Student updates

Inside this issue:

Student updates


MISG 2017


Annual Report 2015-2016


Cosmology Group 2 updates Workshop on Estimating Animal Abundance and Density using Acoustic Data


Barry Green elected President of CIMPA




Visiting Researcher




Public Lecture


New appointments 3 Announcements

Twelve students (including 11 South Africans) started the AIMS Master’s in Mathematical Sciences on 9 January 2017. They have now completed their first set of skills courses: Introduction to LaTeX and computing (Jan Groenewald and tutors, AIMS), Python (Jeff Sanders and tutors, AIMS) and Sage (Eric Ould Dadah Andriantiana, Rhodes). January 2017 intake

The five students enrolled on the BSc Honours in Mathematics with a focus in Biomathematics started on 26 January 2017 with an Introduction to Computing and LaTex and Python. The August 2016 intake completed the following courses: Quantum Mechanics Chains (David Aschman, Cape Town), Fluid Dynamics (Grae Worster, Cambridge and Richard Katz, Oxford) and Introduction to Random Systems, Information Theory, and related topics (Stéphane Ouvry, Paris Sud XI).

January 2017 Biomath intake

The Mathematics in Industry Study Group 2017


AIMS South Africa Annual Report 2015-2016 We are pleased to announce that the AIMS South Africa Annual Report for 2015-2016 has been released and is available to view and download. Please click here.

Workshop participants

The Mathematics in Industry Study Group is a five-day workshop at which academic researchers and graduate students work collaboratively with representatives from industry on research problems submitted by local industry. Study Groups have

been organized for over forty years in many countries around the world. The first Study Group in South Africa was held in 2004 at WITS. This year the workshop took place at AIMS South Africa. Continued on page 2.

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Research Centre updates Cosmology Group updates On the bibliometrics front, 2017 has seen two milestones for Prof. Bruce Bassett, head of the Cosmology Group at AIMS South Africa. He now has 100

papers with at least 10 citations and two more of his papers also crossed the 500 citations mark at the end of 2016.

Workshop on Estimating Animal Abundance and Density using Acoustic Data

Barry Green elected President of CIMPA At the end of January, Prof. Barry Green was elected President of CIMPA, the International Centre for Pure and Applied Mathematics, at a special meeting of its Governing Board in Nice. The new Vice President, Prof. Annie Raoult (Paris), Secretary General, Prof. Iván Area (Ourense), and Treasurer, Prof. Marc Aubry (Nice), were elected at the same meeting. CIMPA is a UNESCO (Catergory 2) Centre, founded in 1978 and based in Nice, France. Its mission is to promote research in the mathematical sciences in the developing world. It is mainly

supported by the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research, the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Prof. Green takes over from Prof. Tsou Sheung Tsun (Oxford), who has also been closely involved with AIMS South Africa and is a former Council Member. For more information please visit

Workshop participants

This workshop organised by Prof. Ian Durbach a resident researcher in the AIMS South Africa Research Centre, was held from 15-18 January 2017. It was funded by the NRF UK/ South Africa Researcher Links Grant awarded to Prof. Durbach in 2016. The aim of the workshop was to explore open questions on the use of acoustic data to estimate animal density and abundance. At the conclusion of

the workshop, the following research areas were identified, each linked to one or more possible publications:  Expanding the use of acoustic spatial capture recapture (aSCR)  Trace-contrast method for acoustic detections  Movement analysis from acoustic data  Continuous-time SCR for acoustic data  Individual Animal Identification


Dr Wilfred and Dr Olopade

Dr Olofunmilayo Olopade, the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, 
Director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Director of the Center for Global Health (cgh.uchicago. edu/page/leadership) from the University of Chicago visited AIMS South Africa on 16 January 2017. She met with Dr Wilfred Ndifon and other members of the Research Centre.

Prof. Green, Prof. Aubry, Prof. Raoult and Prof. Area

MISG continued ... The graduate workshop was held from 11-14 January, and the study group from 16-20 January 2017. In total there were 73 attendees. The problems covered in this year’s workshop were related to the sugar industry, manufacturing, mining and the economic cost of landfill pollution.

Guest speakers included: Prof.Graeme Hocking Murdoch University, Perth, Australia; Prof. Neville Fowkes - University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia; Dr Sarah Mitchell - University of Limerick, Ireland, Prof. Tim Myers - Centre de Recerca, Matematica, Barcelona, Spain; Prof. Colin Please - University of Oxford, United Kingdom; Prof. Alfred Owoloko Covenant University, Nigeria.

Prof. David Mason leading on of the groups

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Visiting Researcher


On 28 January, the AIMS South Africa Research Centre welcomed Dr Koffi Wilfrid Houedanou who is affiliated with the Institut de Mathematiques et de Sciences in Benin. His research themes include functional analysis, a posterior error analysis and numerical analysis of PDEs. He will be with us until 26 March.

Dr Houedanou

Dr Audrey Msimanga (SAARMSTE Executive Committee Member & Snr Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand), Dr Paul Denley, (Research Fellow, University of Bath) and Ms Lindiwe Tshuma

Public Lecture

Prof. Myers

On 18 January 2017, the AIMS Public Lecture Series presented a talk by Prof. Tim Myers, Adjunct Professor, Dept. de Matemática Aplicada I, Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya and Senior Researcher/ Industrial Mathematics Group

Leader, Centre de Recerca Matemática (CRM), Barcelona, Spain, titled: ‘Mathematics in Nanotechnology’. In the talk Prof. Myers provided an insight into modelling efforts in nanotechnology being carried out at the CRM.

New appointments Dr Gavhi-Molefe

Dr Rejoyce Gavhi-Molefe, a postdoctoctoral fellow at the AIMS Research Centre, has now been appointed as a researcher. Ms Naomi Fekema has been appointed as the Academic Programme Officer at AIMS South Africa.

