MEET THE TEAM

Dr. Sophie Marques

Founder, Managing director, Art director

Department of Mathematical Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Sophie Marques is a dedicated researcher and lecturer specializing in Mathematics (Algebraic geometry, Number theory) at Stellenbosch University. Hailing from a Franco-Portuguese background and married to a South African, Sophie’s international journey has enriched her perspective on teaching and learning. Having worked at esteemed institutions like the University of Padova, University of Bordeaux I, Courant Institute, and UCT, she has continuously questioned and evolved her teaching philosophy. Sophie’s passion for teaching blossomed from a young age, and she views research as a profound form of education.
Believing that mathematics empowers individuals with essential skills for a successful life, Sophie founded Wisaarkhu with the goal of reshaping the perception of mathematics as an elitist subject and making it accessible to all. Through Wisaarkhu, she seeks to break down barriers and foster inclusivity, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to engage with and benefit from the power of mathematics.
In her leisure time, Sophie finds solace in the company of her family. Growing up in the countryside, she nurtures a deep love for animals, nature, and gardening. Her artistic soul finds expression through various creative outlets such as art, poetry, music, and photography.

Prof. Ingrid Rewitzky

Editor in Chief

Department of Mathematical Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Ingrid Rewitzky has been involved in educational leadership within and across relatively complex environments through her roles as Professor of Mathematics, Executive Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, and Vice-Dean (Learning and Teaching) of the Faculty of Science.

Her personal growth and satisfaction as an academic and educational leader are integrally linked to transcending generational differences and diversity with integrity, fairness, empathy, effective listening, humility, and caring. As a leader she strives to foster a collegial environment (for colleagues and students) promoting inclusivity in which each individual feels respected, trusted, motivated, and valued, all decisions are made fairly and with integrity, and excellence, loyalty and service are acknowledged and rewarded.

She enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, gardening, crafting, playing golf, and walking with her spaniel, Chanel.

PROF. FRANCESCO PETRUCCIONE

Editor in Chief

Department of Physics, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Francesco Petruccione studied Physics at the University of Freiburg i. Br. and received his PhD in 1988 and the “Habilitation” degree (Dr. rer. nat. habil.) in 1994. In 2004 he was appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), in Durban (South Africa). In 2007 he was granted the South African Research Chair for Quantum Information Processing and Communication. At UKZN he has been Pro-Vice-Chancellor Big Data and Informatics. Currently, he is the interim Director of the National Institute for Theoretical and Computational Sciences and (since May 2022) a Professor of Quantum Computing at Stellenbosch University and a fractional Professor at UKZN.

Prof Petruccione is an elected member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa , of the African Academy of Sciences and of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has published more than 250 papers in refereed scientific journals. He is the co-author of a monograph on “The Theory of Open Quantum Systems ” (more than 10000 citations according to Google Scholar), that was published in 2002, reprinted as paperback in 2007, and translated in Russian. In 2018 he published a monograph (with Maria Schuld) on “Supervised Learning with Quantum Computers” that was already translated into Japanese. The second extended edition was published in 2021 under the title “Machine Learning with Quantum Computers” .He is the editor of several proceedings volumes and of special editions of scientific journals. Prof Petruccione is a member of the Editorial Board of the journals “Open Systems and Information Dynamics”, “Scientific Reports”, and “Quantum Machine Intelligence”.

Prof. Zurab Janelidze

Idea Generator, Mathematics Editor

Department of Mathematical Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Zurab Janelidze is a mathematician working in category theory — a field of abstract mathematics that studies unified conceptual principles of different areas of pure mathematics. He is a professor at Stellenboch University and serves on the editorial boards of Applied Categorical Structures and Cahiers de Topologie et Géométrie Différentielle Catégoriques. His hobbies include drawing and classical music improvisation.

Wiida Fourie-Basson

Managing Editor

Media officer and science writer,
Stellenbosch University,
South Africa

RENÉ KOTZÉ

head of public relations and marketing

Department of Physics, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Tristan Barnard

Illustrator, Artist

BSc Wood & Wood Product Science student, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Tristan can be described as a private and quiet individual who often speaks only when spoken to, yet may talk for hours given the opportunity. Though Tristan may often be silent this does not often represent disinterest but rather his nature when placed in an unfamiliar situation. He often observes the world around him and uses that as well as his own interpretation of such things to serve as a bases for his art. Tristan believes that the world and life is a balance between good and bad emotions and hopes to capture those combined emotions within his art. He also has wide interests, ranging from aviation, sailing, drawing, CrossFit, up to Sci-fi and so on. He often says that life is a journey and we are all but travellers, as such it would be only apt for us to help one another along each of our unique paths.

