On May 27, 2024, delegates from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) met with representatives of the Centre for Education in Math and Computing (CEMC) and the larger Faculty of Mathematics to celebrate a new phase in their continuing partnership. This represents one of more than 300 partnerships that Waterloo holds with universities and research institutions in more than 50 countries worldwide. 

Established in 2003, AIMS is a pan-African network of post-graduate education centres dedicated to “shap[ing] the continent’s future through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, public engagement and research.” AIMS is committed to making Africa a leader in mathematics and computer science innovation, exemplified by their new slogan, ‘In Africa’s youth, the future of science.’  

“Waterloo has been a proud partner of AIMS for the last decade,” says Ian VanderBurgh, director of the CEMC. “We’re excited to begin this new chapter of collaboration and learning together while continuing to broaden our partnership.”  

With locations in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon and Rwanda, the institute has graduated more than 2600 students from 43 African countries, approximately 80 per cent of whom have proceeded to master’s and PhD studies.   

As part of the new phase of the partnership between AIMS and the Faculty of Mathematics, Waterloo will provide financial support to AIMS between 2023 and 2026 as well as continuing to provide scholarship for AIMS alumni enrolled in graduate programs at Waterloo. In exchange, AIMS will provide guest teaching positions for Waterloo faculty and longer-term tutor positions for Waterloo PhD students. The AIMS and CEMC will also continue to collaborate closely on educational materials and training.  

Headshot of Prince Osei

Prince Osei, president of AIMS Ghana, gives a presentation on AIMS's current work

A delegation of AIMS members joined Mathematics representatives for a full day of programming including strategic planning meetings, presentations on AIMS’s past, present, and future work, a panel discussion, and a ceremonial signing of the Waterloo/AIMS agreement. 

“By 2050, 35 per cent of the world’s young people will be African,” said Neil Turok, founder of AIMS and former director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, in his opening remarks. “I believe every university in the world needs to engage with the coming opportunity created by the large numbers of young Africans wanting to engage with mathematics internationally.”  

You can learn more about AIMS and its goals on their website. You can learn more about the CEMC on their website. 

Banner photo: Back row, L-R: David Kribs (professor of Mathematics & Statistics, University of Guelph); Comfort Mintah (CEMC lecturer); Bertrand Guenin (associate dean, graduate studies); Peter Wood (assistant dean, online). Front row, L-R: Prince Osei (AIMS Ghana president); Sam Yala (AIMS Rwanda president); Mark Giesbrecht (Faculty of Mathematics dean); Ian VanderBurgh (CEMC director).