From Oladele Oge, UNN
Prof. Babs Fafunwa of blessed memory once argued that “you don’t know anything, if you cannot express what you know mathematically.” This assertion was re-echoed at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 116th edition inaugural lecture, recently, when one of its erudite scholars, Prof. Moses Oludotun Oyesanya, called for knowledge creation, human capital resources dissemination and community service among mathematicians.
The professor of mathematics made this call while delivering his inaugural lecture titled: “Bifurcation, Damage, and Stability: From Structure to Human,” at the Princess Alexandra Hall of Nsukka campus.
Explaining the roles mathematicians play in the society, Oyesanya described mathematics as the language that is highly widespread, cutting across borders and influencing greater number than any religion or culture can boast of. He debunked the general wrong notion held by the public that mathematics graduates are only out to teach.
During the first segment of the lecture which dwelled on “bifurcation” which he said was introduced by Henri Poincare in 1885, he explained that thorough researched work that shows that for a wide variety of equations, including partial differential equation problems, multiple solutions can be reduced to studying the solution such as single scalar equation.
On the “stability” factor, Oyesanya further elucidated that stability is a state structure for which a little perturbation does not bring about a drastic change in the structure. He added that if all eigenvalues have negative real part, then the equilibrium is stable but, if some eigenvalues have positive real part, then it is unstable.
In his very well researched work, he described “damage” in mathematical methods thus: “if bonds connecting parts of its microstructure are missing, in such state bonds between the molecules in a crystalline chain in polymers are broken and the cohesion at the fibre-matrix interface is lost.”
In the last part of the lecture entitled “From Structure to Human”, he asserted that Fractional Calculus is the mathematics of this century and beyond”, while calling for pure and applied scientists to embrace the method confidently.
He recommended that engineers that are yet to move into the area of fractional calculus should rise from their slumber even as he dubbed it the only mathematics that can give the society better understanding. The area, he said, is a booming area for meaningful research in this “digital age”.
Commending the lecturer, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. James Ogbonna, noted that, “in quality research, the university has come of age as well distinguished itself academically. Among our scholars, we are recorbv ding daily improvements in various aspects of life, this make the institution to be great.” He urged participants to utilise the knowledge gathered from the lecture to address the problems that may arise in their own organisation so as to make for betterment of our nation.
In a congratulatory message, a group, tagged: Yoruba Parapo the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Branch, applauded the professor for selfless service and the quality of researched knowledge dished out to the society. The lecture was witnessed by members of staff, students, government officials and non-governmental agencies as well as the university management.