Born 1985, Received PhD 2006

According to the Melbourne University News, the university just graduated their youngest-ever PhD student. Dr Yao Ban Chan, 21 years of age, received his PhD in the mathematics of DNA entanglement. The newspaper quotes him saying “I love doing maths because it is fun. When you do maths you always know when you are correct”.

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6 Responses to Born 1985, Received PhD 2006

  1. Sacha says:

    I wonder how long Dr Yao Ban Chan will hold that record – at Sydney Uni, Shona Yu, who I think is 19 (at most 20) will probably submit her PhD thesis in Algebra (no, not high school algebra!) this year. I don’t know if she’ll be the youngest PhD graduate in Australia, but she’d be close to it!

  2. Bring Back EP at LP says:

    I guess that adds up.
    don’t mathematicians have a policy of divide and rule

  3. Peter McBurney says:

    “When you do maths you always know when you are correct”.

    What a naive view of mathematics! He has a lot to learn. For an opinion from someone given after a lifetime of mathematics research, see the recent remarks of Emeritus Professor Ronnie Brown (a leading algebraic topologist) which I quoted on ars mathematica.

  4. Sacha says:

    Yes, but he is very young and has a lot to learn.

  5. Sacha says:

    The view of mathematics as some sort of massive computational scheme is unfortunate – “When you do maths you always know when you are correct” – I bet that most mathematicians would disagree with this statement.

  6. Dr Rudy Hidajat says:

    My heartiest congratulations to Dr Yao Ban Chan and the parents for such a wonderful achievement at a very young age – obtaining a PhD degree at 21 years of age. There is more to PhD than just intelligence such as determination, motivation, enjoyment in doing the work and most importantly communication skills and compromising attitudes in dealing with others. All these qualities are not easy to get when you are very young and ambitious and I know this very well as our 18 year old son Ray Hidayat is also undertaking a PhD in computer science at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand at the present moment. These are the advice I give to my son Ray whenever it is appropriate.

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