A 104 year-old man from Colombia has said that the coronavirus lockdown gave him the time to finally finish his dissertation, and to solve a two hundred year-old enigma in the process.

Lucio “Chiquito” Caicedo, who is from Medellin, earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the National University of Colombia. He then went on to receive a master’s degree in Science and Technology from the University of Manchester in England seven decades ago.

Caicedo has spent the past thirty years working on his PHD thesis. In order for him to finish his thesis, however, he had to solve a complicated math problem, and he was finally able to do that this past year.

“My PhD is about determining the maximum amount of water that can be sustainably taken from a river for energy and other purposes,” Caicedo said.

The enigma is over two hundred years-old, but Caicedo said he was able to solve it. Now that his dissertation is approved, he will earn his doctorate title.

Caicedo is the father of six children, and he has twelve grandchildren as well as six great-grandchildren. He was married for 67 years before his wife died, and he told the local press that “family has been my biggest achievement.”

“I wrote to the University of Manchester asking if, having graduated 73 years ago, I could apply for a doctorate. And they said: ‘Yes sir you can apply for a doctorate,'” Caicedo explained. “So last month I finished the corresponding study, I sent it, [and] now the procedure of evaluating the document begins with the appointment of the jury.”

When asked why he applied for a doctoral thesis in Manchester, he explained that he made the decision because during his previous stage in the city he became “very fond of foreign universities.”

Social media users have been praising Caicedo ever since news of his achievement broke.

“All the big respect for this honorable gentleman!” one social media user commented, with another adding, “I bet he remembers the days when people were nice to each other.”

Find out more about this incredible story in the video below!


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