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Mathematical Partnership between Germany and Senegal

Mouhamed Moustapha Fall, who holds an endowed chair of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Senegal, came to visit TU Chemnitz in July 2014

  • Mathematics brings people together: Prof. Dr. Peter Stollmann and Prof. Dr. Mouhamed Moustapha Fall at their last meeting before the research seminar. Photo: Damaris Diener

Prof. Dr. Peter Stollmann, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics at TU Chemnitz, and Prof. Dr. Mouhamed Moustapha Fall, holder of Chair "Mathematics and its Applications" of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Senegal, since six month now are working towards a strategic partnership. The AIMS-Senegal is part of the AIMS-Next Einstein Initiative, whose goal is to build a network of centers of excellence in Africa in the next few years, and to train scientists in the field of Mathematics. „The Rector of TU Chemnitz, Prof. Dr. Arnold van Zyl, who originates from South Africa, established the contact with AIMS-NEI Initiative. There is a Memorandum of Understanding signed between TU Chemnitz and AIMS, which bore its first fruit in cooperation with AIMS Ghana. Now, AIMS-Senegal is also added to the list “, said Prof. Stollmann. In addition to the five AIMS centers in Tanzania, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal and South Africa, ten more are to arise in the coming years.

The Humboldt chair of Mouhamed Moustapha Fall was created to promote higher education and mathematical research in Africa, connect AIMS-Senegal with German higher educational establishments and to foster cooperation of AIMS centers in Africa. The aim of the cooperation between AIMS-Senegal and TU Chemnitz is the exchange of scientists and to establish contacts among PhD students, at an early stage of their careers. International workshops that are planned at the AIMS center in Senegal will also be open to the PhD students from the Faculty of Mathematics. „There is a lot of potential in Africa, which should be supported by the cooperation with AIMS-Senegal. There, students and young scientists are very ambitious and eager to learn. The AIMS center at Senegal provides an excellent education, and each year the institute receives four times more applications, than places available“, said Prof. Stollmann. The Master’s degree at the AIMS-Senegal takes ten months. During this period of time, the students live and learn together. Well-known professors and mathematicians come there for three weeks as guest lecturers. Tutors are always ready to answer the questions of students. „There are many German universities who would like to join the program. This is something we are very pleased about“, said Fall.

At the end of June, Prof. Stollmann visited the AIMS center in Senegal with support from DAAD. In July 2014, Prof. Fall held here a lecture for scientific staff and PhD students during the research seminar "Analysis, Stochastics and Mathematical Physics". His mathematical fields are Partial Differential Equations and Riemannian Geometry. It is not the first stay of Prof. Fall in Germany. In 2010, he was a post-graduate student at Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main. Fall is currently in Frankfurt for two months within the framework of a research stay, which allows combining it well with a visit of TU Chemnitz.

„I was hosted warmly here at the faculty. The same interest in Math unites people across countries“, said Fall. In addition to his mathematical research, Fall is concerned with social issues. For the 7th Forum on the Internationalization of Sciences and Humanities of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin, he wrote a forum article on the situation and carrier opportunities of the young academics in Senegal and gave recommendations for the future in order to improve the research conditions in Africa.

The forum article can be found at: http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/pls/web/docs/F3356/iab_brochure_2013.pdf

(Author: Damaris Diener, Translation: Nataliia Boiko)

Katharina Thehos
04.08.2014

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