Idris Assani

Idris Assani is a Beninese and African-American mathematician, who works as a professor of mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Idris Assani
Alma materPierre and Marie Curie University
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
ThesisContribution à la théorie ergodique des opérateurs dans les espaces Lp (1986)
Doctoral advisorAntoine Brunel

Although born in Niger, Assani is Beninese.[1] He was educated in France, earning a bachelor's degree in commerce from Paris Dauphine University in 1981, a doctorate of the third cycle in mathematics from Pierre and Marie Curie University in 1981, and a doctor of science from Pierre and Marie Curie University in 1986, under the supervision of Antoine Brunel.[1][2] He joined the UNC mathematics department in 1988 but, allegedly for racist reasons, was turned down for tenure. He appealed through the courts, won his case and gained tenure in 1995, and was promoted to full professor one year later. In doing so he became the first African-American tenured associate professor and the first African-American full professor at UNC, as well as the only mathematician there to be promoted from associate to full so quickly.[1]

Assani's research concerns ergodic theory. He is the author of the research monograph Wiener Wintner Ergodic Theorems (World Scientific, 2003),[3] about mathematics related to the Wiener–Wintner theorem, and is also the editor of several volumes of collected papers.

In 2012, Assani was named as one of the inaugural fellows of the American Mathematical Society.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Williams, Scott W., "Idris Assani", Mathematicians of the African Disapora, State University of New York at Buffalo, Mathematics Department, retrieved 2014-12-18 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Idris Assani at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ Review of Wiener Wintner Ergodic Theorems by U. Krengel (2004), MR1995517.
  4. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2014-12-18.

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