Qaiser Mushtaq

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Qaiser Mushtaq
Born (1954-02-28) February 28, 1954 (age 60)
Sheikhupura, Pakistan
Residence Islamabad, Pakistan
Citizenship Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Quaid-e-Azam University (Qau)
Oxford University
Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)
Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Southampton University
Institute for Basic Research (IBR)
Alma mater University of the Punjab
Quaid-i-Azam University
University of Oxford.
Doctoral advisor Graham Higman
Other academic advisors Gian-Carlo Rota
Known for His work on the Coset diagrams, Group theory (mathematics)
LA-semigroups
Notable awards Chowla Medal (1977)
Abdus Salam Award (1987)
Mathematician of the Year (1987)
Gold Medal of Honour(USA) (1987)
Mathematician of the Year (Pakistan) (1990)
M. Raziuddin Siddiqi Gold Medal (Pakistan) (1991)
5th Khwarizmi Award (1992)
Young Scientist of the South Award (TWAS, Italy) (1993)
5th National Education Award (1999)
Gold Medal in Mathematics (Pakistan) (2000)

Qaiser Mushtaq (born February 28, 1954), (D.Phil.(Oxon), ASA, KIA), is a prominent Pakistani mathematician and academic who has made numerous contributions in the field of Group theory and Semigroup. He is a Professor of Mathematics, and Dean Faculty of Natural sciences at the Quaid-i-Azam University of Islamabad. Mushtaq is one of the leading mathematicians and educationists in Pakistan. Through his research and writings, he has exercised a profound influence on Mathematics in Pakistan. Mushtaq is an Honorary Full Professor at the Mathematics Division of the Institute for Basic Research, Florida, USA.

His research contributions in the fields of group theory and LA-semigroup Theory have won him recognition at both national and international levels. In Graham Higman's words, "he has laid the foundation of coset diagrams for the modular group", to study the actions of groups on various spaces and projective lines over Galois fields. This work has been cited in the Encyclopedia of Design Theory.[1]

Biography[edit]

Qaiser Mushtaq was born in Sheikhupura, Pakistan to Pir Mushtaq Ali and Begum Saghira Akhter, and belongs to the Qureshi family of Gujranwala. He is a descendant of Shah Jamal Nuri.[2][3] Mushtaq married Aileen Qaiser, a senior journalist educated from the National University of Singapore and Wolfson College, Oxford. They have two daughters, Shayyan Qaiser and Zara Qaiser.

He received primary education from the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Sialkot, and secondary education from Government Pilot Secondary School, Sialkot. Mushtaq studied for a certain period at Murray College till his family moved to Rawalpindi, where he studied at Gordon College. He did his M.Sc. and M.Phil. from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He then joined Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, as a lecturer for a period of one year before returning to Quaid-i-Azam University in 1979. Later, in 1980, he received the prestigious Royal Scholarship to do his D.Phil. at Wolfson College, Oxford. He was a doctoral student of Graham Higman and was awarded a doctorate in 1983 for a thesis entitled Coset Diagrams for the Modular Group. In 1990 he was at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy, as a visiting mathematician. He also worked as an Associate Professor at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam from 1993 to 1999, after which he returned to Pakistan.

Mushtaq is a Tenured Professor at Quaid-i-Azam University,[4] and a former Syndicate Member, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He is also an Honorary Full Professor at the Mathematics Division, Institute for Basic Research, Florida, USA.

Research in mathematics[edit]

He has parametrized actions of the modular group on projective lines over Galois fields. This method has proven to be so effective and rewarding, that its wide uses can be seen in Combinatorial Group Theory, Algebraic Number Theory, and Theory of Group Graphs. His graphical technique helped to solve George Abram Miller’s problem (1901) on alternating groups as homomorphic images of the modular group[5]

He has also invented a new algebraic structure known as Locally Associative LA-semigroup,[6] and has done some fundamental research on LA-semigroups producing some significant results in this theory. Consequently, a number of useful mathematical results have emerged which otherwise were applicable under restricted conditions only.

Mushtaq has collaborated in research with legends like the late Graham HigmanFRS (Oxford) and the late Gian-Carlo Rota (MIT). He has been an invited speaker at Oxford University, MSRI Berkeley, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Southampton University; and an invited speaker at several international conferences.

