World's youngest professor remembered on Teachers' Day

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Alia Sabur, an American materials scientist, currently holds the record of being the world's youngest professor.

As a professor, Sabur is one of the teachers around the globe who celebrated World Teachers’ Day on Oct. 5.

Celebrated annually on that day since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates teacher organizations worldwide, in order to mobilize support for teachers and ensure that education programs are in line with the needs of future generations.

Sabur was born in New York City, on Feb. 22, 1989. From early childhood, she showed signs of giftedness, testing “off the IQ scale,” according to an educator who examined her as a first-grader.

At the age of 10, she was admitted to State University of New York at Stony Brook, leaving public school as a fourth-grader. Four years later, she graduated summa cum laude.

She filled a position at the Department of Advanced Technology Fusion at Konkuk University in June 2008, becoming the youngest professor in history and toppling the previous record held by Colin Maclaurin, a student of Isaac Newton in 1717.

In 2008, Sabur was declared the world’s youngest professor by the Guinness Book of Records. She is the youngest ever to receive fellowships and awards from the Department of Defense, NASA, GAANN and NSF.

Sabur has provided groundbreaking work in developing nanotube-based cellular probes for use in medical research. She is also involved in an avenue to develop non-invasive optical blood glucose meters for diabetic people. She even developed a theory to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil leak.

As a matter of fact, in June 2010, the young woman appeared on CNN and Fox News to illustrate her idea about it.

Sabur strongly believes in the application of knowledge, since she has a great passion for teaching and research. Her favorite quote is, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply,” by Johann Wolfgang.

Watch the following video to learn more about her story.

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This year, the World Teachers’ Day recurrence marks the 50th anniversary of the 1966 UNESCO-ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This year, the theme, “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status,” embodies the fundamental principles of the 50-year-old recommendation, with a focus on the need to support teachers.

It is a fundamental right of every child to be provided with the same educational opportunities, the recommendation said. It also mentioned that all facilities should be made available equally to enable everyone to enjoy education and countries should provide an adequate network of schools, free education and material assistance when needed, among other things.