UK-Africa Postgraduate Advanced Study Institute in Mathematical Sciences

Project: Research council

Project Details


The research consortium between, the UK, Africa and other interested partners seeks to provide innovative mathematical solutions to fundamental global problems and questions faced by the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) region (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe).

The statistics are overwhelmingly clear:

(i) The top five killer-diseases in Africa are HIV/AIDS, lower respiratory tract infections including Tuberculosis, diarrhoea diseases (linked to water borne diseases and poor sanitation), malaria and strokes;

(ii) Despite significant investments, crime activities (murder, sexual offences, assault, robbery, hijacking of cars, etc.) in Southern Africa, particularly in South Africa, continue to be of national and international concern;

(iii) Governments and National Parks across SSA are faced with significant challenges in designing efficient methods for wild-life management and conservation;

(iv) Almost 80 percent of faculty staff in Departments of Mathematics at Universities across SSA hold at most a Masters degree and in some cases, many senior faculty staff members do not possess a PhD. The figures are astonishingly depressing particularly for Historically Disadvantaged Institutions.

Our mission is to offer alternative research-led quantitative solutions to these global challenges by carrying out interdisciplinary and inter-institutionally research in mathematical sciences focusing on six key research strands:
(1) Infectious Tropical Diseases: Towards disease control policies supported by scientific evidence theory; (2) Mathematical Modelling of Biological Systems: From data to models and back; (3) Numerical Analysis and High Performance Scientific Computing; (4) Crime Modelling in Sub-Saharan Africa; (5) Mathematics for Public Policy and (6) Statistical Methods for Data Analysis, Model and Parameter Estimation. Outcomes of our programme include (i) innovative quantitative solutions based on rigorous mathematical theories, (ii) training of a new generation of young African scientists agile and competent in skills for model building, validation, interpretation, and communicating modelling results to policy makers, and (iii) influence government and non-governmental organisations through rigorously tested scientific methods and solutions.

The mode for delivery of these research activities is through one Postgraduate Advanced Study Institute in Mathematical Sciences and two intensive Workshop Series aimed at training the future leaders of Africa on the latest state-of-the-art mathematical, numerical and statistical methods that allow them to derive new models from data, carry out rigorous mathematical and numerical analysis and then to complete the full research cycle, fit the models and parameters to data by use of rigorous statistical methods. This allows the researchers to select from a wide range of models based on different biological assumptions and their mathematical translations, the best model that fits data and be able to carry out parameter estimation under these conditions.

We will partner with the Southern Africa Mathematical Sciences Association (SAMSA) and MASAMU program to deliver our research and pedagogical activities (see letters of support from both). SAMSA represents over 40 Universities across SSA and hosts an annual conference to which many of the SSA researchers are in attendance. One of the postgraduate advanced study institute and workshop will revolve around the SAMSA annual conference in order to reach a wider community beyond that supported by this proposal. The MASAMU program, funded primarily by the National Science Foundation for USA faculty staff only, will complement our research and training activities.
Effective start/end date1/04/2030/06/23


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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