Entrepreneurship focus in the AIMS programme

Entrepreneurship focus in the AIMS programme
Inside this issue:
World Space
SAMS Conference
Machine Learning
AIMS Journal Club 2
Research Centre
Council Member
Ecology Journal
Visitors to AIMS
Network News
As part of AIMS’s focus on
providing skills and knowledge
that students will need to gain
employment, all students attended
an E-week course from 20 to 26
October given by Prof Wulff Plinke, European School of Management and Technology, Berlin. He
introduced the students to the
concept of entrepreneurship, the
characteristics of a good entrepreneur and their role in society. His
course also included two afterdinner talks the first titled:
“Creating a private university – an
entrepreneurial learning experience: (The making of ESMT). The
second formed part of the AIMS
Public Lecture Series and it was
titled: “Igniting opportunity for
Prof Wulff Plinke with students
social change through Education” given by Adri Marais, cofounder and CEO of TSiBA
(Tertiary School in Business
Administration). The last session of the course included
Continued on page 3
World Space Week at AIMS South Africa
The United Nations declared
4 to 10 October as World Space
Week to commemorate the
launch of the first man-made satellite and the treaty on principles
for governing space related activities. It is an international celebration of science and technology
and its contribution to the betterment of human life. The 2014
World Space Week theme was
“Space: Guiding your way” showcasing the advancement of satellite technology and its benefit to
human life.
AIMS South Africa celebrated the
week with four events:
 The programme began with the
screening of one of the episodes
of the Cosmos series. It was a
new experience to the students,
which showcased our place in
the universe.
 The second event was a special
public lecture by Dr Lindsay G.
Magnus, Commissioning Manager
at the Square Kilometer Array (SKA).
He spoke on the
relevance of radio
astronomy in South
Africa and its contribution towards
science and technology in the country.
His talk was very
informative and
showed how money spent on
mega projects like SKA provides substantial support to the
growing student community.
 Kai Staats, a Master’s student in
the Cosmology Group and professional filmmaker, screened
his documentary “LIGO: A Passion
for understanding” as part of
the space week programmes.
In the Q&A, he shared his
experience at the world’s first
gravitational detector and how
it would change the course of
Continued on page 3.
pitch presentations by the
students on potential business
ideas that they had developed
during the week.
Dr Lindsay Magnus
We are pleased to announce that
the AIMS South Africa Annual
Report for the year 2013-2014 has
been released and is available to
view online.
[email protected]
AIMS Research Centre updates
SAMS Conference
The SAMS Annual
Congress took place at
UNISA from 29 to 31
October 2014. It provides
a unique platform for
South African mathematicians to meet and exchange
ideas, showcase cuttingedge research in the mathematical sciences and to
start new collaborations and
friendships. As well as providing
an opportunity for young researchers to participate in a
national conference and to
meet and exchange ideas with
more experienced
Attendees from the AIMS
Research Centre included
AIMS Journal Club
On Tuesday 7 October, Dr Antoine
Tambue (AIMS) gave a talk in the
Journal Club titled: “Efficient Mathematical methods for Subsurface
Energy Recovery.”
On Tuesday 14 October, Dr Sehun
Chun (AIMS) gave a talk in the
Journal Club titled: “Heart rhythm
translated in mathematics.”
researchers: Dr Sehun Chun,
Dr Raouf Ghomrasni and
Prof. Jeff Sanders; Master’s
students: Charles Lesiba,
Phumza Thafeni, Wilson
Leboho, Tanjona Ralaivaosaona
and Rosephine Georgina
Rakotonirainy, and PhD
student Fortunat Rajaona. All
students and Dr Ghomrasni
gave talks.
On Tuesday 21 October,
Dr Stéphane Tchuiaga Kameni
(Department of Mathematics,
University of Buea, Cameroon)
gave a talk in the Journal Club
titled: “Some smooth symplectic
objects, and their dynamical
aspects.” He gave another talk on
27 October titled: “An enlargement of some symplectic objects.”
On Thursday 23 October,
Dr Habil Anatole Kenfack
(Institute of Chemistry and
Biochemistry, Freie Universitaet
Berlin) gave a talk in the Journal
Club titled “Directed Transport
in Driven Dynamical Systems.”
