of the subject.

His words: “I wish to assure you that in Oyo State, we spare no efforts in order to promote Mathematics and making it teachable in our primary and secondary schools. We shall continue to sponsor teachers and students to attend workshop, with a view to exposing them to learning and teaching of the subject.”

Also at the event, Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who was represented by Mr. Kehinde Ojo, asserted that “the honouree, who also was a son of Ekiti soil, was a legend and great motivator to students. During his teaching days, he goes to class without textbooks.”

Source News Express

Posted 09/05/2014 01:15:27 AM

 

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