LAHORE - The Government College University Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences (GCU ASSMS) Saturday produced centenarian doctor of philosophy (PhD) in mathematics, when its student Haniya Azam, successfully defended her thesis ‘Chomology Algebra of the Configuration Spaces of Riemann Surfaces’ in an open defence chaired by eminent German mathematician Prof Eudor Zam Firesco.

GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khaleeq-ur-Rahman graced the occasion at the GCU doctoral school as chief guest, while ASSMS Director General Prof Dr A.D Raza Ch, Romanian mathematician Prof Barbu Berceanu, the supervisor of Haniya Azam, internal examiner Prof Gerhard Piestar, external examiner Dr Abdul Rauf Nizami and a large number of foreign mathematicians and PhD students were also present.

In his presidential address, VC Prof Rahman requested the federal government and Higher Education Commission to continue with the foreign faculty programme, terming it highly crucial for doctoral schools like ASSMS where most eminent mathematicians of the world had taught over the last many years. He said that GCU ASSMS had been declared the emerging centre of excellence by the European Mathematical Society and the research of its students had been acknowledged worldwide.

The VC also announced cash awards for the best three researchers of GCU ASSMS every year, besides granting them projects from the university’s research budget. He said that GCU had slashed its PhD fee by 50 percent to facilitate researchers and started giving Rs 15,000 honorarium every month to its faculty members who enrolled for PhD programme at GCU and cash award Rs 100,000 to supervisors on each PhD, so that they ensured the quality research.

The VC also quoted European Mathematical Society members saying that “the GCU Abdus Salam School has indeed put Mathematics on the map of Pakistan and the Pakistani Mathematics on the map of the world.”

Speaking on the occasion, Prof A.D Raza Ch claimed that all universities in Pakistan had altogether not produced 100 PhDs in mathematics in the last six years, while GCU ASSMS had done it alone. He said that the Abdus Salam also held the distinction of producing youngest doctor of philosophy in mathematics in the world, who was just 23 when he faced the open defence of his PhD thesis. He said that all PhDs from GCU ASSMS were now working for top-ranking research institutes and universities in Pakistan and aboard. 

Commenting on the research work of Haniya Azam, foreign referee Prof Loisu Funar said that this work was more than sufficient for PhD degree in any university of the world, as Haniya had made very serious contributions to the algebraic topology of configuration spaces subject where the international contribution was quite hard.

Later, the VC gave away a certificate of successful public defence of her PhD thesis to Dr Haniya Azam.