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South African Mathematical Sciences Research Landscape in 2024 by Prof Loyiso Nongxa (WITS)
Author: Rene Kotze
Published: 07/06/2023

Monday 12 June 2023, 16h00, Neelsie Cinema

In this presentation we speculate on how the research landscape in South Africa might look like in 20 years time. We examine this through the lens of the profile of early career mathematical scientists, their research interests as well as areas of research concentration on the current landscape

BIOGRAPHY Prof Loyiso G. Nongxa retired as Ad Hominem Professor of Mathematics at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) in 2018, after 18 years at the university. From 2000 until 2013 he served on the Senior Executive Team of WITS: from 2000 until 2002 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and from 2003 until 2013 as Vice-Chancellor and Principal. He is currently Professor Emeritus at WITS, Honorary Professor at the University of Pretoria and Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). He attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship and obtained his doctorate in Mathematics in 1982. Prior to that he was a student at the University of Fort Hare where he completed his BSc (Honours) degrees in Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics and an MSc in Mathematics. He has taught at the National University of Lesotho, the former University of Natal in Durban, UWC and WITS. Prior to moving to university management, his research interests were in Group Theory and over the last few years his academic interests have been in the Mathematical Foundations of Data Science and Machine Learning. Prof Nongxa was elected as one of the two Vice-Presidents of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) in 2018. From 2019 to 2022 he served as the liaison between the IMU and UNESCO, and the International Science Council. He served as the Chairperson of the Board of the National Research Foundation from 2014 to 2018. He was appointed by the Minister of Higher Education and Training as Administrator of the University of Fort Hare for April 2019 to April 2020. For the last few years he has been a champion of a National Graduate Academy for Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, which focuses on the development of the next generation of mathematicians and statisticians in South Africa.​