Mathematics Don Receives First Professor Emeritus Title

Amb. Maalim (left) and Prof. Ngumi (right) in a commemorative photo with Prof. Uppal after conferment of his Professor Emeritus title

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has awarded the first Professor Emeritus position to Prof. Surindar M. Uppal. The long serving Professor of Mathematics who retired from the University in December 2020 has been awarded the honorary title for his distinguished contribution to academic research and extensive philanthropy at JKUAT.

Prof. Uppal hits the new milestone in his illustrious career at JKUAT having also written the University’s history books by becoming the first Full Professor in 1996.

Prof. Uppal has made significant contribution to Mathematics through authorship and research. The don has authored eight mathematics books and published thirty-seven scholarly articles in internationally ranked and peer-reviewed journals, twenty-nine being in Mathematics and eight in Mathematics Education.

In recognition of his immense contribution to Kenya’s education sector, Prof. Uppal was in 2011 awarded Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear by the President Mwai Kibaki. He has also been awarded the title, ‘Ambassador for Peace’ by the Universal Peace Federation.

His prominent students include five Vice Chancellors of Kenyan Universities; three Chairmen of Hindu Council of Kenya; Director, Bio-Tech Institute, Dr. Vishwa Dixit; Chairman Bidco, Dr. Vimal Shah; Founder Mount Kenya University, Prof. Simon Gacheru and the former Chairman, Teachers Service Commission who is also a Council Member at JKUAT, Mr. Gabriel Lengoiboni among others.

The Chairman of JKUAT Council Ambassador (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim Mohamed was full of praise for Prof. Uppal, noting that his illustrious career represents the epitome of academic success.

While passing his warm congratulatory remarks to Prof. Uppal, Amb. Maalim said the University Council was in full support of his Professor Emeritus title.

“We really just want to appreciate people like you in the University who work hard for their careers and give back to the community, and we are happy that you are the first Professor Emeritus in the University” said Amb. Maalim.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, characterized Prof. Uppal as a man of high standards.

Prof. Ngumi noted that the decision to award the prestigious title to Professor of Mathematics was a result of wide consensus by both the University Council and the Senate.

The Vice Chancellor urged Prof. Uppal to continue writing research papers and books to permanently watermark his extensive knowledge in mathematics.

Mr. Lengoiboni attested to Prof. Uppal’s dedication saying his continued presence in the University is a valuable academic asset.

Prof. Uppal who was clearly elated with the milestone said the university had bestowed upon him great responsibility and honor.

While reflecting on his career, Prof. Uppal revealed that the key to his success as a mathematics lecturer is to make the course fun by relating it with lived experiences of his students.

He revealed that even in his retirement, he continuous to support many students such as one Rose Lengima from Samburu, a medical student at JKUAT who is set to graduate in December 2022 as one of the biggest success stories.

Prof. Uppal completed a Bachelor of Arts in Pure and Applied Mathematics with Honours, followed by a Master of Arts in Mathematics, a Bachelor of Teaching in Mathematics Education, and then a Doctorate in Mathematics specializing in Riemannian Geometry.

Prof. Uppal (center) is joined by Council Members led by the Chair, Amb. Maalim(third left) after the pronouncement of his Professor Emeritus title

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