Francis Kofi Ampenyin Allotey (1932-2017)

Professor of Mathematics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Chairman, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission

Francis Allotey was a Ghanian mathematician and nuclear physicist. He earned a Diploma of Imperial College (London) in 1960 before attending Princeton for his Ph.D. in Mathematics. He was the first African to be accepted to Princeton’s Math Department and the first Ghanian to earn a doctorate degree in Mathematical sciences. At Princeton, Allotey was advised by Robert Oppenheimer on his Ph.D. dissertation, “The Effect of Electron-Hole Scattering Resonance on X-Ray Emission Spectrum.” He returned to Ghana and served as the first Ghanian full Professor of Mathematics where he worked at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). During his time at KNUST, Allotey also served as head of the Department of Mathematics, Dean of the Faculty of Science, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University. Among other positions, he also served as chairman of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, was a founding member of the African Academy of Sciences, founding president of the African Physical Society, and President of the Ghana Institute of Physics. In 1973 Allotey won a Prince Philip Gold Metal Award for his work on soft X-ray spectroscopy. Through this work he developed a  method, the “Allotey Formalism,” to determine matter in outer space.



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