Cosmology Group updates
Machine Learning JEDI workshop
The JEDI workshops, developed
by the Cosmology
Group, are very
different from
normal conferences in that there
are very few
formal talks, the
emphasis being on
Participants at the workshop
informal interactions between
The Kaggle International Epilep- participants as they work
sy Prediction Challenge was the intensively in teams on open
and exciting research problems.
focus of the 2nd Machine LearnAt its root, the JEDI working JEDI workshop run recently
shops embody Aristotle's
by the AIMS cosmology group
from 20 to 24 October 2014. It saying: “What we have to learn
to do we learn by doing” and
was attended by fifteen participants from statistics, astronomy over the past decade have
lead to eight papers and
and computer science who
numerous long-lasting
were hand selected for their
machine learning and data skills. research collaborations.
Student update
We congratulate Lise du
Buisson, AIMS MSc student in
the Cosmology Group who has
been awarded both the Rhodes
Scholarship for the DPhil at
Oxford University and a
Fulbright scholarship to do her
PhD in the USA, leaving her
with a tough choice!
Lise has also submitted her
first astronomy paper to
MNRAS along with Navin
Sivanandam titled: Machine
Learning Classification of SDSS
Transient Survey Images. It is
available at http://arxiv.org/
Research Centre visitors
AIMS South Africa welcomed
the following visitors to the
Research Centre:
Dr Habil Anatole Kenfack a
Senior Research Associate affiliated to the Freie Universität in
Berlin, Germany, is visiting
AIMS South Africa for 6 weeks.
He has also taught courses at
AIMS Sénégal and AIMS Cameroon and supervised 4 research
projects during the academic
year 2013/2014.
PhD student, Mr Alain Mvogo,
is in the final stages of completing his PhD thesis in Physics at
the University of Yaounde, is
visiting AIMS South Africa for
a period of 2 months.
Dr Ibrahima Toure is affiliated
to the University Felix Houphouet Boigny in Abidjan as a
lecturer and researcher. His
research focus is Harmonic
Analysis on Lie Groups and
their generalizations. He will
be at AIMS until
Council Member news
Two AIMS South Africa Council
members have been appointed
to the International Council
for Science (ICSU). Prof. Daya
Reddy, SARChI Chair Holder at
UCT, is the new President-elect
and he will take up this position
in 2017. Prof. Reddy will be the
second African elected to this
prestigious position.
Prof. Cheryl de la Rey, Rector
of the University of Pretoria,
has been appointed as a
[email protected]
Theoretical Ecology Journal Club
This was held on Wednesday
29 October and included the
following talks:
 David Phair, “Non-equilibrium
in plant distribution models –
only an issue for introduced
or dispersal limited species?”
Ony Minoarivelo,
“Evolutionary stable
 Evans Ochiaga, “On species
Entrepreneurship focus continued
Ms Adri Marais
Dr Howard Alper, AIMS-NEI
Board member and Chief
Advisor Scientific Advisor to the
Canadian Government, gave a
various talks to the students in
the last week of October. His
talks were: “Entrepreneurship:
An Initial Foray”; “Science, Technology and Innovation” and
“Asserting Leadership Affecting
Organisational Change.”
Dr Howard Alper
The January 2014 intake are
still busy with their research
projects. The August intake
also completed the following
skills courses: Programming
(Jeff Sanders and Evans Ocansey,
AIMS) and Mathematical Problem Solving (Stephan Wagner
and Naina Raliavaosoana,
Space Week continued
Students at the Observatory
The final event was the students visit to the South African
Astronomical observatory
where they attended a
lecture by Sara Buchner
from SKA. Later the
students were taken
through the campus to
learn about the history
of the world’s first
observatory in the
southern hemisphere
and the first telescope
in Cape Town. Finally,
a star gazing session offered
a new experience to the
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktotum, Deputy
Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance of the UAE and Ms Irina
Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO to his right.