Dr John D. Volmink

Consultant

Chairperson:
Umalusi Council
South Africa

This is a bio

DR. CERENE RATHILAL

public relations

Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics University of Johannesburg

Dr. Cerene Rathilal is a mathematician, founder of STEM MentHER, and a Rotarian. She works in general and pointfree Topology and has recently started working in Topological Data Analysis. In her spare time, she is very active with various community engagement activities, including hosting an annual International Day of Mathematics program, Career Fest, Teacher training workshops, delivering free Mathematics lessons, and managing STEM MentHER.

Artists

Nino Mekanarishvili

Head Illustrator, Artist

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Nino was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. From 2007, Nino lives in South Africa. Nino always admired works of fine art. It took her some time before she decided to start creating artwork herself. For the last few years, she has been painting in oils and developing her own style. Nino illustrates for Wisaarkhu from the start of the magazine in 2019.

Angela Illing

Graphic Designer

Formal education in Fashion Design

Angela Illing is a Graphic Designer with a formal education in Fashion Design. Currently working in a busy marketing agency, she loves to learn in her free time, and has found a love for Science Illustration. A career highlight was making the cover of Physics World with an illustration that accompanied the article “The Light of the Mind ,” by Betony Adams and Francesco Petruccione. She aims to move full time into illustration and 3D modelling.

Isabella G Spies

Artist & Poet

Second year BSc: biomedical mathematical sciences student at Stellenbosch University

I am From a small town called Hartbeespoort, near Johannesburg, but currently I’m a second year BSc: biomedical mathematical sciences student at Stellenbosch University. My parents taught my sister and I that it is important to have a balanced life; so I have always had a well rounded lifestyle. My life did revolve around swimming and waterpolo for majority of my school career however I found a passion in math and science from a very young age. Later in high school I found a new interest in creative writing and art which I was apparently good at. So I wish to share my passion and hopefully spread some math love through my creative way of thinking. I can’t wait to share some of my projects with you.

Liani Malherbe

Illustrator, Artist

Personal Trainer and
Self-taught artist

Liani Malherbe is a Fitness Instructor and freelance creator from Franschhoek.

She believes that everyone needs an outlet, creative or active, in today’s fast moving world.

Liani has her own small business, Evolve Fitness Classes, where she helps people from Franschhoek and Paarl incorporate fitness into their daily lives.

She has always loved working and creating with her hands. She enjoys painting, drawing, printmaking, and baking.

Michelle Jordaan

Artist

BScFor Forestry and Wood science

I graduated with a degree in Forestry and Wood science after which I worked in a seasonal position at a logistics company while completing my certification in TEFLs. Soon after I completed a level 3 first aid course as well as an operational management course. I am very interested in personal development and hope to make a positive difference in the world by sharing innovative and creative ideas through my work and through art. I enjoy drawing, painting, photography and playing golf in my free time.

Neve Buckmaster Border

Artist

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Polymer Science

“I am currently studying for a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Polymer Science. My initial spark in interest for STEM subjects came as a child when watching cartoons such as Dexter’s Laboratory. As well as introducing me to science, I also took an interest in their art-style, the heavy line-work and bright vivid colours. I contacted the creator of one of the cartoons, Maxwell Atoms, who gave me some insight into his creative process. Upon his advice, I bought myself some markers and was on my way. During my Fine Art GCSE, I discovered my love for the pen and ink medium, as it allows for close attention to detail. For my final project, I would walk around London taking photographs of cityscapes and then redrawing them in watercolour and fineliner. My final piece for this project was a large watercolour and ink mixed-media drawing of the Shard. I am so excited to be a part of the Wisaarkhu team and combine my passion for the sciences and art. “

 

 

Betony Adams

Poet

Currently doing my PhD in Physics

I am currently doing my PhD in Physics. My research looks at the possibility of quantum effects in biological systems, a field that has been successfully applied to phenomena such as photosynthesis and avian migration. I am focusing on recent evidence that quantum processes might take place in the brain. I am also interested in all the other ways in which the brain makes meaning, including art and literature. I am particularly interested in poetry which, at least to me, is able to contain some of the complexity of what it means to be human: it tests the potential of both life and language.

