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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

Women’s Day Lecture by Zanele Muholi
2014-08-04

 
The Gender Studies programme at the Centre for Africa Studies presents the 2014 Women’s Day Lecture with guest speaker Zanele Muholi.

Muholi, a photographer and visual activist, will show new photographs as well as a new video produced in Durban as part of a presentation exploring Born Frees (the generation born post-apartheid South Africa known as Mandela’s great-grandchildren), and how each person expresses themselves queerly at the time of troubling hate crimes in South Africa. The young adults she depicts are those born in 1990–1994, and openly gay/lesbian/trans within South African borders.

Date: Friday 8 August 2014
Time: 12:00 – 14:00
Venue: CR Swart Auditorium, Bloemfontein Campus 

Zanele was born in Umlazi, Durban, and currently lives in Johannesburg. She is known for her work on black lesbians and corrective rape in South Africa. Her work emphasises the importance of queering the normative gaze by representing black lesbians in ‘straight’ portraits in a collection of work titled Faces and Phases. Muholi’s work focuses on queer politics, gender politics and politics of race.

In the 2013 Human Rights Watch documentary titled We Live in Fear, Muholi speaks about the way in which ‘corrective rapes’ have become a binding factor for the LGBT community in South African townships and the importance of documenting lesbians who have become victims of these hate crimes. In 2009 Muholi founded the non-profit organisation Inkanyiso which focuses on visual arts and media advocacy for and by the LGBT community. Muholi is an Honorary Professor of the University of Arts/Hochschule für Künste Bremen.

To attend the lecture, please contact Nadine Lake at LakeNC@ufs.ac.za or +27(0)51 401 3813.

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