Ghana’s Einstein: Prof. Francis Kofi Ampenyin Allotey


As the sudden death of Prof. Francis Allotey, the world celebrated Mathematician and Physicist leaves Ghana poorer, a grieving nation finds solace in the fact that the man nicknamed Ghana’s Einstein, by many, left behind a rich endowment of his life’s work.

Most prominent of this life’s work, of course, is the well touted Allotey Formalism, the mathematical logic that is used to measure the weight of matter in outer Space.

The National Aeronautical and Space Agency (NASA) of the USA, the world’s most advanced and most respected Space science agency has partly used Allotey Formalism to launch Space ships.

His work is said to have contributed to the launch of the New Horizon Spacecraft that NASA sent to capture more revealing photos of Pluto.

The “Allotey Formalism” arose from groundbreaking research on soft x-ray spectroscopy that Francis Kofi AmpenyinAlloteyhad done while a student at Princeton in the United Kingdom in the 60s.

His break through achievement with Allotey Formalism has since overshadowed everything else he has done and been a source of continued celebration for the better part of his life.

Born in 1932 in Salt Pond, Prof. Allotey rose to become the first Ghanain full Professor of Mathematics at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.

In the 1950s, he traveled to the UK and attended University Tutorial College (Ghana) London Borough Polytechnic Imperial College of Science and Technology before going on to Princeton University to obtain his Masters and PhD in 1966.

In 1974 he became the first Ghanaian full professor of Mathematics at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Between 1971 and 1980 he was elected four times as the Dean of the Faculty of Science.

in 1978, Prof Allotey was Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University Known for the “Allotey Formalism” which arose from his work on soft X-ray spectroscopy. In 1973 he received the UK Prince Philip Golden Award for this.

He is a founding fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, former Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Accra Institute of Technology (AIT), former President of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Ghana (AIMS-Ghana) and former President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS).

The late Professor is an Honorary fellow of the IOP Institute of Physics, one time President of the Society of African Physicists and Mathematicians [SAPM], Member of Executive Board of Africa Mathematical Union, Vice-President of the Preparatory Committee of the UN Conference for promotion of international peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy Organizer and Chairman, UNESCO/ANSTI International Conference on Renewable Energy.

He had also served as Vice president of the 7th General Assembly of Intergovernmental Bureau of Informatics (IBI), Organizer and Chairman of International UNESCO and IBI Conference on Informatics for Development, Chairman of a Panel Discussion on Financial and quantitative aspects of Computer Education in developing in France in1975.

He was the Organiser and Chairman, “IFIP CONGRESS80” section on Computer Education in developing Countries in Australia in1980, a Member of International Panel on Requirements of developing Countries Regarding Informatics Education in Switzerland and onceiInvited by IBM International to join a Group of European Professors touring Computer Science Centers in Universities in USA and Canada for four weeks.

Prof. Francis Allotey served as Chairman of an International Working Party for the Analysis of Economics and Commercial Impact of Transferred Data Flow in Italy, as Member of Advisory Panel, Transnational Data Report in Amsterdam, Holland and Rapporteur for Scientific and Technological Communication, a USA sponsored Regional Seminar for Africa.

He also served as a Member of Executive Secretariat Responsible for Sensitizing African Leaders on Modern Technology for development, a Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Information Technology for development, Member of International Consultative Committee on Transborder Data Flow (TDF) Consultant to IBI Centers in Africa and Chairman of Information technology for development, Williamsburg Conference on International Information Economy, USA.

The late Professor was a Member of the UNCSTTD Editorial Workshop in Rome for Advanced Information Technology Trend and Global Implications, a discussant and a Member of panel, Information Economy Risks and Opportunities, Atwater Institute, Quebec, Canada.

The Professor Francis Allotey Graduate School was established in 2009 at the Accra Institute of Technology.

He is one of the few Africans to have served on the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEC). In 2004, he became the only African among the 100 most eminent physicists and mathematicians in the world to be cited in a book titled, “One hundred reasons to be a scientist.”




Source: Samuels

The Republic News Online

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