CAIRO, Oct. 8 (SEE) – Omar Othman is an Egyptian young man who scored an outstanding achievement by conducting his PhD in Mathematics in a French university, while still at his 22 years of age.
Othman became the third person in the world who is conferred this grade at this young age, expected by his professors in Egypt and France to win Nobel or Fields one day.
Othman’s story started while he was a kid, attending the primary school, when his dad noticed an exceptional talent his son has in Mathematics.
I knew him while he was still young. When the kid was in the 6th grade, he could read and solve the most complicated theories and equations properly, but also he could study, intelligently, the Mathematics curriculum of the Secondary grades.(Omar with his professors and family after the discussion)
Othman drew the attention of his teachers who were nominating him to competitions among universities and, despite his young age (almost 14), he succeeded in passing and winning them.
Mthematics Professors thought of helping Othman beyond the routine which bars him from joining the university as he is still studying in the preparatory school.
Among those was Dr. Wafeek Lotf-Allah, professor at the German University in Cairo, who allowed Othman to attend his lectures at the faculty of Engineering for months before lsending him to the department of Pure Mathematics at the faculty of Sciences in Cairo University where he was helped by Dr. Hany ElHusseiny, Dr. Laila Suef and Dr. Ahmad Elgendy.
Othman also joined the American University in Cairo to attend courses on Mathematics.
Apparently, all that was still under the level of his aspirations.
Attempts were made, including an effort I exerted at the ministry of high education, to grant him an exception to join the university before passing through the Secondary school, but unfortunately the routine is blindly prevailing.
Othman decided to travel to France, after being admitted to the final year at a Paris university, where he passed it, conducted his MA and PhD.
Speaking to ‘SEE’, Othman’s father explained more on the story of his son. He said that his son was formally attending the school and, informally, the university in Egypt. “His professors here were dealing with him as a grown up university student, they even sent him to a summer school in Paris in 2012 while he was still 16”.
Othman could impress one of his mentors in Paris for his young age and exceptional intellectual talents. At first place, she thought he came accompanying some participant. “But once she learned that he himself is a participant the mentor was very impressed,” Othman’s father said.
She promised him to talk to professors about his story, and that if he was accepted to get academically enrolled she would send him.
After two weeks, the mentor sent Othman to invite him to come to Paris for an exam which if he passes he would immediately be admitted to a university. He travelled to Paris and succeeded in the exam and was admitted to the final grade at the “ecole normale superieur” which is a university established for the exceptionally talented people.
Othman talked to me about his time in Paris. “After I finished the final year which is equivalent to BA in Egypt, I immediately joined the MA program. After 3 years, when I was 19, I got the grade from University of Paris 7, which is a prestigious university known for advanced studies in Science and Mathematics,” Othman said. “I started afterward the PhD program and finished in 2 years and was conferred the grade in “Groupoids de Deformations et application”.
I asked Othman about the time ahead and his future plans. He answered “I don’t know what’s ahead, but I shall certainly continue to teach my student at University of Paris 7 until next August as contracted, and I don’t know where I would go afterward”.
I asked him about how his talents and skills were managed in Egypt and France. He affirmed that he is not angry at all but he is a little bit astonished. “The professors in France could help me to join the university, but professors in Egypt couldn’t do much in front of the routine.. This is exactly the difference,” he added.
Othman was granted the French nationality and would continue his intelligent studies for an exceptional career.