Elham Ghaedi

Artist

Web designer

I’m Elham, a 25-year-old web designer. I create visually appealing websites using various tools and technologies, such as HTML, CSS, and WordPress. I also have a passion for illustration and digital art, and I use software like Photoshop and Illustrator to make stunning artworks that showcase my creativity and imagination. I’m always eager to learn new skills and collaborate with other professionals in my field.

Sara Eskandari

Artist

Graphic Designer

I am a highly experienced Graphic Designer with seven years of professional expertise. My primary focus lies in UI-UX design and website design, along with a strong background in photomontage. I am proficient in utilizing various Adobe products to bring my creative visions to life. Additionally, I have extensive experience in creating visually appealing designs for a wide range of collateral, including logos, business cards, banners, and brochures. With a keen eye for aesthetics and a passion for innovation, I consistently strive to deliver impactful and memorable design solutions.

 

Neil Mellet

Artist

I am a multifaceted individual with a passion for design, photography, and videography. Alongside my creative pursuits, I have a background in management and a deep love for sailing. As a skilled sailor, I have traversed several oceans, taking on the role of a main sailer. The vastness of the ocean resonates with my soul, and it often serves as a wellspring of inspiration for my artistic endeavors. I possess a natural artistic flair and a knack for craftsmanship, excelling in hands-on creative pursuits. Connecting with new people and brightening their day brings me immense joy.

Writers

Mariam Salie

Writer

Department of Psychology,
Stellenbosch University,
South Africa

Mariam Salie is a registered Clinical Psychologist and lecturer in the department of Psychology at SU. Mariam’s clinical training includes providing psychological services at Welgevallen Community Psychology Clinic and Kylemore Clinic during Masters training, 2 Military Hospital during internship and she completed her community service at the Department of Correctional Services, Pollsmoor Management area. In light of these experiences, Mariam has an interest in culturally competent mental health services in South Africa. Her focus is on teaching and clinical training in Psychology. She has been involved in promoting mental health awareness in the community in collaboration with community organisations and through community publications.

Dr. Mesias Alfeus

Writer

Senior Lecturer in the department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Dr. Mesias Alfeus is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He has a PhD in Quantitative Finance from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia with a dissertation entitled “Stochastic Modelling of New Phenomena in Financial Markets”. He is a Mathematician by training with a BSc degree in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Namibia. He holds masters and honours degrees in Financial Mathematics both with Cum Laude from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He holds a long list of academic awards, and he was the winner of the 2018 International Young Investigator Training Program (YITP) prize at the XIX Workshop on Quantitative Finance held at the University of Rome Tre in Italy. He held an academic visiting position at the University of Padova, northern Italy. He previously worked as a Risk Analyst at Namibian Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA), a Research Associate at UTS Finance, a Lecturer of Financial Mathematics at the University of Wollongong Australia, and AIFMRM Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Cape Town. His papers have been published in the most prestigious journals such as Journal of Futures Markets, Journal of Commodity Markets, Financial Innovation, Journal of Economics Dynamics, and Control, International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance, etc. His current research interests focus on Computational and Mathematical Finance, more specifically in numerical methods for pricing of options and model calibration including model empirical analysis.

Clement Chipili

Writer

School teacher of mathematics living in Zambia Lusaka

I am a secondary school teacher of mathematics living in Zambia Lusaka in the shanty compounds of Misisi and with extensive experience in the administration and management skill and work as a volunteer at one of the community schools in my community. This school provides education to the less privilege of our community and being part of its vision has made me extend its vision to tiktok where I held live session teaching mathematics to  most people from Zambia , south Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya to name the few. In our society mathematics has been regarded as hard and complicated subject most love to hate and with my little resources I felt my input in giving lessons on social media can change the narrative. I used to be poor in high but I had to make a decision to get to love the subject more and it proved me that it is one of the best subjects ever. I love psychology too. Hoping to be a professor and I chose the name of professor Chana which am called by most of my close friends.

However, I recently enrolled for a scholarship to study Business Administration with universities of India and it’s in the progressive stage hoping by July I may start the program, that’s bachelor in business administration.

Michelle Namachemo

Marketing

Engineering Department,
Stellenbosch University,
South Africa

Michelle is a second year civil engineering student aspiring towards an environmental engineering degree. Born in Zimbabwe to Kenyan parents she has always been immersed in multiple cultures and been curious of the world around her.  She is passionate about film and has been around theatre for a large part of her life. Michelle is always looking for answers and has an unshakable love of knowledge in all forms.

