Perhaps we only know him too well as an author of the famous Additional Mathematics textbooks, ready to us when we are stuck with a problem. But, Dr. Tan Wan Seng is another distinguished old boy of MHS, and has been credited with achievements far greater than a successful textbook writer.
Dr. Tan held the post of Associate Professor and as the Dean of the School of the Mathematic Society in University Sains Malaysia when the school celebrated 150th anniversay 35 years ago.
This humble, unassuming and diligent ‘Mathematics Genius’ as he was commonly known during his schooldays, was another boy of the famous 1954 batch under Mr. S.P.S. Pillay. He left school in 1955 and taught for a year in the Jasin Primary English School.
He later furthered his studies for two successive years in Brinsford Lodge. Returning home in 1958, he was called upon to offer his services to his Alma Mater, the MHS. He later attended the University of Malaya (then in Singapore) to acquire the B.Sc. in Mathematics.
That being accomplished, he returned to MHS in 1962 and taught for six more years before leaving for the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
There, Dr. Tan obtained his M. Math and Phd. in Computer Science, the first Malaysian to do so.
After acquiring the doctorate, Dr. Tan was only too eager to return to MHS in 1972. The following year he was called to USM as a lecturer where he held the distinguished post of Dean and Associate Professor.
From student to Dean – let Dr. Tan’s story exemplify the moral:
“Great men have found no royal road to their truimph. It is always the old route, by way of industry and perseverence.”
~ Dr. Orison Swett Marden.
Converting Hard Copy to Soft Copy: Page 71 Optimist 1976