He has supervised, as a sole supervisor, the highest number of M.Phil. and Ph.D. students in Pure Mathematics in Pakistan (see the Mathematics Genealogy Project[7]). As a result, he has established a research group in Pakistan, the largest of its kind, which is producing high level original research in mathematics.

Research papers[edit]

Mushtaq has over a hundred research papers to his credit. He has written and edited several books, some of which are, Mathematics: The Islamic Legacy[8] (which received a prize from the National Book Council of Pakistan), published by UNESCO and other international publishers; A Course in Group Theory, and Discrete Lectures in Mathematics. He has also written books on topics other than mathematics. They are, Focus on Pakistan, and Pakistan: An Introduction. He was also an invited writer for the monumental book, comprising six volumes, entitled the History of Civilizations of Central Asia,[9] published by UNESCO (translated into several foreign languages).

He is also famous for his analytical writings and research articles on history, mathematics, science, education, and philosophy. He has been an active opposer of the use of impact factors[10] and citation counts of the Higher Education Commission. He led the movement against its use which he believed has damaged the growth of mathematics in Pakistan. One of his essays has been published by the American Mathematical Society which won appreciation and support by many mathematicians from all over the world. The International Mathematical Union has included it in its report[11] on the use of impact factors. Mushtaq also founded the well known mathematical quarterly, PakMS Newsletter,[12] in Pakistan.

Journals and bulletins[edit]

He is an editor of the Asian-European Journal of Mathematics[13] (World Scientific). He is an associate editor of the Bulletin of the Southeast Asian Mathematical Society[14] (Springer-Verlag). Additionally, he is an editor of the Quasigroups and Related Systems[15] (Maldova Academy of Sciences) and the Bulletin of the Malaysian Mathematical Society,[16] an advisory editor of the Journal of Interdisciplinary Mathematics,[17] an associate editor of the journal Advances in Algebra and Analysis, a reviewer for the Mathematical Reviews of the American Mathematical Society (USA) and the Zentrablatt fur Mathematik (Springer-Verlag, Germany).

Honours and awards[edit]

He was an overseas scholar of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851[18][19] in 1980 and a senior Fulbright Scholar in 1990. Mushtaq was elected an Associate Member of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy in 1991.

Mushtaq's international recognition is evident by the numerous citations of his research work and several international and national awards for his contribution in mathematics. He has been awarded several awards due to his contribution to mathematical sciences.

Academic societies[edit]

Mushtaq founded the internationally acclaimed mathematical society, the Pakistan Mathematical Society.[20] He also founded the series of international conferences, namely IPMC,[21] in Pakistan, which now has become an icon of mathematics in Pakistan and is a well known international mathematical activity. The conference takes place every August in Islamabad.[citation needed]

He is a member of the American Mathematical Society, the Oxford Society, the London Mathematical Society, and the Punjab Mathematical Society. He has been the President of the Brunei Darussalam Mathematics Society, and he is the current President of the Pakistan Mathematical Society.[citation needed]

Mushtaq helped to start the Islamic Society at Oxford. He was its vice president and secretary in 1980 to 1983[citation needed]. He also helped to rejuvenate the Oxford University Pakistan Society of which he was the Vice President from 1981 to 1982.[citation needed]

In Pakistan, he started the ‘Mathematical Seminar Series’ at Quaid-i-Azam University in 1983 and developed it into an institution recognized nationally. At Quaid-i-Azam University, he founded the ‘Algebra Forum’ which has held advanced level seminars on algebra in particular and on various academic topics of general interest. He reformed and restructured the Mathematical Society of Brunei Darussalam as its President.[citation needed]

Quotes[edit]

Mushtaq stated that:

"we do fundamental research, not only to acquire results solely, but because the process is an ennobling one,"

As Graham Higman told Mushtaq in an interview on Pakistan Television in 1987.:

"It is one that makes you more worthwhile than before; it is something that if you cut yourself off from, you are making yourself less human than you ought to be."

This has been quoted in the obituary of Graham Higman in the Telegraph on 26 May 2008[22]

References[edit]