TSHOGOFATSO BRIGETTE LOPE

Marketing

Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Student, STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY

I am very enthusiastic about life, motivated and ambitious. I am a political enthusiast, a philomath and an aspiring philanthropist.

Jianing Qi

Writer

Entrepreneur

Jianing Qi is an entrepreneur. He studied math and philosophy. He is passionate about science and humanity, and he believes in bridging the gap between those two fields. He loves the philosophy of language and the application of math in natural language. He is very interested in this field! He enjoys art, cooking, and cats.

Dr. Audace Amen

Writer

Département d'Hydrologie et Gestion des Ressources en Eau, Institut National de l'Eau, Université d'Abomey-Calavi

Audace Amen V. Dossou-Olory is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the Institut National de l’Eau (INE) / University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin), and also assistant to the academic manager of the Master’s program in Hydroinformatics at INE. Dr. Dossou-Olory obtained a Design Engineering Diploma in Electrical Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique d’Abomey-Calavi (Benin) and a PhD in Discrete Mathematics at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). He was one of the two winners of the Ibni Prize 2020, awarded every two years under the auspices of, among others, the Mathematical Society of France and the Centre International de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées. Dr. Dossou-Olory’s mathematical research is in the areas of combinatorics and graph theory, mainly grouped into combinatorial counting problems and extremal/structural questions related to graph invariants.

Biance de Beer

Writer

First year student at Stellenbosch University, studying a Bachelor of Science in Human Life Sciences.

She is an avid fitness, nutrition and health enthusiast. But she also has a creative side. As young child and teenager, she was an aspiring ballet dancer. Starting at the age of three, she received training in the Cecchetti method and some contemporary styles, up until age 16. She had also received training at a pre-professional ballet school in Cape Town. Though dance will always be her first love, Science is her present passion, and one she hopes to build her career upon.

Rakotoniaina Fameno

Writer

Master's degree in Mathematical Sciences at AIMS South Africa

I’m currently doing my master in combinatorics. In 2020, I completed a master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences at AIMS South Africa. And I hold a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education. Besides, I find interest in coding-Python- and designing algorithm. And I value teaching as an act of giving back to the  community. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching Ted Talk and playing soccer.

Sphephelo Mhlongo

Writer

Studying Mathematical Science and Computer Sciences

I am studying Mathematical Science and Computer Sciences, I was inspired by my father who was a Mathematics teacher. I come from a small town in the Northern parts of KZN. My dream is that I become a back-end developer where I can apply a lot of the skills I learn in Mathematics into solving real world problems.

Willem Ferreira

Writer

Studying BSc Mathematical Sciences majoring in Applied Mathematics

Hi, my name is Willem Ferreira. I am studying BSc Mathematical Sciences majoring in Applied Mathematics. I loved Mathematics ever since I was a little kid. I did Kumon from Grade 2-9, AdMaths from Grade 9-12 and APMaths in Grade 12. I like writing poetry or hanging out with friends in my free time. My dream is to show that Mathematics can be very simple and easy to learn and is a very powerful tool that can be used in every aspect of your life.

Cayla Botes

Writer

Second year actuarial science student Stellenbosch University

I lived in George basically my whole school career. It is quite a small town which is why I opted to go to Stellenbosch University. I believe that hard work pays off and you will achieve anything you set your mind to. Anything is possible as long as you believe in yourself. I’ve enjoyed maths for as long as I can remember, and this past year and a half at university has taught me that maths is more than just numbers and formulas. I hope to show others that mathematics is far greater than what we see in front of us.

Editors

Cecilia Hernandez

Associate Editor

BA of Mathematics,
New York University,
USA

Cecilia Hernandez is a Finance professional in the healthcare industry where she provides insights through data analytics to bring clarity to the financial decisions of institutions.

Outside of her full-time role, Cecilia is an entrepreneur who focuses on supporting women of color business owners with their finances, operations, and data analytics needs. Her mission is to empower these small business owners through educating them on the financial health of their company as well as provide financial insights that will help them plan and strategize for their future. Important to Cecilia in her business model is decreasing the stress and mental anguish that can come with managing one’s business finances.

Her goal is to make financial prowess a therapeutic process for her clients.

