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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 computer centre
2007-05-15

Attending the sod turning ceremony of the University of the Free State's (UFS) new computer centre were, from the left: Mr Abraham Makhalanyane (Director of Sikeyi Construction), Prof. Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS) and Mr Johann Ströhfeldt (Director of Ströhfeldt Construction Group). The centre, which will host about 815 computers, will be erected in a joint venture between the two construction companies.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
 

UFS gets new computer centre

The first sod of a new computer centre which will host about 815 computers was turned on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein today.

The computer centre, which will be situated next to the UFS Sasol Library, will have various state-of-the-art computer laboratories. This is the first new building to be built on the Main Campus since the student centre, Thakaneng Bridge, and will be erected at a total project cost of R19 million.

“The computer centre is an important addition to our strategy to promote e-learning and is a sign of the new era of blended learning which students are now practicing,” said Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, during the sod-turning ceremony.

According to Prof. Fourie the building will address students’ need for available computers. “All our students do not have a computer to assist them with their studies. The centre will empower them to complete their studies successfully and will provide them with the opportunity to conduct research in an academic environment,” said Prof. Fourie.

“Various laboratories for among others group work, as well as laboratories where students can work in a quiet environment on individual assignments will be established. Rooms for classes where a computer is a prerequisite to students as well as rooms for examinations, tests and practical sessions will be provided,” said Prof. Fourie.

The computers will not only comprise of traditional programmes, but rooms with programmes for open learning will also be established. Subject specific software will be installed in certain rooms to enable students to obtain a good knowledge of the subject fields.

The computer centre, which will be open seven days a week, will also be at the disposal of UFS staff.

“I am looking forward to this development on the Main Campus. It will be a thrill to see more than 800 students studying in the computer laboratories,” said Prof. Fourie.

The building will be erected in a joint venture between Ströhfeldt Construction Group and Sikeyi Construction, a black empowerment company. Mr Abraham Makhalanyane, Director of Sikeyi Construction, thanked the UFS for the opportunity to be involved with a project of this magnitude. “A project like this is a great responsibility and I am looking forward to work with a team of experts,” he said. Mr Johann Ströhfeldt, Director of Ströhfeldt Construction Group, said: “We have been working with the UFS on construction projects for more than 25 years. I believe that this project will also contribute to the pride and glory of the UFS.”

The expected completion date of the computer centre is May 2008.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za
14 May 2007
 

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