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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

New SRC constitution for UFS main campus agreed upon by all organisations
2005-07-20

University of the Free State Fact Sheet

1. The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) unanimously approved an amendment to the SRC constitution for the main campus to allow for the introduction of proportional representation (PR) alongside a first-past-the-post electoral system.

2. This decision was taken by the UFS Council on 10 June 2005 at the same meeting where it also approved the establishment of a Central SRC for the three campuses of the UFS.

3. The new main campus SRC constitution is the result of consensus reached during a lengthy negotiation process involving diverse student formations such as Sasco, the ANC Youth League, the Young Communist League, the ACDP, HEREXVII, KovsieAlliance, as well as the democratically elected SRC members of the main campus. Independent persons such as Mr Jack Klaas and Mr Kobus van Loggerenberg facilitated the negotiation process.

4. The consensus reached during this process, and the subsequent decision by Council, represent a major breakthrough for student governance and transformation of the UFS main campus and constitutes a legitimate basis for the democratic participation of all students at the UFS main campus in the governance of the university.

5. The introduction of the proportional representation system follows earlier calls by some student formations, notably Sasco and the ANC Youth League, for such a system to be introduced at the UFS main campus in Bloemfontein.

6. In terms of the amendments to the main campus SRC constitution, nine of the 18 SRC members are to elected by means of proportional representation and nine on the basis of an direct, first-past-the-post election.

7. The following portfolios of the main campus SRC will be contested by individual candidates on the basis of “first past the post”:
• president
• secretary
• academic affairs
• legal and constitutional affairs
• student development
• arts and culture
• men’s internal liaison
• ladies internal liaison
• media, marketing and liaison

8. The following nine portfolios will be contested by affiliated organizations on a proportional representation basis.
• two vice-presidents
• treasurer
• dialogue and associations
• transformation
• campus affairs and recreation
• sport
• international affairs
• community service

9. These two decisions regarding student governance represent a breakthrough in that, for the first time in many years, all SRC constitutional changes were processed and approved by the June meeting of the Council, well in time for the scheduled August SRC election; in addition, all relevant student organizations have been part of the process and all have accepted the outcome of the process.

20 July 2005
 

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