In her free time, Cecilia can be found testing the boundaries of her palette through trying new foods and cuisines. She loves learning the background of dishes to explore different cultures through food. Cecilia is also an avid reader and you can find her nose-deep in the next must-read mental wellness book, personal finance book, or poetry series.

Cecilia is a proud graduate of New York University where she majored in Mathematics. She’s also a Bronx native who’s New York roots speak to her unending grind and quest to always grow.

Dr. Sarah Selkirk

Associate Editor

Department of
Mathematical Sciences,
University of Klagenfurt,
Austria

Sarah Selkirk is a doctoral student in combinatorics and a contract lecturer at Alpen-Adria-Universität in Klagenfurt, Austria. Originally from South Africa, she is passionate about supporting and encouraging women in mathematics, and is a co-organiser of the African Women in Mathematics Seminar.

Shaun Hudson-Bennett

Associate Editor

Mathematics Department,
Somerset College,
South Africa

Shaun Hudson-Bennett is a high school Mathematics teacher in Somerset West. He believes that everybody is capable of achieving at Mathematics and works to challenge the myth that some are destined to fail. Mathematics is an instrument that anyone can use with the right amount of self-belief and perseverance to teach us about what we are truly capable of. The harder we work means the greater the rewards and Shaun works to equip his students with the right skills and temperament in order to work through solving challenging problems. He loves mountain biking, doing anything at the beach, a good braai with good people, reading books (the old-fashioned ones with paper) and diverse opinions.

Chad Brache

Associate Editor

Phd Student Stellenbosch University Lecturer at Explore

Seeking to understand the universe and its machinations, Chad begin his career as a mathematician at UCT. Coming from theorems, proofs, lemmas and propositions, he now endeavours to achieve his PhD from Stellenbosch University. Alongside this, he is a lecturer at Explore, bring the maths behind data science to new minds! Chad is also happy to play a game of Magic: The Gathering with you!

Damas Mgani

Associate Editor

Doctoral Student, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Damas Karmel Mgani is a doctoral student in mathematics at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He was born in Mbeya, Tanzania. His area of research is in algebraic geometry. He is passionate about encouraging young students in schools to like mathematics. He believes that mathematics not only build the foundation to other subjects, but also it is an important tool for logical thinking, understanding the world of technology and deciphering various statistics. In some of his free time he volunteers teaching mathematics in secondary schools.

Elizabeth Mrema

Associate Editor

Phd Student Stellenbosch University

Elizabeth is a Ph.D. student in Mathematics at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Before she was teaching mathematics at a reputable University in Tanzania, the University of Dar es Salaam. She always enjoys doing mathematics and her aspiration is to become a lecturer and researcher in this field. Her origin is from the northern part of Tanzania near mountain Kilimanjaro. As a girl from the village area without close supervision/guidance from parents in her career she never gave up on her dreams. She is always confident, perseverant, and a hard worker which made her to conquer all the obstacles in her journey. She also believes in lifting others to achieve their dreams as she has been inspiring and encouraging young girls in her country especially those who want to be scientists to focus on their goals. Elizabeth believes that “it is always possible to become who you want to be.”

Dr. Tukae Mbegalo

Associate Editor

Head of department of Mathematics & Statistics Studies at Mzumbe University, Tanzania.

