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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Stochastic Modelling for Reliability from Russia
2013-12-20

 

 Prof Maxim (MS) Finkelstein’s
The Russian professor first visited our university in 1993 and loved the environment. For the last 15 years we were fortunate to have had a man of Prof Maxim (MS) Finkelstein’s (65) stature as part of our Department of Mathematical Statistics.

“I like the atmosphere, the environment and the people of the UFS,” says Prof Finkelstein. “The UFS is a real campus, not part of the city as a lot of other universities in South Africa.”

Prof Finkelstein completed his MSc in Mathematical Physics from the Leningrad State University in the USSR in 1971. Maths and Physics have been a passion of his since a young age. In 1979, Prof Finkelstein completed his PhD in Mathematical Theory of Reliability at Leningrad Elektropribor Institute. Before his career at our university, Prof Finkelstein was a Senior Researcher at St. Petersburg Elektropribor Institute and an Associate Professor at Leningrad Technological Institute.

His long list of publications includes over 170 papers and five books. His monograph Failure Rate Modelling for Reliability and Risk was published by Springer in 2008. More recently another monograph – which was co-authored with JH Cha – was published by Springer in April 2013 and is called Stochastic Modelling for Reliability: Shocks, Burn-in, and Heterogeneous Populations.

Prof Finkelstein’s research interests include mathematical theory of reliability, survival analysis, risk and safety modelling, stochastic processes and stochastics in demography. When asked about leisure and life outside of research, the devoted academic’s response was as follows…

“To have publications, you have to work all the time. I work half of Saturdays and most of Sundays,” Prof Finkelstein says. “I spend three months a year in Russia and Germany – mostly during the European summer – for my research.”
“But apart from that, I like reading – classical Russian authors mostly. I swim in the UFS’s swimming pool almost every day and I play tennis as well.”

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