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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

Motho ke motho ka batho. A person is a person through others.
2016-04-26

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Student Bursary Fund Campaign booklet (pdf)
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Student Bursary Fund Campaign launched: #FundAFuture and make a difference

 

“I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to study further. For that to happen, the heavens had to forge a way.” Mixed feelings dapple Jean-Pierré van der Walt's face as he recounts the miracles - and hardships - of his journey.

Motho ke motho ka batho. A person is a person through others.

Jean-Pierré is one of ambassadors of the Student Bursary Fund Campaign, launched by the University of the Free State (UFS). The project aims to raise R100 m to fund talented, deserving students who do not have the financial means to obtain a university degree. This financial support will change the future irrevocably for many young people in our country, young people who are similar to Jean-Pierré.

Description: Jean-Pierré van der Walt Tags: Jean-Pierré van der Walt

Jean-Pierré van der Walt
Photo: Sonia Small

“When I was in matric, going to university was never an option.” Surmounting his financial circumstances seemed impossible. “It made me feel despondent, and I thought to myself: after school, what would my life be like, where am I going?” It was at this juncture in his life that a funding opportunity enabled him to pursue his dream of making a difference in the world through education. He embarked on a BEd degree in Senior and FET (Further Education and Training) Teaching, which he completed in 2015.

“Varsity taught me to stand up for myself, to make my voice heard,” Jean-Pierré says. “If I did not have the opportunity to attend university, I would have missed my calling in life: to show the world that, despite your physical restrictions, you can still make a difference.” Jean-Pierré is differently-abled as a result of cerebral palsy.

Looking to be placed as an English and Sesotho teacher, Jean-Pierré is eager to teach children that anything is possible, regardless of heritage, family life, or circumstances. “Motho ke motho ka batho. A person is a person through others,” he says is the philosophy he lives by. “One cannot survive in solitude; one needs others to go further in life.”

In the same way, the UFS needs your support and generosity. Each contribution will bring us closer to our goal of R100 m, and to changing the landscape of our youth’s future.

Visit our Giving page for ways to donate.

 

For enquiries or further information:
T: +27(0)51 401 3966 | E: FundAFuture@ufs.ac.za | www.ufs.ac.za

 

 


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