As previous prize winners,
AIMSSEC was invited to attend
the prize ceremony for the 3rd
cycle of the UNESCO-Hamdan
Prize which was held in Paris on
7 October 2014. Dr Barrie Barnard who attended the ceremony was reminded of how special
it was for AIMSSEC to have
won the award in 2012. He
said: “This inspired me to work
even harder in future to have
greater impact on teacher training for mathematics teachers
from rural areas in South Africa.”
He also attended the World
Teachers Day (WTD) conference from 6 to 7 October
where he networked with
previous and current cycle
winners of the Hamdan Award,
high ranking researchers and
education specialists, and potential funders. Participants were
updated on the latest knowledge
and trends in education, including the launch on 6 October of
the “Advocacy toolkit for
teachers to provide a quality
“Our involvement with the
UNESCO-Hamdan Award over
the last three years has been
truly inspiring and the latest
celebration in Paris helped us to
re-dedicate ourselves to provide
quality teacher training and to
offer our AIMSEC experiences
to the other AIMS centres in
Africa: Ghana, Cameroon,
Sénégal and Tanzania.”
The 3rd cycle winners are: SOS
Children’s Villages from Madagascar, Oxfam Novib (ONL) and
Education International from
Belgium and ProEd
Foundation from Panama.
AIMS South Africa bids farewell
to Dr Claire Blackman, who
joined AIMSSEC as Academic
Lecturer in June 2013. We extend our thanks and appreciation
for the valuable contributions
she has made to AIMSSEC during this time.
Visitors to AIMS South Africa
Mr Benjamin Franklin Shozi from
the Department of Mathematics
at the Mangosuthu University
of Technology (Durban) visited
AIMS South Africa from 6 to 10
October to find out more
about AIMS and its academic
Universities Master’s program
in Bio-statistics visited AIMS
on Friday 24 October 2014.
On Tuesday 28 October, AIMS
received a visit from 15 delegates attending the orientation
meeting for new AIMS-NEI
staff. The group was given
Prof. Tertius de Wet, Stellenbosch presentations on AIMSSEC and
University and Prof. Dr Marc
the Research Centre as well as
Aerts, from the University of
a tour of the facilities.
Hasselt, Director of the
[email protected]
On Tuesday 30
September, KarlDieter Crisman,
Assistant Prof. of
Department of
Mathematics and
Computer Science,
Gordon College,
Wenham gave a lecture in the
AIMS Public Lecture Series
titled: “A sampler of the Mathematics of Voting and Choice.”
January 2015 intake for the AIMS Master’s in Mathematical
Sciences Applications are now open for the AIMS structured Master’s
degree in Mathematical Sciences which is awarded by the Universities of
Stellenbosch, Cape Town and the Western Cape. The January intake is
for students who follow the South African academic calendar.
For more information and to apply please visit http://aims.ac.za/en/
Karl-Dieter Crisman
The lecture touched on a wide
range of connections between
mathematics and choice.
Alumni News
There are six AIMS 2014
graduates in two ICTP
programmes in Italy.
Angela Ankomaah Tabiri, Prosper
Delanyo Akrobotu, (AIMS Ghana)
and Leticia Agyemang Konadu,
(AIMS Cameroon) are in the
ICTP Postgraduate Diploma
Saga Elasyed Ibrahim Abdalla,
(AIMS South Africa), Nehad
Attaelmanan Abdelrahim
Mabrouk, (AIMS Senegal)
Ayooluwa Olakunle Odufowora,
(AIMS Cameroon) are in the
ICTP Laurea Magistralis
programme done in cooperation
with the University of Trieste.
Network News
AIMS Tanzania
The official academic opening
of AIMS Tanzania took place
on Monday 20 October. The
centre will be temporarily colocated with the Nelson Mandela African Institute for Science and Technology in Arusha.