Tukae Mbegalo is a lecturer and Head of department of Mathematics & Statistics
Studies at Mzumbe University, Tanzania. He is a member of the African Growth and Development Policy Modeling Consortium, International Biometric Society and Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA2020) network. Dr. Mbegalo holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Goettingen, Germany. Currently, he is studying the influence of smallholder farmers’ knowledge on climate change
adaptation on food security in Kongwa District, Tanzania. It is a research commissioned
by REPOA for the purspose of building capacity for the mid-career researchers to conduct and integrate evidence-based research to inform national policies and strategies.
Dr. Mbegalo is also a UNICEF research fellow under auspices of cash transfer project in Tanzania. During his research fellowship with the Transfer Project, he examines the effects of an integrated social protection programme on the livelihood aspirations and activities among adolescents from poor households in Tanzania. He has extensive experience on analyzing UNHCR refugees survey data, Demographic Health Survey data (DHS), Household budget survey data (HBS), Tanzania National Panel survey data (NPS) and British Household Panel Survey data. He is an expert in designing sample survey, analyzing quantitative data and evaluating impact of the
programs/project. Dr. Mbegalo has more than 14 years of teaching at University. He is teaching
Mathematics, Quantitative methods, statistics and econometrics (the combination of mathematics, statistics and economics) subjects. Teaching mathematics and
mathematics related courses requires variety of skills including tolerance particularly for the audiences who have perceptions that mathematics courses are very difficulty subjects. I have developed skills of tolerance after teaching mathematics related courses to students who enrolled at university with various background subjects at secondary school. I have created a sense of engaging students in learning
mathematics so as to improve learning mathematics and its related subjects. In recently
years, I found useful to use quotations and or arguments that invite students to love the
subject and do more practices in mathematics. Some of the arguments/quotations link
mathematics and football, mathematics and comedy by bringing in class actors such as Mr. Bean (Mr. Bean did a calculus exam, funny!!!) and as well as creating my own local comedy. Also, I am creating a sense of being true to myself and to students about the mathematics as science subject. This make student to think critically that science is a subject that requires more practices in order to perform well. I always create an
environment where students will be required to do a lot of exercises. Although this might
not be admirable to some students. However, I believe that mathematics is a science
subject, it a science like football, where skills can be formed through persistence,
practices and tolerance. And the truth will remain that the mathematics is a “difficulty”
subject, but if you persist on doing (practices), the nature will remain the same although
your ability to do mathematics will change (increase). “There are only two good things in
the world, teaching mathematics, learning mathematics”.

Prof. Mária Ždímalová

Associate Editor

Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Descriptive Geometry
Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia

Maria studied mathematics and physics on the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Comenius University in Bratislava. She finished Mater studies at 2004. She got PhD Degree in applied mathematics, specially in algebraic graph theory at Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, at Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Descriptive Geometry. After that she continued at the department like researcher and assistant professor. In 2019 she became the Associate professor in Applied Mathematics

Maria Zdimalova currently works at the Department of Mathematics and Constructive Geometry, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. Maria does research in Applied Mathematics, Algebra and Graph Theory. Her current project is ‘Arch Math: A Bridge between Mathematics and Architecture, Design, Fashion, Art,’ Algebraic Graph Theory as well as Graph Algorithms in Image Processing.

Between her topics belong as well uncertainty modelling, bio-informatics applications of graph cuts algoritms and general algorithms into segmentation of data.

She becomes a part of the scientifoc commiitee in Milano at the conference “Faces of Geometry-From Agnesi in Mirzikhani”, (2020, 2021) and Czech -Slovak international competition for university students. She is a member of Editorial Board of the journal “Indonesian Journal of Combinatorics” in Indonesia, and as well a part of Reviewer Board of the Journal Symmetry.

During her carrier she organized many international as well as local conferences, she participated on many international conferences and as well she has many international teaching experiences abroad: Italy, Spain, Mexico, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Turkey and others.

She also guides students in the final theses like advisor.

Iain Le Roux

Associate Editor

Mathematics and Computer Science , Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Iain Le Roux has always been passionate about Mathematics and Computer Science and consequently is pursuing a degree in these fields at Stellenbosch University. Iain also has a deep passion for teaching and sharing his love of the sciences with others. Outside of studies, Iain is a great fan of the outdoors and would never turn down a good board game.

Ashrene Rathilal

Psychological Society of South Africa

Ashrene Rathilal is a Ph.D. candidate, writer, and social media manager. She is an aspiring sport psychologist and is currently investigating exercise dependence in relation to dark personality, motivation, and mood states in her Ph.D. Ashrene is an executive portfolio holder of the Psychological Society of South Africa: Student Division (PsySSA SD) and the Media and Marketing Subcommittee chairperson. She began her writing career in 2020, writing for various organizations on mental health and well-being, chronic illnesses, and health promotion. In her spare time, she is a budding gamer and gym fanatic.

Dr. Rizwana Roomaney

Department of Psychology,
Stellenbosch University,
South Africa

Dr. Leandro Boonzaaier

Data Science Group, Rain (Pty) Ltd,
South Africa

Leandro holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Stellenbosch University. He was a faculty member in the Department of Physics at Stellenbosch from 2006 to 2014. Since then, he has pursued several business ventures, and done some consulting work, mostly involving mathematical modelling across different industries. He has continued his involvement with the Physics Department at Stellenbosch through regular teaching in the department over the past few years. He is currently employed in the telecommunications industry as a researcher.

Leandro enjoys learning, from new Mathematics to foreign languages, and most interesting things in between. When not learning new things, he spends his time with his wife and children.

