The special award formed part of the Autumn Graduation Ceremonies that started on Wednesday, April 9 and will continue until April 25. The University of Pretoria started its series of graduation ceremonies by honouring storyteller and playwright Dr Gçina Mhlophe. Other people to be honoured at the graduation ceremonies are Judge Yvonne Mokgo, Prof Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph and Sir David King.
The degree conferred to Prof Pietsch is the Doctor Scientiae (Honoris Causa).
Professor Pietsch was honoured by the University of Pretoria for his lifelong outstanding research contributions to Mathematics in general and also to Abstract Mathematical Analysis in particular. He was also honoured for the motivational influence that he has had on abstract analysts around the globe, especially in South Africa and at the University of Pretoria.
Born in Zittau, Germany, 74 years ago, Prof Pietsch received a master’s degree from the University of Leipzig in 1958. A year later, he obtained his doctoral degree from the Dresden Institute of Technology. He was Professor of Mathematics at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena from 1965 until his retirement in 1999.
Profesor Pietsch earned recognition for his scientific accomplishments early in his mathematical career. In 1970, he was awarded the National Prize of the former German Democraticc Republic. In 1974, he was elected to full membership in the German Democratic Republic’s Academy of Science. He has published almost 100 research papers that have appeared in leading international journals.
Approximately 13 South African research mathematician’s scientific careers have been hugely influenced by Prof Pietsch’s work. Nine of them are associated with the University of Pretoria.