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14 December 2020
Prof Abdon Atangana
Prof Abdon Atangana is known for his work in developing a new fractional operator used to model real-world problems arising in the fields of science, technology, and engineering. He was recently awarded the TWAS Mohammad A. Hamdan Award by The World Academy of Sciences.

Prof Abdon Atangana, Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Institute for Groundwater Studies at the University of the Free State (UFS), was awarded the TWAS Mohammad A. Hamdan Award by The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries.

It is the first time that the TWAS Mohammad A. Hamdan Award was bestowed. According to a statement issued by TWAS, this award is given for outstanding mathematical work carried out by a scientist working and living in Africa or the Arab region. It states that the award can be given for work in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, probability, or statistics. Prof Atangana received the award for his contribution to fractal mathematics and partial differential equations.

Making a difference in society

He is known for his research in developing a new fractional operator, the Atangana-Baleanu operator, which is used to model real-world problems. With this operator, he not only describes the rate at which something will change, but also account for disrupting factors that will help to produce better projections.

His work can be applied to make complicated predictions in the fields of science, technology, and engineering. His models can, for instance, help to predict the spread of infectious diseases among people in a settlement, forecasting the number of people who will be infected each day, the number of people who will recover, and the number of people who will die.

Prof Atangana’s models can also help to advise people drilling for water by predicting how groundwater is flowing in a complex geological formation. These are only two examples of how his work can be applied to make a difference in society.

The award from TWAS is the third prestigious commendation he has received in the past month. He was recently named as one of the top 1% scientists on the global Clarivate Web of Science list. His name also appeared on a global list of leading scientists published by Stanford University in the United States. The list is the result of a study published in PLOS Biology, a peer-reviewed open-access journal.

World’s most accomplished scientists

Honours awarded by TWAS and its partners are among the most prestigious for research in the developing world. They recognise outstanding achievements and contributions to science and acknowledge the best work by scientists from the global South.

TWAS, founded in 1983 by a group of scientists under the leadership of Pakistani physicist and Nobel laureate, Abdus Salam, believes that developing nations – by growing strength in science and engineering – will be able to address challenges such as hunger, disease, and poverty, through their knowledge and skills.

TWAS is represented in 100 countries, and of the more than a thousand elected fellows, 14 are Nobel laureates. Eighty-four percent of these fellows are from developing nations. TWAS fellows are also some of the world’s most accomplished scientists.

News Archive

Kovsies SRC President cycles to raise money for registration
2017-11-27


 Description: Right to learn campaign read more Tags: Right to learn campaign read more

Asive Dlanjwa, Bloemfontein SRC President, will cycle to Cape Town to
raise money for the 2018 registrations.
Photo: Moeketsi Mogotsi

“When I came to the University of the Free State (UFS), all I had was a R50 note and I did not know how I was going to register.” This is what Bloemfontein Campus SRC President, Asive Dlanjwa, encountered when he arrived at the UFS. He says the biggest struggle for students is not having finances for registration at the beginning of the year.

R2 million to be raised for 2018 registration

It is for this reason that Dlanjwa will be partaking in the Right to Learn Cycle tour challenge from 27 November to 4 December 2017. The Student Representative Council (SRC), in partnership with Institutional Advancement, came up with this initiative to cycle from Bloemfontein to Cape Town in eight days in an effort to raise R2 million for 2018 registration.

Bringing hope to prospective students and their families
Dlanjwa says, “We want to give access to as many students as possible. This initiative is not only about the students, it’s about giving hope to their families and taking them out of poverty.” He recalls an incident where a student went to the SRC offices to seek help at the beginning of the year, with nothing but an identity document and the clothes he had on. The student had been sleeping at the Bloemfontein Tourism Centre because he had no money for accommodation and registration. “These are the types of cases that we have to deal with at the start of each year,” says Dlanjwa.

He urges the community to partner with them in ensuring that many students get access to higher education by donating money through the Give-n-gain page. Dlanjwa, joined by a few more guest cyclists, left Bloemfontein on Monday 27 November 2017 and are expected to arrive in Cape Town on Monday 4 December 2017. 

 

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