The University of Minnesota has announced a new partnership with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Under the agreement, University of Minnesota faculty members and graduate students will travel to Africa to serve as lecturers and to mentor students at campuses of the African institute of Mathematical Sciences. Faculty members will also assist the institute in developing curriculum and educational programs and will participate in joint research projects with scholars at the institute.
Founded in 2003, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences recruits high-achieving college students from across the continent for intensive mathematics training in order to enable them to gain entrance into graduate programs or to secure jobs in technical fields. The institute has campuses in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Rwanda. Since its inception, there have been 1,700 students who have completed training. Of these 31 percent are women.
Officials hope that the new partnership will funnel African students to graduate programs in mathematics at the University of Minnesota. Peter Oliver, head of the School of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota stated that “Africa is the largest untapped market of students and talent. This program will allow the University of Minnesota a toe-hold that could pay big dividends down the road.”