He worked as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan in 1965-66, before being appointed as Professor of Mathematics at Ahmadu Bello University at the age of 28, in 1967.
He held this position until 1975, as well as a visiting professorship at the City University of New York from 1971-72.
In 1975, he was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, a position he held until 1978. Abubakar was a director of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 1972 to 1975.
elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1999 on the Platform of PDP
Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications of the United Kingdom;
a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of the United Kingdom;
a Fellow of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS);
a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science; a Fellow of the New York Academy of Science
Galadima of Mubi
Award for excellence of the Nigerians institute of Physics;
a recipient of the Presidential Gold Medal Awarded to the Fifty most Outstanding Nigerians at the Fiftieth Anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence on 1st October, 2010
Entebbe Modem Mathematics, 1970.
Honourary Degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife,
Honourary Degree of Doctor of Science Honoris causa, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria;
Honourary Degree of Science Honoris Causa, University of Ibadan
Chess, Golf, Horse riding,
Iya Abubakar was elected senator for the northern district of Adamawa State, Nigeria at the start of the Fourth Republic of Nigeria, running on the platform of the People Democratic Party (PDP)
Adamawa. He took office on May 29, 1999. He was re-elected in April 2003. After taking his seat in the Senate in June 1999, he wasappointed to the committees on Public Accounts, Banking and Currency (Chairman), Trade and Finance and Approprition.
Abubakar has also chaired the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriation and the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, named its Computer Centre, which he had started, “IYA ABUBAKAR COMPUTER CENTRE” and Bauchi State Government named the IT Centre built with US Aid to service the North-East Zone, “IYA ABUBAKAR RESOURCE CENTRE”.
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