Nigerian mum of 3 becomes first black woman to bag PhD in Pure Mathematics, breaks 149-year-old jinx

Nigerian mum of 3 becomes first black woman to bag PhD in Pure Mathematics, breaks 149-year-old jinx
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A Nigerian mum has broken a 149-year-old jinx after she became the first black woman to secure a PhD in Pure Mathematics at the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Identified as Professor Oghenetega Ighedo, she said her adventure into the world of mathematics was inspired by her mother, who was a retired maths teacher.

Prof Ighedo explained that her mum’s teaching method endeared her to the subject and further sparked a curiosity in her to see if she could toe the path.

Speaking on her decision to venture into Pure Mathematics, Prof Ighedo said she was motivated by two factors.

“My decision to study pure mathematics was also motivated by the fact that not only are there few black pure mathematicians but there are fewer black women who are pure mathematicians,” she said in a post shared by Women Power Africa.

According to her, she was married, had two kids and was expecting my her third child when she started her PhD.

“In spite of being a mother and a wife, I was able to complete my PhD within three years,” Prof said.

Prof Ighedo holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Industrial Mathematics from Delta State University, Nigeria.

She also holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Pure Mathematics from the University of Ibadan.

Currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of South Africa, she encourages “women not to let adversity and challenges deter them.”

According to Mit Mathematics, “Pure mathematics is the study of the basic concepts and structures that underlie mathematics. Its purpose is to search for a deeper understanding and an expanded knowledge of mathematics itself.”

University of Waterloo in explaining this branch of maths said, “it has been described as “that part of mathematical activity that is done without explicit or immediate consideration of direct application,” although what is “pure” in one era often becomes applied later.

“Finance and cryptography are current examples of areas to which pure mathematics is applied in significant ways.”

12-year-old JSS1 girl gains admission into Nigerian university

Meanwhile, an exceptionally brilliant 12-year-old girl has gained admission into the university even before completing her post-primary school studies.

The 12-year-old, Miss Jessica Okonye, has been offered admission into the Admiralty University of Nigeria (ADUN), Delta State as an auditor student.

The JSS1 girl’s intelligence and brilliance captured the hearts of professors at the university, and they rewarded her with admission.

Retired American university Don, Professor John Alizor, discovered Jessica Okonye and became her mentor.

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