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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

UFS to increase tuition fees for 2017 with 8%
2016-12-07

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the institution’s budget for 2017 during its quarterly meeting on Friday 2 December 2016, which was held on the Bloemfontein Campus. A general increase of 8% in tuition fees and 8% in housing and residence fees were also approved.

The approved increase in fees is in line with the recommendations by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, on 19 September 2016. The increases were approved by Council, with the understanding that it would be paid by the Department of Higher Education and Training by means of the fee adjustment grant for qualifying students with a combined family income of not more than R600 000 per annum.

“The university management is aware of the economic realities in South Africa, as well as the financial pressure households are experiencing. The long-term financial sustainability of the UFS, as well as the financial constraints which impact teaching and learning, research, and community service, continue to remain of utmost importance to the Council,” said Prof Nicky Morgan, acting Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

According to Prof Morgan, the average fees per programme at the UFS are in almost all instances the lowest when measured against the fees of comparable universities. This will remain in 2017, even if the 8% increase in tuition fees approved by Council is taken into account.

“The university management stated its pro-poor approach to student funding on several occasions; also that academically deserving students from poor and working class families should receive substantial financial support. For this reason – also because it does not place a burden on poor and working-class families – an increase in tuition fees aligned with the DHET proposal was submitted to Council for approval. The presidents of the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campus Student Representative Councils were present and participated in the discussion on fees – also when Council approved the increase,” said Prof Morgan.

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
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