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12 September 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Arbor tree plant
To celebrate National Arbor Week the University of the Free State has embarked on a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September

If you’ve wondered whether Arbor Month was important, you only have to look at the destruction and long-term damage that deforestation causes to the environment and the world’s inhabitants. To observe National Arbor Month, the University of the Free State’s has (UFS) kick-started a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September.

To launch this initiative, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, alongside members of the rectorate, assisted the University Estates team in planting the first 10 of 100 trees at the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 4 September 2019. A total of 50 trees will be planted on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Towards a sustainable future

“We have gone through periods of drought in the Free State that have severely impacted not only the plants but the trees on our campuses. The idea is to emphasise sustainability, and as a university, we believe that sustainability is important. As an education institution, we have to look at the generations that are still to come to our campuses,” said Prof Petersen.

He urged the Kovsie community to ensure that all practices across the campuses are linked to global standards of sustainability. “As we develop over the next couple of months and years, we will get much closer alignment between what we are doing as a university and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Drought-resistant man-made forests

Clusters of mini forests across the campuses will be created with a variety of trees including the karee, white karee, white stinkwood, and wild olive. These indigenous trees can adapt well to different soils including those that are poorly drained.

Celebrating Arbor Week

This year’s campaign was held under the theme Forests and Sustainable Cities. As part of the celebration, University Estates made a commitment to the environment by embarking on the green initiative which includes other project such as the upgrade of Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Dr Abdon Atangana cements his research globally by solving fractional calculus problem
2014-12-03

 

Dr Abdon Atangana

To publish 29 papers in respected international journals – and all of that in one year – is no mean feat. Postdoctoral researcher Abdon Atangana at the Institute for Groundwater Studies at the University of the Free State (UFS) reached this mark by October 2014, shortly before his 29th birthday.

His latest paper, ‘Modelling the Advancement of the Impurities and the Melted Oxygen concentration within the Scope of Fractional Calculus’, has been accepted for publication by the International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics.

In previously-published research he solved a problem in the field of fractional calculus by introducing a fractional derivative called ‘Beta-derivative’ and its anti-derivative called ‘Atangana-Beta integral’, thereby cementing his research in this field.

Dr Atangana, originally from Cameroon, received his PhD in Geohydrology at the UFS in 2013. His research interests include:
• the theory of fractional calculus;
• modelling real world problems with fractional order derivatives;
• applications of fractional calculus;
• analytical methods for partial differential equations;
• analytical methods for ordinary differential equations;
• numerical methods for partial and ordinary differential equations; and
• iterative methods and uncertainties modelling.

Dr Atangana says that, “Applied mathematics can be regarded as the bridge between theory and practice. The use of mathematical tools for solving real world problems is as old as creation itself. As written in the book Genesis ‘And God saw the light, that it was good; and divided the light from the darkness’, the word division appears here as the well-known method of separation of variables, this method is usually employed to solve a class of linear partial differential equations”.

“A mathematical model is a depiction of a system using mathematical concepts and language. The procedure of developing a mathematical model is termed mathematical modelling. Mathematical models are used not only in natural sciences, but also in social sciences such as economics, psychology, sociology and political sciences. These models help to explain systems and to study the effects of different components, and to make predictions about behaviours.”

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