Nigerians in Diaspora: Abba Gumel Phenomenal Mathematician


A virtuoso, Professor Abba Gumel is a much celebrated mathematician and academician with Nigerian roots. He currently works at the Arizona State University and is a C. Castillo-Chavez Professor of Mathematical Biology. Born 4th June 1966 in Jigawa State, Professor Gumel earned a B.Sc. degree from Bayero University in Kano, Nigeria and a PhD in Computational Mathematics from Brunel University in London, England.

ABba gumel

In 2009, Professor Gumel became a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. His braininess and intelligence led to his being made a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science in February 2010. He did not stop there. His genius received the 2009 Dr Lindsay E. Nicolle Award for Excellence for his paper which was published in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases & Medical Microbiology. Professor Gumel then went ahead to become a full professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Manitoba, before going on to Arizona State University where he became the C. Castillo-Chavez Professor of Mathematical Biology in 2014.

The wonderkid, highflying Professor utilises mathematical theories and methodologies to achieve intuition on the qualitative behaviour of non-linear dynamical systems derived from the mathematical modelling of phenomena in the natural and engineering sciences, with more emphasis on the transmission and control dynamics of human diseases of public health interest. Professor Gumel, in 2014, became one of eight United States based scientists to sign a memorandum of understanding with seven Nigerian universities. The trial project is aimed at facilitating scientific and research activities in Nigeria.

A maven in his own right, Professor Gumel has been selected as an extraordinary professor at the University of Pretoria from 2015 to 2017. His research interests include; mathematical biology, nonlinear dynamic systems and computational mathematics to which he has made noteworthy contributions. For example in mathematical biology, the aficionado designs and qualitatively analyses mathematical models for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, directed at evaluating and defining ideal control policies for an epidemic.

In non-linear dynamical systems, Professor Gumel is involved in designing and utilising dynamical systems theories and tools to examine the asymptotic dynamical behaviour of some factual systems which are articulated in the form of deterministic, non-linear, ordinary differential equation systems.

For computational mathematics, Professor Gumel’s earlier work on computational mathematics was grounded on the design of efficient L_0-stable methods, through the use of the method of lines semi-discretisation method, for deciphering multi-dimensional partial differential equations. His focal contribution in this area comprises the design of a new family of L_0-stable methods which permit the resolution of second-order linear parabolic and hyperbolic partial differential equations with or without time-dependent source terms to be computed on a parallel architecture, with each processor unravelling a linear algebraic system at every time step using real arithmetic .

His awards include a Young African in Mathematics medal given to him by the AMU and the ICMS in November of 2003. Other research and service awards he achieved are: The Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Research, University of Manitoba, March 2004 (said to be the highest research award given at the University of Manitoba); Manitoba Science and Technology Certificate of Achievement in Science and Technology during 2003, Winnipeg, April 2004. University of Manitoba Award for Outstanding Outreach, December 2008. 2007 University of Manitoba (UM/UMFA) Merit Award for Excellence in Research, Merit Award for research excellence in 2010, given by the University of Manitoba, Merit Award for research excellence in 2011, given by the University of Manitoba, the 2009 Dr. Lindsay E. Nicolle award for an excellent paper published in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, among others. He was also elected Fellow at the Nigerian Academy of Science in February 2010.