13 June 2005

Mathematics department myths

I have been told there is a story circulating at UCT that the mathematics department has only ever had one successful African PhD student.

This is simply not true. As just one member of staff of the UCT mathematics department, I personally have had five successful black PhD candidates.

The most recent one, currently in a postdoctoral position at Brown University in the USA, has been appointed a member of staff in our department. One of them was an African woman who is currently the head of a government cryptology department. Those who choose to circulate such rumours should make some minimal attempt to determine if what they are saying is actually true.

George Ellis
Mathematics Department, UCT

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