Prof Loyiso Nongxa has been appointed as vice-president of a top maths organisation

By Tshego Mokgabudi and Onke Ngcuka

Former Wits vice-chancellor Professor Loyiso Nongxa has been elected as the vice-president of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) on Monday, July 30.

The announcement was made at the IMU Annual General Meeting in Brazil this week which was attended by members of the International Science Council and the global maths community.

Nongxa (64), a mathematician who holds a doctorate from Oxford University, became the first black vice-chancellor of the University of Witwatersrand in 2003.
Wits’ acting vice-chancellor and principal Tawana Kupe told Wits Vuvuzela that Nongxa’s appointment would have a significant impact internationally.

Kupe said, “I would like to offer my hearty congratulations to Professor Loyiso Nongxa on this important global appointment that will draw on his skills as a mathematician, educator and leader to effect positive change in society.”

In an address to the IMU, Nongxa said that he would like to further the global agenda of the organisation which is closely aligned with the work that he has been dedicated to for the past 20 years.

“I believe that the experience I have gained in the roles I have played in the past … could be relevant in forging new and strengthening existing strategic partnerships to advance the programmes and objectives of the IMU.”

The professor who was born in Indwe in the eastern Cape, is currently the Chairperson of the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) and the Founding Director of the Centre for Mathematical and Computational Sciences at Wits University.

“I was born and grew up at a time and place under the apartheid regime which was indifferent to providing to children who looked like myself opportunities to realise their academic and intellectual potential,” Nongxa told the IMU gathering.

Nongxa was the first South African Rhodes scholar to graduate from Oxford with a doctoral degree in mathematics. He completed both his undergraduate and Masters degrees at the University of Fort Hare.

FEATURED IMAGE: Prof Nongxa recognised globally                                               Photo: Provided


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