On 22 November, AIMS South Africa celebrated the success of 13 students (including 9 South Africans) from the January 2022 intake at a Recognition of Achievement Ceremony held at the Centre.
This ceremony brings the total number of AIMS graduates since 2003 to 967 from 41 African countries, of which 35% are women.
“What you have achieved today is quite special,” noted Prof. David Holgate, Chair, AIMS South Africa Council and guest speaker at the event. “But completing the AIMS Master’s is not just an achievement it is also a privilege. You were selected from a very competitive group and you were in the unique situation of being immersed in mathematics for a whole year and have developed a broader experience and understanding of the mathematical sciences and how to conduct research. You are also now part of the AIMS network which is spread across the African continent. So, the question to ask is what are you going to do with this privilege as you walk with it into the future?”
Dr Simukai Utete, Academic Director, announced that Ms Dimakatso Makgob was the winner of the Women in Combinatorics Award for a project titled ‘Learning from the unseen: Waiting time estimation’, supervised by Dr Daniel Nickelsen. This award initiated in the 2021-22 academic year was created for women candidates at AIMS centres, for an excellent project in combinatorics or a related area. There is one award for each centre. The purpose of the award is to assist the winnr with start-up costs for a PhD programme as well as provide mentoring support.
Ms Fortune Pitsi Lekgwara, from South Africa and Mr Kutlwano Othomile, from Botswana spoke on behalf of the students. They both thanked AIMS and everyone who made the year possible for them. Ms Lekgwara said, “We have all achieved something extraordinary. Today we are here as a community and the friendships and memories that we have made with people who share the same dreams and ambitions in life will be treasured forever.” Mr Othomile added, “We now know how to use tools to solve mathematical problems. All the valuable skills we have learnt we will take with us as we look forward to making an impact wherever we go, whether in industry or academia.”
Prof. Barry Green, Director, AIMS South Africa said, “Everyone at AIMS becomes deeply involved and as such we are all very proud of your success as it makes us feel even more connected to the rest of the continent.”