Ms Fekema

The 25th annual conference of the Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (SAARMSTE) was hosted by Central University of Technology from the 17th – 20th of January 2017 in Bloemfontein.

From 20 – 21January, Ms Tshuma attended the SAARMSTE post conference writing clinic for emerging researchers conducted by Prof. Fred Lubben, the editor of the African Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (AJMSTE).

AIMSSEC was represented by Ms Lindiwe Tshuma who presented a research paper on relationships between language competency and mathematics instruction. SAARMSTE’s focus is to advance research in mathematics, science and technology education in Southern Africa. In line with this, the conference provided Ms Tshuma with opportunities to discuss language issues in primary science and mathematics with experienced researchers in the field.

While in Bloemfontein, Ms Tshuma also met with University of the Free State (UFS) South Campus management team to learn more about the recently introduced Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT) online course which was pioneered by the UFS in 2016. The introductory meeting also served as a platform for establishing synergies between AIMSSEC and UFS.

Announcements Applications for the AIMS Master's 2017-2018 are now OPEN Applications to the following programs are welcome: AIMS Master's Degree For the 2017-18 academic year, AIMS will offer the AIMS Master's Degree at its centres in Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Rwanda. Please click here for more information and to apply. AIMS Co-operative Master's Degree The co-op version of the AIMS Master’s Programme, offered only at AIMS Sénégal, builds on the core AIMS Master’s Programme and leads to the same AIMS Master’s Degree in Mathematical Sciences. Please click here for more information and to apply. If you have any queries about the applications process please visit the FAQs section of the website or write to [email protected]

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Announcements cont... AIMS South Africa - call for research project topics Potential supervisors of AIMS South Africa structured Master's students are invited to submit research project topics at the following link: Topics can be proposed until 6 February 2017, but are reviewed by AIMS staff as they are submitted. The approved topics are made known to the students by 9 February at the latest, and students select a topic by 13 February. Early interaction between students and supervisors often leads to the choice of topic being decided earlier, subject to approval by the AIMS Director or the Academic Director. Call for course proposals The AIMS structured Master's in Mathematical Sciences programme commences in August each year at all centres. AIMS South Africa has a second intake for South African students commencing in January. August at all centres and January at AIMS South Africa. For more information and to apply: The AIMS South Africa Public Lecture Series presents a talk ‘Shaping society as women in technology’ By Dr. Bonolo Mathibela, Research Scientist, IBM Research South Africa Lab Abstract: Technology permeates almost every aspect of society today, but those who imagine and build technology often do not mirror the people who use it. Whilst the number of women pursuing technology related careers is increasing, those pursuing computing related careers is declining. This talk will begin by highlighting the importance of gender diversity in technology and the significant contributions women have made in the past fifty years. Reference will be made to my personal journey as a woman pursuing a career in computing, including an overview of my most recent work in developing algorithms for intelligent transportation systems. Finally, there will be a discussion of the challenges women face in pursing computing and technology related careers; and which policies and programs make the most significant difference in improving gender diversity in the workplace. Date: Wednesday 15 February 2017 Time: 18:45 for 19:00 Cost: Free Venue: AIMS South Africa Dr Bonolo Mathibela_15 February 2017

AIMS-IWR Summer School Cape Town, South Africa, 13 - 17 February 2017 The summer school "Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing" is jointly organized by the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR), Heidelberg University, Germany and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) South Africa, Capetown, South Africa. The school brings together experts from Germany and Africa to lecture on various topics of Scientific Computing. Intended Audience The summer school is designed for postgraduate students, young researchers and scientists in the field of applied mathematics and numerical methods. All lectures start at the postgraduate level and give short introductions to the general theory in the field, specializing in more specific topics during the lecture. Applications are now only open to students from local universities. Limited space available. For more information please visit AIMS-IWR Summer School Summer School in Mathematical Finance 2017 The 10th annual Summer School in Mathematical Finance will bring to South Africa several leading academic exponents of the fast-growing field of Mathematical Finance, and presents a weeklong opportunity to local practitioners, academics and students to interact with international leaders in Mathematical Finance on topics and modelling techniques current in the South African and international financial markets. Intended audience Practitioners, academics, PhD and Master's students in mathematical finance. International Speakers: Prof. Erik Schlögl (UTS, Australia), Dr Joerg Kienitz (UCT and Quaternion, Germany), and Prof. Tom Hurd (McMaster University, Canada) Industry Speakers: Emlyn Flint, Nimalin Moodley, Greg Mollentz, Roelof Sheppard, Farzam Ehsani and Werner Opperman Dates: 20-24 February 2017 Venue: African South Africa, 6 Melrose Road, Muizenberg For further information and to apply please click here. Data Science Workshop This workshop is organized by Dr. Bubacarr Bah, the German Research Chair of Mathematics with specialization in Data Science at AIMS South Africa. It will be hosted at AIMS South Africa from 22 to 27 May 2017 and will introduce participants to the mathematical underpinnings, computational challenges, and applications of Data Science. The computation will focus on a selection of Machine Learning algorithms using the Julia programming language. Finally, the applications will give participants the opportunity to mathematically conceptualize problems and eventually use computing tools to solve these problems. Besides, there would be motivational talks given by invited speakers on their work that involved the use of Data Science. There will be a session on the basics of data visualization. Intended audience The participants of the workshop are expected to be MSc and PhD students from South African universities with an interest in Data Science. Please click here for more information and to register.

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January 2017

Feb 15, 2017 - 2. Visitor. 2. Visiting. Researcher. 3. SAARMSTE 2017 3. Public Lecture. 3 ... Student ... years in many countries around.

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