Famous physicist Stephen Hawking has paid tribute to the teacher who inspired his early steps into scholarship and “changed his life”. Dikran Tahta at St Albans School opened his eyes to mathematics.
“I have to admit – I wasn’t the best student – but with his support I became a professor of mathematics at Cambridge, in a position once held by Isaac Newton.”
Dikran Tahta’s family settled in Manchester after the Armenian Genocide. Much of his childhood, and the influence of his Armenian religious upbringing, is reflected upon in his penultimate book Ararat Associations, in which he notes how his parents were keen for their children to have an English education, yet made sure that they spoke Armenian at home. He was christened by Bishop Tourian in the Armenian Church in Manchester, and his name Dikran was shortened to Dick, but he never forgot his Armenian roots.
Check out this awesome video message from the great Stephen Hawking himself.