April 20, 2024

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My Research Unveiled an Unexpected Result – Best PhD Thesis Winner

By Favor Agarry, Isaac Emeka and Faith Enang.

Dr Aminat Olawunmi Ige, Overall Best PhD Thesis Winner

The Overall Best PhD Thesis winner, Dr Aminat Olawunmi Ige, in an interview with UnilagSun reporters, Faith Enang and Favour Agarry, and Isaac Emeka, shares how she discovered the unexpected with her thesis despite the many challenges faced.

Please introduce yourself

My name is Dr Aminat Olawunmi Ige. I can also be addressed as Dr Mrs Aminat Ige Ariyibi because I am married to Dr Nasir Ariyibi. I am a Lagos State indigene, precisely from Alimosho Local Government Area. I am a Muslim. I am the first of 5 children of my parents. I have my first, second and third degrees in Mathematics. My BSc. is from Lagos State University (LASU). My MSc. and PhD in Mathematics are from the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

How did you receive the news of receiving the best thesis award?

It was spectacular. I did well in my presentation before the Academic Planning Committee (APC). I was cheered on by the committee members. So, I hoped that I’d be one of the students considered for the award. However, I did not know how other students performed. I was at home when someone told me they saw my picture hung high up on campus. I started calling students who were on campus to check for me. But they were not forthcoming, and then I saw it on someone’s WhatsApp status. I didn’t have the news officially yet. One of my proteges sent me the image. I was so excited.

Why did you choose UNILAG and Maths for your 2nd and 3rd degrees?

I chose UNILAG for my second degree because LASU wasn’t offering a postgraduate degree in Mathematics. However, I chose UNILAG for my third degree because my second degree was with Professor Olaleru. He was a good supervisor. I learnt a lot from him. He kept in touch with me, and I saw every reason to go back to him for my third degree because he is fantastic. He knows his job. His guidance is top-notch.

Can you highlight the challenges you faced while pursuing your Ph.D.?

My department lack a study space for PhD students. I don’t know if other departments have. I used the office of my supervisors. There is a postgraduate lab. But it is not so conducive. The other challenge was the criticism I faced many times when I went for seminar presentations. It is normal to face criticism, positively it makes me better but sometimes you see some criticism and it is negative. Both positive and negative are part of the process. That helped me become better.

Can you highlight any unexpected discoveries or insights that emerged during your research?

The main result of my research process is an unexpected discovery. Initially, I was only trying to find a result that was already established on single-valued mappings, I wanted to establish it in the settings of multivalued mappings. Out of curiosity, I felt that what about a space that is non-existent in Literature that is going to generalize the spaces that are existent in Literature? It looked impossible to have one and then the research started. To the glory of God, O-Metric spaces were discovered, which was unexpected. It eventually became an outstanding discovery.

What are your plans and how do you hope to make more impact?

Having a PhD means you’re a better researcher. Students will gain more because my teaching method and delivery will improve. I have better research skills now so my students will benefit a lot from what I have learnt and the guidance I got from my Supervisors. I would say they are very lucky.

What advice do you have for aspiring Ph.D. students?

Always listen to your supervisor. Be focused. Try as much as possible to cut distractions and when it seems like the end is not in sight, keep the faith up and continue to be your best. Believe that it will come to an end someday while putting in the best of your best.Also, take to every instruction given to you by your supervisor. They are your supervisors because they have an edge, and know better.

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