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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 Alumni honours four former Kovsies
2008-04-11

The University of the Free State (UFS) will honour four old Kovsies during the Kovsie Alumni Gala Awards dinner on Friday, 16 May 2008.

UFS Alumni chose Juan Smith as the 2007 Kovsie Alumnus of the Year. Dr Sherylle Calder, Dr Derick Coetzee and Prof. André Claassen will each receive the Kovsie Cum Laude Award. This award is made to honour UFS alumni for exceptional achievements and contributions to the UFS.

Juan Smith, member of the victorious World Cup Springbok team and captain of the 2007 Vodacom Free State Cheetahs Currie Cup winners, will receive the 2007 Kovsie Alumnus of the Year award. This award is made to a Kovsie alumnus for outstanding performance on national or international level. Smith made his Springbok debut in 2003 and has received much praise for his contribution to the side since then.

Dr Sherylle Calder and Dr Derick Coetzee will both receive the Kovsie Alumni Cum Laude Award. Both have played a key role in the preparation and conditioning of the Springbok team. Dr Calder has also been highly successful as part of the coaching unit for the English rugby team that won the World Cup in 2003, and the coaching team for the Australian cricket side. She is a pioneer in the field of visual awareness. Dr Coetzee has been the fitness conditioning expert for the Springbok team for the past four years. The success of the team in the World Cup is a testament to his achievements.

Prof. André Claassen will also be honoured with a Cum Laude Award for his contribution in the advancement of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology. He has many personal achievements in his discipline and has received several national and international awards, including one for the first cochlear implants in the Free State. The Cum Laude Award is given to an alumnus for outstanding service or achievement on local, national or international level in his/her field or discipline.

The Gala Awards dinner is a public event and will take place in the Reitz Hall of the Centenary Complex on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein. Microsoft is co-sponsor of the event. Those who are interested in attending can contact Ms Annanda Calitz at 051 401 3382 or alumni@fus.ac.za.

For information regarding the Kovsie Alumni Annual General Meeting, please contact Ms Annanda Calitz 051 401 3382 or Mr Lucas Radebe at 051 401 3751.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454

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