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Mathematics and the Developing Countries: Mathematics in Africa. Andreas Griewank Gareth Witten Humboldt Universität Berlin, CDC@IMU University of Cape Town , SA Laure Pauline Fotso Mohamed Jaoua University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon Nice/Tunisia Wandera Ogana Bernard Philippe 

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Mathematics and the Developing Countries: Mathematics in Africa


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    1. MathematicsandtheDeveloping Countries:Mathematics in Africa Andreas GriewankGareth Witten Humboldt Universität Berlin, CDC@IMU University of Cape Town , SA Laure Pauline FotsoMohamed Jaoua University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon Nice/Tunisia Wandera OganaBernard Philippe  University of Nairobi, Kenya INRIA Rennes Leif AbrahamssonTSOU Sheung Tsun Uppsala University , Sweden Oxford University, CDC@ EMS Roundtable@5ECM, Amsterdam Roundtable@5ECM, Amsterdam 1

    2. Challenges with the development of advanced Centres of Excellence Gareth Witten, University of Cape Town , SA • Mathematics and science are key priorities • Research Chairs - 21 scientists in different fields. The aim is to create 56 research chairs by 2008, and 210 by 2010. • Several Centres of Excellence - increase in the applications of mathematics • Increase in graduates from mathematics departments due to new postgraduate courses in “modern” applied mathematics programmes, e.g. mathematical finance, mathematical biology. Roundtable@5ECM, Amsterdam

    3. A Student's perspective - Lack of career path - Affirmative action - Economics - Outdated curricula Institutional Perspective - lack of collaboration and healthy competition - lack of motivation due to poor remuneration Remedies - Mutual support network - Improved T&L in institutions - Establish link between industry and ed. Institutions - improve standards of ed. through peer-review process - Encourage involvement of the African Diaspora Challenges with the development of advanced Centres of Excellence Gareth Witten, University of Cape Town , SA Roundtable@5ECM, Amsterdam

    4. 5ECM 14 - 18 July 2008Amsterdam RAI, The Netherlands Mathematics and Developing Countries Round Table:Case of Mathematics in Cameroon Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 4

    5. Plan Introduction Status Quo of mathematics in statistical terms Challenges with the Development of advanced centres of Excellences Barriers Remedies Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 5

    6. Introduction Focus on the two topics : Status Quo of mathematics in statistical terms and Challenges with the Development of advanced centres of Excellences. With regard topic 1 Information on FS of UYI where is the mother Department of Mathematics in Cameroon. Projection on Department of Mathematics Statistics on departments of mathematics of Cameroonian universities. Concerning topics 2 barriers (political, economical and cultural) remedies Twining of departments Strategies to persuade African governments to support the development of mathematics Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 6

    7. Status Quo in statistical terms : Facts on FS of UYI Human resources : Ratio teacher/students = 1/53 in 2007. 240 teachers (28 full Prof., 38 Ass. Prof.139 Lecturers, 35 assistant lecturers) Infrastructures and equipment: classrooms capacity= 3200 seats, one main University library capacity= 200 seats, 80 computers (60 for students and 20 for teachers) Teaching load: to cover 80% of the program, 102491 hours are needed with 17% for lectures, 44% for tutorials 39% for practical lessons. Only 37% of these hours can be covered on normal duty need of 63% of over time from teachers Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 7

    8. Status Quo in statistical terms : Facts on FS of UYI The teaching overload heavily and negatively affects the quality of: Teaching; Thesis supervision or direction and Research. Teaching conditions: Use of old teaching techniques: ˂ 15% teachers have electronic lectures notes; ˂ 20% of courses have lectures notes manuals; 0 online lectures. Success rate: 30% at from level 1 to 2 meantime for bachelor degree is 5 instead of 3 years from 3 students enrolled at level 1: 1 passes to 2, 1 repeats, 1drops out Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 8

    9. Status Quo in statistical terms : Facts on FS of UYI Student population Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 9

    10. Status Quo in statistical terms : Facts on FS of UYI Student population Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 10