Dr. Ronalda Benjamin

Department of Mathematical Sciences,
Stellenbosch University,
South Africa

Ronalda Benjamin is a researcher and lecturer at Stellenbosch University and work in the general area of Functional Analysis, a branch of pure mathematics.

As a learner she very much enjoyed mathematics, but growing up surrounded by drugs, gang violence and young people whose lives lacked direction, she was always hesitant to voice this passion of hers and her dream of becoming a mathematician.  Ronalda argued that a rise in positive role models in her neighbourhood would motivate young people to pursue their dreams. She then decided to “be the change she wants to see”.

Ronalda is very passionate about mentoring young people from disadvantaged communities – she would like to see more people beat the odds stacked against them.  

In her free time, Ronalda can be found watching a good movie or some matches played by Brazil’s women’s volleyball team – I may just be their biggest fan.

Dr. Neeraja Sahasrabudhe

Department of Mathematics
IISER Mohali,
India

Neeraja Sahasrabudhe is a faculty at the department of mathematics at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research. Her research focuses on Probability theory and its applications. Neeraja enjoys the teaching aspect of the job as much as the research. She likes to interact with students on various topics beyond the classroom and is interested in understanding the interplay between structures of higher education and society.

She also has a keen interest in the gender question in academia. Neeraja believes that it is crucial to evolve an understanding of the historical and socio-political context of knowledge within universities and its relation with marginalised groups, including women.

Acutely aware of the eliteness and exclusiveness of higher academia, Neeraja is interested in engaging with people, groups and spaces that challenge this hegemony.

In her free time, other than surfing the internet aimlessly, she loves reading fiction and poetry. Neeraja is also a cinephile and likes to watch films from all over the world and sometimes write about it as well. She finds peace in old songs, tiramisu and tea.

Prof. Jonathan Shock

Department of Mathematical Sciences, UCT,
South Africa

This is a bio

Ramarumo Tshikosi

Koeberg Nuclear Power Station as a PSA analyst

Ramarumo Tshikosi is the father of three Globuntu-award-winning published authors namely Tshimangadzo, Alidzulwi, and Naledzi. He is a published author of the book, ’How to Parent African Children, Reflections of an African Father.  A Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), the highest accolade of Toastmasters International. Academically he has earned a BSc (Physics and Mathematical Statistics) and University Education Diploma(UED) from the University of Venda affectionately known as Univen. He went further to complete ND Electrical Engineering(LC)  at the Durban University of Technology and BTech Project Management at Cape Peninsula (CPUT). He currently works for Koeberg Nuclear Power Station as a PSA analyst. Before joining Koeberg, he was with the University of Venda, Physics Department as a Laboratory Technician. His career started as a Science and Mathematics Educator under the Department of Education.  He is property investor, marathon runner, boardgames player, reader, writer, hiker, home schooler and a⁷ Pan-Africanists.

Su Nightingale

Head of Department of English, Somerset College Senior School
South Africa

Susan is involved in language education in Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a BA (with Drama and English), a PGCSE in English and Drama teaching and an Honours in Theory of Literature. She is an educator moved to action by mobilising the South African youth in her sphere of influence through education and job-creation. In addition Susan is a teacher mentor for Jakes Gerwel Fellowship and with Stone Dragon NGO. She is at home in front of or behind the camera and radio microphone. When she is not teaching she is writing short stories, poetry or surfing.

Prof. Karin-Theresa Howell

Department of Mathematical Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Karin-Therese Howell is a mathematician who works in abstract algebra and graph theory. She is a Senior Lecturer at Stellenbosch University. She is the convenor of the African Women in Mathematics Conferences and Seminars (AWiM) and is passionate about supporting women in mathematics and encouraging more female learners to consider studying mathematical sciences. In her free time she likes to kitesurf and paint.

Prof. Yorick Hardy

School of Mathematics, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Yorick Hardy is an associate professor in the School of Mathematics at the University of the Witwatersrand. He has mostly worked in multilinear algebra and its applications in quantum computation. Outside of research, he has a mild interest in programming languages and operating systems (NetBSD in particular).

