Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Salah Mohammad is lucky.

Salah is the SIU's Distinguished Scholar for 2006 - 2007. Like Chris Lowery and Ed Benyas, a wonderful person who is a pleasure to know. But, I'm sorry he is just lucky (not just because he sat next to my father in math all these years and is a family friend either).

You could claim there aren't many superstar professors who come from a small town in Africa and rise to be an internationally known mathematician, but without great luck this guy wouldn't be anywhere. Without scoring the one of the highest scores in his country, he wouldn't have gone to college (so lucky there), without doing well in college he wouldn't have gone to England for a PhD. All those papers and acclaim are just luck.

Really, anyone in the math department would be as lucky if they just chose the right field of study. Stochastic Analysis is wide open, anyone could do well there. It is like high tech IPO's in the 1990's.

It is almost like SIU is playing spin the bottle when awarding their Distinguished Scholar Awards. Anyone can do what Salah as done, he is just lucky.


Saluki87 said...

Damn, Dave figured it out just before I did (your extra response in the Lowery post had me going)! I must say, great one Peter and hopefully some of the uncommitted voters in Carbondale will understand this as well.

Sam W Clyde said...

I think you are trying to stop people from saying you are lucky to be rich andnot smart.
Else, you would not be making the statement about Benyas and Lowery.

The public loves a leader and a hero so these guys are the pick.

Is Brad Cole lucky/

Peter in Carbondale said...

As everyone has figured out by now, this was the third in a series of posts about superstars and luck. Thank you for reading, it was fun.