    11. Status Quo in statistical terms : FS UYI (Department of Mathematics) Human resources :26 teachers with: 4 full Prof., 2 Ass. Prof.,16 lecturers, 4 assistant lecturers. Infrastructures and Equipment : 09 office rooms (average 2 seats per room), 0 computer for undergraduate students,05 computers for 26 teachers Teaching load Average teaching load per teacher =323 hours. Average number of different subjects taught by a teacher = 3.8. only 33.2% of hours can be covered on normal time. Up to 67.7 % must be covered on overtime by permanent teachers. Student population in 2007/2008 up to level 5 Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 11

    12. Status Quo in statistical terms : Departments of Mathematicsof Cameroon Student population in 2006/2007 Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 12

    13. Status Quo in statistical terms : Departments of Mathematicsof Cameroon Teacher population in 2006/2007 Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 13

    14. Challenges with advanced centres of Excellences: Barriers Political No policy of investment in research in general; No restriction at the entrance of the first level of the university: with the exception of the University of Buea  “massicification problem”  teachers at all levels heavily overloaded with teaching hours  no time left to build and strengthen quality research centres. Research carried out by African mathematicians is not perceived by political power as appropriate for the local development of the country Most African mathematicians continue to work on research topics dealt with in their doctorate studies in Europe or North America. Few African mathematicians hold key decision making or taking position. National Mathematical Society not functioning in some African countries like Cameroon Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 14

    15. Challenges with advanced centres of Excellences: Barriers Economical Low salary condition  teachers invest themselves in parallel activities  low quality research  stagnation of carrier advancement. Example: only 6 teachers at the magisterial level out of the 26 teachers of Math Dept of FS of UYI, ˃ 72% stagnated as lecturers and usually remain to retirement. Insufficient research grants for PhD students. only 4 teaching assistantships for more than 20 PhD students. Low seating capacity of classrooms  impossibility of scheduling all the courses hours  insufficient coverage of the full programme insufficient computers equipment for teachers as well as for students Best PhD graduates immigrate to European or North American universities for better leaving and teaching conditions. Poorly furnished library and no access to online publications Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 15

    16. Challenges with advanced centres of Excellences :Barriers Cultural Mathematicians are believed to be too squared to adjust in society. Mathematicians do not know how to compromise in a world full of compromises Classical logic is not in accordance with the African culture where fuzzy reasoning and chaos reign. In African culture for example, the concept of time and distance is irrelevant Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 16

    17. Challenges with advanced centres of Excellences: Remedies Twining of departments Co direction of Master and PhD thesis with mobility of students and teachers will boost the quality of the thesis. Visiting professors from the North Joint project proposal redaction addressing key development areas of Africa such as management of natural resources, food security, health and corruption. Departments from the developed countries can share with their twins from developing countries: access right to online scientific documentation Access right to online lectures notes Lectures notes manuals software licences Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 17

    18. Challenges with advanced centres of Excellences: Remedies Strategies to persuade African governments to support thedevelopment of mathematics Creation of lobby groups More mathematicians should develop interest in politics and do politics to seat at the decision making and decision taking tables African mathematicians should carry out more applied researches for the development of Africa Existing applied research results should be made visible Good applied research projects for development should be proposed to the government for funding. African mathematicians should actively be involved in using their knowledge in solving African daily problems Sensitisation workshops on the use of mathematics for development with concrete examples will help Large diffusion through different type of media (written press, radio, television, Internet, etc.) of concrete (visible in the country) examples of the use of mathematics in solving African development problems Laure Pauline Fotso FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com FS, University of Yaoundé I Email: l_fotso@yahoo.com 18

    19. THANK YOU

    20. Is Mathematical research an issue for a developing country ? Mohamed JAOUA Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis & UNESCO Chair, Tunis

    21. Problems a DC scientist has to face • Legitimacy • Doesn’t research compete education ? • Concentration vs dissemination • Specialization vs diversity • And the conflict on time and priorities … • Are our researchers credible ? • They didn’t invent anything we use or need • We just don’t know how efficient they are : no evaluation system • Do we really need it now ? • And are we willing to pay the price ? Scientists, politicians, and people • Scarcity : • Material means … though Maths and even Applied Maths don’t need much • But what about human resources ? • They are scarce ... • And above all diverted to the single field providing recognition : politics • As for Applied Mathematics • Weak industry => no problems to solve • Weak technical management => no people to talk with • Aren’t applications too much « high tech », isn’t all this stuff beyond what’s needed ?

