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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

Eminent Chinese musicians perform at Odeion
2011-03-08

Hing fat-Wong

A renowned and well-known award-winning Chinese musician from Hong Kong, Hing fat-Wong, enchanted music lovers of the classical genre, after joining forces with Frankie Feng, Music Director of Free State Orchestra of Chinese Music (FSOCM), live on stage at our university’s Odeion for the first time in 30 years. Wong and Feng lit up the stage, to a full house, with an outstanding orchestral performance at the FSOCM’s first concert for the year, called Ancient Chinese Classical Music. Wong was invited by the FSOCM in January 2011 to play solo pieces on the traditional Chinese instruments, the pipa and guqin.

Wong conducted two works, Shanbei Suite and Variations on Yang Guan. Both were arranged by Feng and are based on Chinese folk songs and ancient melodies, respectively. According to Wong, ancient melodies refer to all music before the 1911 Chinese Revolution. However, Wong stated that Feng’s arrangement gave new life to these melodies, as played by the FSOCM.
 
Wong proved to the audience that his talent goes beyond the conductor's baton, and includes his ability to play instruments such as the pipa and guqin masterfully, by performing several solo pieces using these two traditional Chinese instruments.
 
During his stay in Bloemfontein, Wong was invited by Prof. Nicole Viljoen from our Department of Music to host a successful seminar on the appreciation of Chinese music. Attendees had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by Wong and gain first-hand experience of classic traditional Chinese instruments being played. The FSOCM is a multi-cultural orchestra and looks forward to hosting more high-quality performances with soloists of the calibre of Wong throughout the year.

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