Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Brief Citation of Professor Aderemi Oluyomi Kuku: The Oracle for the Science Nigeria Lectures 2017

Our great oracle for the Science Nigeria Lectures
Professor Aderemi Oluyomi Kuku
2017 is no other than Professor Aderemi Oluyomi Kuku, one of Africa’s finest in Mathematics and the current President of the African Academy of Sciences (the highest science academy in the whole of Africa). He is also a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja, and was, at one time, the William W. S. Clayton Endowed Professor of Mathematics at Grambling State University, Louisiana, USA.

Born March 20 1941 in Ijebu-Ode (Ogun State), he attended St. James School (Oke-Odan, Ogun State) and Eko Boys High School (Lagos) for both primary and secondary school education respectively, and later proceeded to the University of London (Makerere University College), where he obtained B.Sc. (Special Honours) in Mathematics in 1965. He was also to obtain M.Sc. (1968) and Ph.D. (1971) in Mathematics from the University of Ibadan, with his Ph.D. thesis written in Columbia University (New York), under the supervision of legendary mathematician, Professor Hyman Bass.


Professor Kuku began his teaching career at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, 1965) before transferring to the University of Ibadan, where he became a full Professor of Mathematics in 1982. And after 28 years of illustrious career at Ibadan, he was a Professor of Mathematics at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy (1995-2003). His research and administrative experiences include: Sub-Dean Postgraduate, Faculty of Science and Chairman, Committee of Sub-Deans Postgraduate, University of Ibadan (1978-80); Head, Department of Mathematics, University of Ibadan (1983-1986); Dean, Post-graduate School, University of Ibadan (1987-1990); Foundation Chairman, Committee of Deans of Post-graduate Schools in Nigerian Universities (1987-90); President, African Mathematical Union (1986-1995); Member, Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) Princeton, New Jersey, USA (2003-4); Visiting Research Professor, Mathematical Science Research Institute (MSRI) Berkeley, California, USA (1992 & 2004); Visiting Professor, Cornell University Ithaca, New York, USA (1993); Distinguished Visiting Professor, Miami University Oxford, OHIO,  USA (2005-6); Visiting Professor, Howard University, Washington DC, USA (1994); Visiting Professor, Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, Bonn, Germany (1994 & 2007); Visiting Professor, Ohio State University Columbus, OHIO, USA (2005); Visiting Professor, IHES, Paris, France (2006), and a host of others.

Professor Kuku’s mathematical research contributions over the years have focused on Commutative and Non-commutative Algebra /Arithmetic/Geometry through methods of K-theory, Cyclic homology, encompassing Algebra, Number theory, Representation Theory, Algebraic Topology, Operator Algebras, some Algebraic Geometry and Differential Geometry. Some of his discoveries and fundamental results include:

·         Formulating all Higher Algebraic K-theory (abstract topological constructions) in the representation theoretic language of Mackey functors, leading to his discovery of Equivariant Higher Algebraic K-theory and its relative generalizations in the contexts of exact and Waldhausen categories;
·         Developing methods of computing Higher K-theory of non-commutative rings such as non-commutative orders and groupings as well as twisted polynomials and Laurent series rings over orders with applications to the computations of Higher K-theory of virtually infinite cyclic groups in the context of Farrell-Jones conjecture;
·         Formulating the famous Baum-Connes conjecture (hitherto available only for group actions) for the action of quantum groups and verifying the conjecture in some situations e.g. for quantum SU_2;
·         Computing K-theory and Cyclic homology and hence non-commutative Chern characters of Lie group C*-algebras and quantum groups;
·         Constructing Profinite (Continous) Higher K-theory as extraordinary cohomology theory in the context of exact categories and proving several finiteness and l-completeness results for orders, G-schemes (G-algebraic group) and twisted varieties.

With over 85 publications in world-leading journals in mathematics, as well as over 10 books and monographs to his credit, Professor Kuku holds recognition as: Foundation Fellow, American Mathematical Society (2012-); Fellow, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS, 1989-); Member, European Academy of Arts, Science and Humanities (1986-); Fellow, African Academy of Science (1986-, President 2014-); Fellow, Nigerian Academy of sciences (1989- Sec, Physical sciences, 1990-91); Foreign Fellow, Mongolian Academy of Sciences (2005-); Honorary President, African Mathematical Union (for life, 1995-); Foundation Fellow, Nigerian Mathematical Society (2015-), and Fellow, Mathematical Association of Nigeria (1987-). He is a recipient of the Nigeria’s National Honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), as well as the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award (NNOM), which is the highest award for intellectual accomplishment in Nigeria, awarded by the President of Nigeria. He also holds the traditional title of Otunba Ofiran of Ijebu-Land awarded in 1993 by the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode, Oba S. K. Adetona.

To crown it all, at his 70th birthday (March 20, 2011), Nanjing University, in faraway China, held an International conference on “Algebraic K-theory and its    Applications” (March 17-21, 2011) in honour of this intellectual colossus. The proceeding of that conference was the embodiment of a special issue of the Journal of K-theory, Vol.12 No.1, dedicated to him and published by Cambridge University Press.


This is a brief citation of Professor Aderemi Oluyomi Kuku, President of the African Academy of Sciences, and the great oracle for the Science Nigeria Lectures 2017.