    22. Applied Mathematics are crucial for DC • Needed to « produce » engineers • A crucial point for any industrial development • Development : new paradigms have upsurged from • The digital revolution • Mathematical and numerical modelling are the heart of every industrial process • Targets are rapidly moving from high tech applications to every day ones • Computer costs are dropping • The industrial globalization • Industrial processes are no longer local • Technology needs to be proceeded in any place at its current level • A new deal, with real opportunities for those who master Mathematics and IT

    23. A tunisian experience • 1983-2008 : The LAMSIN • A « built from scratch » Applied Math laboratory • Relying on a serious mathematical background • 80 researchers (30 PhD and 12 Professors) • 3 research teams associated to INRIA, 2000 … • Good publication activity in international journals • Master and Doctoral School in Applied Maths • A regional role, and an international recognition • Networks : TamTam (Maghreb), Sarima (Africa), … • UNESCO Chair « Maths and development » - awarded 2003 • AUF regional Excellence Pole (2003 …) • An indeed international place • Collaborative research on mutual interest topics • Co-advised PhD theses • Conferences (TAM-TAM, PICOF, CARI), workshops, ...

    24. Elements of strategy • Gather together the research force • A single national lab for research … but • Its researchers teach in several Universities • Push away the borders • Regional groupments • Maghreb, Africa, EuroMediterranean • Maximal international opening, bringing • Expertise, structure, legitimacy • North/South complementarities • Jealously save the scientific independence • However, a global policy is crucial • 1996 has been the turning point in Tunisia • Better have a lot of luck …

    25. Main concerns • How to deal with thematic transferts ? • Focus on methods acquisition • Relevance to local applications would come later • IT boom, and methods migration, have helped much • Can brain drain be opposed in an open world ? • Make your place a nice one to work and live in • Produce more than they can take • Make globalization a chance to that respect (cf India) • North and South are finally on the same boat • Much can be done on the spot • Governance is a crucial issue for the future • Relevant decisions regarding science need scientists • Building capacities is a long run task, needing broad vision politicians, and a social control

    26. Thank you for your attention …www.lamsin.rnu.tn

    27. Promoting mathematics in Africa through theAfrican Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative (AMMSI) by Wandera Ogana AMMSI PROGRAMME DIRECTOR School of Mathematics, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, GPO 00100, Nairobi, Kenya E-mail: wogana@uonbi.ac.ke Presented at the Round Table on Mathematics and the Developing World. 5th European Congress of Mathematics, 17 th July 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    28. 1. BRIEF HISTORY

    29. 1.1 Millennium Science Initiative (MSI) • Formulated and fostered by the World Bank in late 1990’s • Main Goal: Promote S&T spearheaded by scientists in the Developing countries • Administered by Science Initiative Group (SIG) • Activities in South America and Asia: Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Vietnam etc

    30. 1.2 World Bank/SIG Initiative for Africa • Meetings organised through the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the Thirld World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), during 2000 – 2002, led to establishment of initial stage of African MSI in: • Instrumentation & Information Technology • Biotechnology • Mathematics • Meetings of writing group on Mathematics held during 2003 – 2004 • African Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative established in 2005 • Seed money by The Mellon Foundation and the International Mathematical Union in 2005

    31. 2. OBJECTIVES • To strengthen the teaching and learning of university mathematics and its applications. • To support research in mathematics and mathematics education • To enhance capacity through linkages and networks • To undertake outreach and public education in mathematics • To enhance the use of ICT in mathematics teaching and learning

    32. 3 ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE

    33. 3.1 Distributed Network • Five Regional Offices each run by a Regional Coordinator • Central Africa: Yaounde, Cameroon (Prof. Bitjong Ndombol) • Eastern Africa: Nairobi, Kenya (Prof. Wandera Ogana) • Southern Africa: Gabarone, Botswana (Prof. Edward Lungu) • Western Africa, Zone 1: Ibadan, Nigeria (Prof. Samwel Ilori) • Western Africa, Zone 2: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (Prof. Hamidou Toure) • Programme Office located in Nairobi, Kenya

