Mathematics Symposium Inspires Young Minds
Scientists from UKZN’s School of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science hosted a Mathematics Symposium aimed at engaging and inspiring top mathematics achievers in Grades 10 to 12 and making them aware of the diverse range of programmes available at the University.
These include statistics, data science, computer science, pure mathematics (topology), and applied mathematics (cryptography and understanding the physical world with mathematics).
The expert speakers at the symposium were mindful of the learners’ level of understanding and prepared inspirational material that captivated them. They highlighted the practical applications of mathematics and its significance as a fundamental aspect of human endeavour. Prizes for learners who asked or answered questions posed by staff members not only encouraged active participation but also fostered an atmosphere of collaboration and shared learning.
Organiser Professor Sudan Hansraj who is a senior lecturer in the Mathematics discipline expressed appreciation to Professors Gareth Amery, Rituparno Goswami, and Paul Kogeda, and Drs Cerene Rathilal, Nombuso Zondo and Danielle Roberts for volunteering to participate in the event.
He noted that the symposium achieved its goals of bringing learners face-to-face with established scientists and awakening their curiosity about advanced mathematics. He also emphasised the importance of showcasing mathematics as a subject that underpins numerous fields and offers exciting career opportunities.
Hansraj acknowledged the grant funding from the National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence at the University of the Witwatersrand and pledged to organise more public events in the future.
A learner who participated commented that the symposium was an opportunity ‘to learn more about the degrees that the School offers and the opportunities that these degrees provide.’
Words and photographs: Siphesihle Shezi