AIMS-NEI Orientation
AIMS-NEI hosted an Orientation Workshop in Cape Town
from 27 to 29 October 2014 to
provide new employees with an
introduction to AIMS and how
the various components that
make up the network function,
The following appointments
as well as insights into the
have been made: Prof. Richard
overarching principles, policies
Mark Roberts, Rector (President) and guidelines that are in place
AIMS Tanzania; Dr Wilson
to enable the organisation to
Mahera Charles, Deputy Rector operate smoothly.
Academic (Academic Director);
and Mr Anthony Kennedy
Attendees at the workshop
Nzuki, Deputy Rector Operaincluded new staff members
tions (COO).
from AIMS centres, team members from the chapters and
New appointments
new staff at the Secretariat.
Prof. Mamadou Sanghare has
The session also included a trip
been appointed as the AIMS
to AIMS South Africa where
Ambassador and Strategic
participants were given the
Advisor for the Middle East and opportunity to meet staff and
North Africa Region beginning
students and take a tour of the
1 November 2014.
AIMS announces the Small Research Grant Program for Alumni
The continuous professional growth of AIMS students and alumni
remains a top priority for the AIMS network. With generous support
from the government of Canada’s International Development Research
Centre (IDRC), and within the framework of the AIMS Research for
Africa Project, For more click here for more information please visit
Postdoctoral Fellowships
AIMS-South Africa is seeking applicants for 2 Postdoctoral
Fellowships in the area of mathematical biology and mathematical finance. Fellowships are tenable for two years, contingent on satisfactory
progress, and could be extended for a third year. Fellowships are immediately available and the value of the reward ranges between R200 –
R240k per annum, tax free, subject to qualification and experience. Preference will be given to African applicants and those from SADC member
states are particularly encouraged. Please click on the links below for
project descriptions for the two positions: Mathematical Biology and
Financial Mathematics. For more information please visit http://
Send completed applications to [email protected]
Send subject related questions to [email protected]
DAAD PhD scholarships - Applications for 2015 are now open
DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service, in association with
AIMS, provides five in-region scholarships for a PhD programme in
Mathematical Sciences. These scholarships are available to students
wishing to commence a PhD programme at a South African University.
Funds awarded by the scholarship must be used towards covering the
costs of tuition fees, living expenses, medical insurance, books, stationery, research literature expenses, study permit and research.
Eligibility: African nationals from Sub Saharan countries (excluding
South African nationals), and not older than 36 years of age on the date
of nomination may apply. Women are particularly encouraged to submit
an application.
For more information and to apply please visit the website.
Mathematics in Industry Study Group (MISGSA) 2015
The Mathematics in Industry Study Group in South Africa will take at
AIMS South Africa from 12 to 16 January 2015. This will be preceeded
by a Graduate Workshop from 6 -10 January 2015.
A Mathematics in Industry Study Group is a five-day workshop at which
academic researchers and graduate students work collaboratively with
representatives from industry on research problems submitted by local
industry. Study Groups have been organised for over forty years in many
countries around the world. The MISG in South Africa was held in 2004.
For more information and to apply please click here.
The 8th Summer School in Mathematical Finance is being held at
AIMS from 19 to 21 February 2015. This workshop presents a unique
opportunity for local practitioners, academics and students to interact
with international leaders in research on topics and modelling techniques
current in the South African and international financial markets.
Intended audience: Practitioners, academics, PhD (and advanced MSc)
students in mathematical finance.
For more information and to apply please click here.
The AIMS Public Lecture series presents a talk titled:
"What is a particle" By Prof. Bernd Schroers, School of
Mathematical & Computer Sciences; Mathematics,
Heriot-Watt University
Date: Tuesday 25 November 2014 Time: 18:45 for 19:00
Venue: African Institute for Mathematical Sciences 6 Melrose Road,
Muizenberg Cost: Free
Click here for more information
[email protected]