Selection of the 2015-2016 AIMS Master’s intake

Inside this issue:

Selection for 2015-2016 AIMS Master’s intake


Student updates


Canadian High 1 Commission lunch

Cosmology Group 2 updates

Visiting researchers


Journal Club


Talks at Stellenbosch University


Network news




The selection for the August 2015 intake was completed in May 2015. “This is the first year that we have conducted the whole process online and a big step forward for the network of AIMS centres. We are also proud that the data structure used for this process was developed by an AIMS alumnus Mr Trust Chibawara,” noted Prof. Barry Green. Across the network there were 2684 applications from 48

countries with over 400 already having a Master’s degree in the mathematical sciences. This indicates how sought after the AIMS qualification has become and the acknowledgement of the role the AIMS centres are playing in this important area on the continent.

centres: Sénégal. Ghana, Cameroon and Tanzania.

AIMS South Africa shortlisted 224 applications and offered places to 62 prospective students. Each of the centres will be offering between 50 and 60 places to students, bringing the total number More than 1000 applications of AIMS Master’s students to be were received by AIMS South registered for the 2015-2016 year Africa and between 250 and 450 to over 250, an achievement that applications at each of the newer AIMS is very proud of.

Student updates The January intake of students completed the following courses: Biostatistics (Emile Chimusa Rugamika, UCT) and Introduction to Dynamical Systems (Patrick Dorey, Durham).

The August intake have submitted their research projects and are currently busy with their oral exams. Students submitting their projects

Canadian High Commission lunch

H.E. Gaston Barbon addresses the attendees

At the request of the IDRC, H.E Gaston Barban, the Canadian High Commissioner hosted a lunch at his official residence in Pretoria to introduce AIMS to Canadian companies operating in Southern Africa. The objective of the lunch, which was held on 11 May 2015, was to create a better understanding of the success of AIMS across Africa.

Ms Odhiambo gives her account

Ms Nancy Achieng Odhiambo, who graduated from AIMS South Africa in 2012 gave an account of her experience at AIMS and why this is important in the African context. Ms Odhiambo currently works as a Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at LiveMoya, a mutli-disciplinary project management and consulting firm.

It was also an opportunity for AIMS to develop partnerships for providing internships, job opportunities and research funding. A cross section of representatives from mining, engineering, finance and healthcare attended. Representing AIMS were Prof. Barry Green, Dr Dorothy Nyambi, Mr Mark Heerden and Ms Mimi Kalinda.

[email protected]

Research Centre updates

Journal Club

Cosmology Group updates

On 5 May 2015, Dr Mateyisi Jacob Mohau (AIMS South Africa) gave a talk in the Journal Club titled: “Polymer networks with mobile force-applying crosslinks.”

The Cosmology Group at AIMS South Africa hosted a seminar on 11 May 2015, by Dr Lavinia Heisenberg titled: “Can the graviton be massive?” Lise du Boisson, a Dr Lavinia Heisenberg Master’s student in the Cosmology Group at AIMS South Africa was officially awarded an MSc with distinction for her thesis titled: “Applications of Machine Learning in Astronomy.” For the past three years Prof. Martin Kunz has been an SKA visiting professor at AIMS but this contract has now come to an end. Prof. Bassett, Head of the Cosmology Group said, “I would like to thank Martin for all his contributions to AIMS South Africa which includes about 70 papers and

Dr Mateyisi Jacob Mohau

On 14 May 2015, Zoe Zerihun and Dinna Ranirina both from AIMS South Africa gave short presentations in the Journal Club on their work.

Zoe Zerihun Prof Martin Kunz

Zoe’s talk was on “Analysing tuberculosis disease outcome and drug response in admixed population,” an ongoing research project under the supervision of Dr Gaston Mazandu. Dinna spoke on “Mutliwavelet analysis,” her project is being supervised by Prof. Johan de Villiers.

co-supervision of MSc and PhD students.”

Visiting researchers Dinna Ranirina

Prof. Ted Chinburg

Prof. Frauke Bleher

Prof. Ted Chinburg and Prof. Frauke Bleher are visited AIMS South Africa from 21 May to 2 June 2015. Prof. Chinburg is in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania. His research area is number theory, arithmetic and hyperbolic geometry with particular interests in Galois module structure, values of L-functions and deformation theory. Prof. Bleher is in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Iowa. Her research area is in representation theory of groups and of finite-dimensional algebras, with an emphasis on questions that overlap representation theory, number theory and arithmetic geometry.