    34. 3.2 AMMSI Programme Committee Members: AMMSI Regional Coordinators Main Functions: • To Write project proposals for funding • To Formulate and design programmes • To Implement activities • To Liaise with collaborating institutions

    35. 3.3 Selection and Evaluation Committee Members: • Prof Bernt Øksendal, University of Oslo, Norway (Facilitator) • Prof Augustin Banyaga, Pennsylvania State University, USA • 3rd Member to be appointed from Central Africa Main Functions: • To select Fellowship candidates • To select and evaluate research projects • To evaluate the operations of AMMSI

    36. 4. ACTIVITIES TO DATE

    37. 4.1 Research/Visiting Scientist Fellowships • To enable staff conduct research and postgraduate teaching at host universities in sub-Saharan African for periods ranging from a few weeks to one year • 15 Fellowships awarded during 2005 – 2007 • Fellowship amounts increased from $ 3,000 in 2006 to $ 5,000 in 2007 • Impact of fellowships on collaboration, linkages, research and publications

    38. 4.2 Postgraduate Scholarships • For Ph.D, M.Sc or Postgraduate Diploma studies in universities in sub-Saharan Africa • Awarded 170 partial scholarships during 2005 – 2007 • Amounts in the range US $ 300 – 1,000 • Impact of scholarships on postgraduate education, research, publications and staff development

    39. 4.3 Support of Scientific Meetings • Conference on Representation Theory in Geometry and Physics, Porto Novo, Benin (2005) • Conference and Mathematical Biology Workshop, Nairobi, Kenya (2006) • SAMSA Conference in Windhoek, Namibia (2007) • In 2008 to support conference in Central Africa • Support by The London Mathematical Society to enable postgraduate students attend conferences

    40. 4.4 Mentoring African Research in Mathematics (MARM) 4.4.1 Main Objectives • Promote mentoring relationships between mathematicians in other continents and sub-Saharan African colleagues, together with their students. • Create joint research projects and cultivate longer-term partnerships between institutions in Africa and those elsewhere

    41. 4.4.2 Collaborating and Funding Organisations • Collaborating Organisations: • International Mathematical Union (IMU) • The London Mathematical Society (LMS) • AMMSI • Funding Organisations: • The Nuffield Foundation (from 2005) • The Leverhulme Trust (from 2006)

    42. 4.4.3 Participation • The following universities in Africa are currently participating: • Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia • University of Buea, Cameroon • Kwame Nkurumah University of Science & Technology, Ghana • Six other universities have been selected to join • Mentors (and prospective mentors) are distinguished mathematicians interested in colaborative links with African universities

    43. 5 WHAT WE HAVE LEARNT

    44. 5.1 Positive • Making a difference to professional careers through Fellowships • Making a difference to academic future through Scholarships • Enabling publications by staff and postgraduate students • Enabling staff and institutions in different continents to collaborate through MARM

    45. 5.2 Room for Improvement • Limited funds, hence small scholarship and fellowship awards • Lack of diversification of activities • No funding of research activities • No funding to support conference attendance by African mathematicians despite the wide interest expressed • Looking for partners and support to continue and extend activities

    46. SUPPORTING ORGANISATIONS

    47. 6.1 Financial Support • Mellon Foundation • Nuffield Foundation • Leverhulme Trust • International Mathematical Union • London Mathematical Society • US National Committee on Mathematics

    48. 6.2 Facilities and Administrative Support • Universite Gaston Berger, Senegal • University of Botswana, Botswana • University of Ibadan, Nigeria • University of Nairobi, Kenya • University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon • University of Yaounde I, Cameroon • University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso • Science Initiative Group (SIG) • African Academy of Sciences (AAS)

    49. THANK YOU website : http://www.ammsi.org

    50. Partnership of INRIA with African research teams: experience and evolution.Bernard Philippe (INRIA) • CARI & SARIMA experiences • Principles of the sought partnership • Some encountered difficulties and associated questions