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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

Farewell to the Class of 2015
2016-12-07

Description:Class of 2015 Tags: Class of 2015 longdesc=


Some of the students from the Class of 2015

The First Year Leadership for Change programme (F1 L4C) hosted its final graduation ceremony for the class of 2015.

Launched in 2010, the programme gives first-year students international exposure to top universities across the world, providing invaluable opportunities to explore the concepts of transformational leadership, global citizenship and social cohesion.

The 32 students and six staff mentors visited various universities which included, New York University, Rutgers University, Edmonds Community College and Washington University ­- all in the US, Mahasarakham University in Thailand and Vrije University in the Netherlands.

Making a change through critical thinking

Pura Mgolombane, Dean of Student Affairs at the University of the Free State (UFS), challenged the students to think about making a change and to critically think about themselves and how they see the world.

The graduation function, which took place on 16 November 2016, saw the class of 2015 come together to celebrate their accomplishments over the year and allowed the class representative, Tammy Fray, to reflect on all of the valuable lessons learnt.

Special announcement to end the evening

Throughout the evening, representatives from previous years testified to the impact the programme had on their personal development, leadership pathways and their learning communities. The audience was charmed with a song by Stefan Lotter, current chair of the F1 Fellowship Association, and the Delicate Artistry Band.

The evening ended with a special word by Prof Nicky Morgan, acting Rector of the UFS, who convinced by alumni’s testimonies, acknowledged what the exceptional programme had delivered over the past six years. Although it was at the end of its lifetime, he said that in review, ideas emerging from the programme should be explored to give birth to something new.  Watch this space!

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