On 19 May 2015, Dr Samuel Meehan, who completed his PhD at the University of Chicago in 2014 and is currently a tutor at AIMS South Africa, gave a talk in the Journal Club titled: “The Higgs Boson, Dark Matter and All That Stuff: Searching for New Physics at the Large Hadron Collider.”

Mr Yacouba Simpore

Mr Yacouba Simpore, a PhD student in optimal control of PDES at the University of Quagadougou, Burkina Faso is visiting AIMS South Africa until 28 July 2015. He is studying the insensitizing control (of the parabolic systems (heat equation) and the equation with two time (Crocco equation). The resolution of these problems is based on the Carlemann inequalities, observability inequality, and the methods fixed point. During his visit he will work on population dynamics: a stabilization problem and an insensitizing problem.

Dr Samuel Meehan

On Tuesday 26 May 2015, Prof. Ted Chinburg (University of Pennsylvania) gave a talk in the Journal Club titled: “Cryptography, electrostatics and number theory.”

Prof. Ted Chinburg

[email protected]

Talks at Stellenbosch University Prof. Chinburg and Prof. Bleher, AIMS South Africa visitors also gave talks at Stellenbosch University on Thursday 28 May. The first talk by Prof. Bleher was titled “Inverse deformation ring problems” and the second by Prof. Chinburg was titled “The growth of class numbers in towers of number fields.”

They were joined by Tovondrainy Christalin Razafindramahatsioro a PhD student in the AIMS Research Centre who gave a talk titled: “Reduction of Automorphism groups of Function Fields.”

DIRISA workshop Prof. Barry Green attended the of South Africa (DIRISA) Data Intensive Research Initiative workshop on 27 May 2015.

Network News News from Rwanda

Announcements Postdoctoral Fellowships AIMS South Africa is seeking applicants for Postdoctoral Fellowships in the following areas. Click the links below for more information: Computational Algebra, Mathematical Biology, Computational Immunology and Biological Dynamics (2 positions), Big Data: Inference and Machine Learning in Astronomy Or visit our website by clicking here. Enquiries: [email protected] Call for Applications: German Research Chair in "Mathematics and its Applications" Applications for the German Research Chair in "Mathematics and its Applications" of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation based at the AIMS Ghana are now open. For more information please visit http:// The deadline for applications is 15 July 2015.

Computing the Quantified Self Workshop Improved medical support for the aged, the young, the sporty and the ill is being revolutionised by a combination of new wearable devices, high tech scanning machines, plus modelling, data processing and communications. Devices can now sense your exercise and body parameters (pulse rate, blood pressure, calorie intake, sleep, and so on). Models, often incorporating correlations computed between such parameters, help to warn or diagnose physical conditions of concern. At the same time, a new generation of machines is available in medical facilities to scan specific parts of the body, providing data from which mathematical models are used to identify physical features (brain damage, cancer, sports injuries and so on). Come and find out how the maths you already know can be used in modelling, analysing and interpreting such data. Learn more of the relevant maths, and how computing makes it feasible in real time. We'll teach you about how to make decisions based on uncertain data, a theory which underlies the whole approach. You'll learn about the processing of brain signals, both theory and practice. You'll learn about Computational Immunology: how to design drugs based to suit certain people and certain strains of disease. And of course you'll learn about the latest wearable devices used to monitor health and even body movement.

Mr Zomahoun, President Kagame and Prof. Turok

On 12 May 2015, Prof. Neil Turok and Mr Thierry Zomahoun met with Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame who enthusiastically endorsed AIMS and tasked senior cabinet members, the Ministers of Finance and Education, to work with AIMS towards the implementation of an AIMS Rwanda proposal. In the afternoon, Prof. Turok also gave a public lecture on

‘Mathematical Science: Driving Innovation and Transformation’ at the University of Rwanda which was attended by six AIMS alumni from Rwanda, around 80 students from various scientific backgrounds including chemistry and engineering and architecture as well as the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Deans and Principals of the various Colleges at the University of Rwanda.

Mathematicians are ideally placed to play an active role in the digital age. Huge amounts of data from biological sensors or scans can be processed only by computer. Come and learn how to do that. Dates: 6 -10 July 2015 Participants: Senior undergraduates (3rd year) or honours students in Mathematical Logistical Information:  All accommodation, meals and airport transfers will be provided.  Travel costs (bus or flight will be for the participants own expense)  AIMS will contribute R500 towards the travel costs however funds are limited and are subject to availability  Confirmed travel documents will be required to support requests for funding and to process reimbursements Please click here for more information and to apply. Alternatively please contact [email protected]

[email protected]

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