Dr. Anita Campbell

Academic Development Lecturer,
UCT,
South Africa

Anita Campbell has been enthusiastically teaching and learning from students of first-year mathematics for over two decades. Since 2011 she has been based in the Academic Support Programme for Engineering at the University of Cape Town. Intrigue about why some engineering students fail to rebound after failing first-semester mathematics led to her PhD investigation of growth mindsets – the belief that intelligence can always be improved. Her PhD thesis showed that interventions to develop growth mindsets should focus on mindset messages in learning environments and not just target individuals. She is excited about applying findings from the field of positive psychology to enhance student wellbeing and success. Other research interests include educational technology to support active learning, and engineering students’ sense of belongingness.

Apart from helping students, her favourite things include hiking and running with her husband and twin daughters, eating avocado and basil pesto, and reading books like The Book of Joy.

Anita is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association, the South African Society for Engineering Education, and the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa, and the Centre for Research in Engineering Education.

Lusungu Julius Mbigili,

Science in Mathematical modelling from the University of Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania.

I am Lusungu Julius Mbigili, holding a master degree of Science in Mathematical
modelling from the University of Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania. After completion of my
undergraduate studies in 2006, I joined the department of Mathematics at the University of Dar-es Salaam as Tutorial Assistant and served there until 2010 where
I shifted to Ardhi University in Dar es salaam city as Assistant lecturer. At Ardhi
university, I was lecturing Mathematics and quantitative method courses to computer
students and students doing accounting, geoinformatics and geodes courses. I served Ardhi University as assistant lecturer until 2013 where I shifted to Mzumbe University in Morogoro region, Tanzania where I work until to date. Here at Mzumbe University, I serve as Assistant lecturer, teaching the courses of pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics courses to majors and non-major students. Some of the courses that I have been teaching are: functional analysis, complex analysis,
abstract algebra, linear algebra, actuarial statistics, differential equations, just few to mention.
Actually, I could say that, I have a tremendous experience in teaching mathematics
as I started teaching it at the level of secondary school in 1999 to 2022 before joining
university for undergraduate studies. Since then, after completion of my university
studies at the undergraduate and master’s level, I have been working in the field and so the experience is indeed excellent. Well, teaching mathematics requires patience and different approaches and techniques as the majority of the students may find it difficult to handle, get demoralized and eventually run away from the subject. So,
teaching a subject by starting from the simple to complex, from the known to unknown with the emphasis to the application of mathematics in real life has been the daily bread in my teaching activities. Befriending with students and being available any time wherever they need my assistance in the subject has helped me to encourage my students to like the subject, perform better and be willingly to pursue further studies, develop themselves and consider moving forward with this discipline as a future career.

Dr. Anna Karapiperi

Lancaster University, UK

Born and raised in Athens, Greece, ever since she was a little girl she wanted to teach mathematics. As an undergraduate at the Kapodistrian University of Athens her passion for Mathematics grew, and before she knew it she was doing her Masters in Numerical Analysis (as she wanted to see maths applied to everyday life).

She had her first experience studying abroad in 2012 when she went to Italy to do her PhD research at the University of Padova. She got excited about her research into real life applications such as image reconstruction.

Three years later she moved to the UK and since then she has lived in Lancaster and worked at Lancaster University. In her current role she leads a team that supports student learning in mathematics and statistics.

She loves travelling (you can imagine how much she suffered from the travel restrictions due to the pandemic) and she likes art. In the past she has been a member of amateur theatrical groups (in Greece and in Italy). She is always open to new challenges. Any ideas are welcome! 🙂

Lesley Scott

South Africa

Lesley Scott recently completed her Psychology master’s thesis at Stellenbosch University with research intersecting the disciplines of Psychology and Mathematics. An advocate for life-long learning, she returned to her studies after several years in the workplace, completing her undergraduate and honours qualifications at UNISA.

In her experience, not only is Mathematics an art in itself, it lies at the heart of many creative pursuits. While Mathematics is too often seen as an isolated discipline, she believes that it is diversity and collaboration that allows for innovation and advancement within the field and beyond.

When not studying or researching, she is a contributing author and content creator for a number of online platforms, and has authored a series of books that help young children recognise and regulate their emotions. Additionally, she facilitates lessons for children identified at high risk for early learning failure. Lesley believes in the power of community and that connecting with others helps us make sense of the world. She relies on tea and good books to keep her sense of humour intact.

Aidan Pellow-Jarman

Computer Science PhD student at UKZN

Aidan is a Computer Science PhD student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, researching quantum algorithms designed for near-term quantum computers, specifically with applications to computational chemistry, machine learning and optimisation. He also works as a Quantum Software Engineer at a quantum computing start up, Qunova Computing, based in South Korea.