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Francis Allotey: Interesting facts about the Ghanaian brain behind the Popular “Allotey Formalism”

Francis Allotey was a Ghanaian Mathematician and Scientist born on 9 August 1932 in saltpond, Central Region of Ghana to Joseph Kofi Allotey, and mother Alice Esi Nyena Allotey.

He was known worldwide for the” Allotey Formalism” which arose from his work on soft X-ray spectroscopy which led him to win the 1973 UK Prince Philip Golden Award.

Allotey became the first Ghanaian full professor of mathematics and head of the bed Department of Mathematics and later Dean of the Faculty of Science at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He was also the founding director of the KNUST TO computer center before he assumed his position as the Pro-Vice- Chancellor of the university.

Allotey was the president of the Ghana Academy of Arts and sciences and a member of a number of international scientific organizations including the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics Scientific Council Since 1996. He was also the President of the Ghana institute of physics and the founding president of the African Physical Society. He was instrumental in getting Ghana to join the international Union of Pure and Applied Physics, making it one of the first few African countries to join the Union. He collaborated with the IUPAP and ICTP to encourage physics education in developing countries through workshops and conferences in order to create awareness on the continent.

Allotey was the chairman of Board of Trustees of the Accra Institute of Technology, the President of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Ghana. He was an honorary fellow of the Institute of physics. He was an honorary fellow of the Nigerian Mathematical society among others. He consulted for many international Institutions such as the UNESCO, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and UNIDO. He was also the Vice president, 7th General Assembly of intergovernmental Bureau of Informalitics (IBI).

He was also instrumental in the advancement of computer education in Africa and worked closely with organizations such as the IBM international and the International Federation for Information Processing. In 2004, he was 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.”

The professor Francis Allotey Graduate School was established in 2009 at the Accra Institute of Technology. The institute provides maste’s degrees in Business Administration and Software Engineering and doctoral programmes in information Technology and Philosophy.

The government of Ghana awarded him the Millennium Excellence Award in 2005, and dedicated a postage stamp in his honour. In 2009, he received the order of the Volta and was posthumously awarded the Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah African Genuis Award in 2017. He helped established the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Ghana in 2002.

Francis Allotey sadly died on 2 November 2017 and The Ghanaian government accorded him a state funeral in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of science and technology in Ghana.


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