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Researcher of the month; Raymond O. on Investigation on Pythagorean Triples

Raymond Calvin Ochieng did not like mathematics while he was younger, but something struck him that changed his perception towards the subject, a change that has since informed his destiny. Married for two years, a lecturer in the mathematics field and now pursuing a doctorate in mathematics, Raymond desires to improve individual’s perceptions towards this subject in an effort to see more people use the subject for their day to day runnings’.


For his high school studies, Raymond attended St. Mary’s School Yala, the same school great mathematicians at Strathmore came from, mathematicians such as Strathmore University’s Vice Chancellor Prof. John Odhiambo, and the Dean Institute of Mathematical Sciences Prof. Vitalis Onyango-Otieno. He scored straight As in all his sciences, languages and mathematics in his national examination KCSE, an achievement that is very commendable.


Raymond studied an undergraduate (2005-2009) in double mathematics and a Masters’ degree (2011-2013) in pure mathematics from Kenyatta University, before joining Strathmore University to lecture.

Drawing from his research focus on Pythagorean Triples – number theory in his Masters’ project, Raymond furthered this research in his PhD since last year, 2015, where he hopes to get new insights that will change the IT world.


Raymond defended his proposal in December last year and he hopes to complete his PhD in December 2017. Raymond is undertaking his PhD from Strathmore University under the supervision of Prof. Chiteng’a John Chikunji and Prof. Vitalis Onyango-Otieno.  Prof. Chiteng’a John Chikunji from Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN), is one of the best pure mathematicians in the continent.


Raymond lectures IT undergraduate students, under the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMS), in Discrete Mathematics mainly applied in IT; and Actuarial undergraduate students Algebra, Calculus and Numerical Mathematics.

Research Findings

Title; Investigation on Pythagorean Triples.


In Pythagorean Triples numbers can be applied in Cryptography (a study of the generation of keys used in encrypting and decrypting of information) mostly used by IT techs to encode and decode information. If one needs to send encrypted information, the recipient would need certain keys to get the information.


Pure mathematics is said to be abstract, lacking very direct application, but contrary to that, I believe anything that is mathematical must have been derived from real situations. Therefore my study takes the basic concepts and apply them to real situations, to help an individual with no interest in mathematics or advanced mathematics, realize that mathematics has direct application in their day to day life. 

This study will assist in;

  • Helping one to understand Pythagorean Triples, study its principals, and apply it to other mathematical ideologies. This will help mostly in the IT world.
  • I may try to find out if there is a different approach to the application of Pythagorean Triples to Cryptography other than six classes that have already been researched on, or if there is a way these six classes can be modified to make it easier.

My study will analyze what is already available, or see if I can introduce a new change in encoding and decoding information. I am studying mostly what is available, trying to improve the information and make it more convenient.

Benefits of conducting this research

I hope to bring in some mathematical ideas that have not been brought out.


Because I am working on cryptography, I desire to come up with something new in IT.

Challenges while conducting this research

Balancing work, a new family and studying, is the greatest challenge. I have set goals for publishing a few papers by a certain date, this is not easy because the information needs to be above standards. Therefore I need to balance all these aspects to be able to meet my goals.

Where do you draw inspiration to study mathematics from?

From the time my father taught me mathematics in primary, being a good mathematician as he was during our times, if I failed I would get what we used to call corporal punishment. I was never spared from this punishment despite being his son. Due to the embarrassment that came with this, I vowed to myself that I will work hard and perform better at the subject. I therefore gained interest in the subject, to be as good as my father was, and that is my greatest source of inspiration.

What would you advice aspiring PhD students about going into research?

Students who study in areas they are interested in, draw motivation from that interest. Therefore students should establish a goal into what they are keen on studying.


For mathematician PhD researchers, they should know that mathematics is an area that is always growing and is an interesting field to pursue. Therefore they should be excited about researching in this field.

What is your plan for the next Five to Ten Years?

To be one of the finest mathematician in the region.


To try and motivate people with the wrong attitude of mathematics, to see the joys of studying this subject and be motivated to pursue it further. Sometimes it pains me to see students with a wrong attitude towards Maths, I would want to encourage especially such students, the joys of being in this field.


I would want to make an impact in the life of the students I teach, therefore I would need to study more in this subject to be the best influence to them.


Raymonds’ Publication

Action of the Cyclic Group Acting on the Diagonals of a regular N – GON




Outside of Mathematics Raymond likes playing badminton and volleyball, reading inspirational books, and watching movies.