Biographies of Presently Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Alan Beardon now retired has held the post of Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Beardon is author of over 200 research papers and eight books on pure mathematics. In addition to his research, Beardon has made important contributions to mathematics education and has contributed extensively to AIMS.
Jonathan Mboyo Esole is Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mboyo Esole received his undergraduate education at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and read Part III in Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, receiving his PhD from the University of Leiden under Ana Achúcarro. Mboyo Esole works at the interface of superstring theory and mathematics and has made important contributions to the understanding of F theory, supergravity, and the geometry of string compactifications.
Mouhamed Moustapha Fall is Chair of Mathematics and its Applications at AIMS Senegal. A native of Senegal, Fall studied at the Université Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis, Senegal, the ICTP in Trieste, Italy, and ISAS/SISSA also in Trieste where he received a PhD in Mathematics in geometric analysis. Moustapha started in applied mathematics working on fluid mechanics and solid mechanics, but eventually moved toward pure mathematics workig in geometric analysis, linking partial differential equations and differential geometry. Applications include shape optimization, quantum mechanics, and image analysis.
Mama Foupouagnigni is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Yaounde I in Cameroon. He was founding Academic Director of AIMS-Cameroon where he is also presently serving as Centre President. After graduate studies at the University of Yaounde I, Mama Foupouagnigni received a PhD from the Institute of Mathematics and Physics in Porto-Novo, Benin. Subsequently Mama Foupouagnigni was Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Kassel, Germany, where he also completed a German Habilitation thesis in mathematics.
Mama Foupouagnigni specializes in orthogonal polynomials and special functions of mathematical physics. He is also interested in computer algebra and the use of information and communications technology in mathematics education.
Steven Gratton is Research Fellow at the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. After a PhD from DAMTP, University of Cambridge, Gratton has held postdoctoral positions at Princeton University and DAMTP. Gratton was a member of the Planck Core Team and contributing substantially to the power spectrum likelihood effort. For the past decade Gratton has been analysing the cosmic microwave background data from the Planck satellite in order to understand what it tells us about the primordial Universe.
Justin Jonas is Professor of Physics at Rhodes University and Associate Director for Science and Engineering at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory. Jonas has made many important technical contributions to the field of radio astronomy. Jonas played a key role in the design and deployment of the MeerKAT radio telescope based in South Africa, oversees technical aspects of the African VLBI Network (AVN) programme and has made significant contributions to the international SKA project through his role on the Science and Engineering Advisory Committee.
Nick Kaiser is Professor of Physics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France, previously holding positions at the University of Hawaii and at the University of Toronto. Kaiser has made key contribution in the area of cosmology. Kaiser is best known for his work on CMB polarization, galaxy bias, gravitational lensing, the halo mass function. Kaiser was initiator and PI of the PanSTARRS sky survey. Kaiser received his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cambridge under Martin Rees. Kaiser is a Fellow of the Royal Society and was awarded the 2019 Gruber Cosmology Prize (shared with Joe Silk).
Gisèle Mophou Loudjom is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Université des Antilles et de la Guyane and German Research Chair at AIMS Cameroon. Mophou Loudjom specializes in Partial Differential Equations, Time Fractional Partial Differential Equations, and Control Theory with an emphasis on applications to modelling environmental phenomenon in order to control them. Mophou Loudjom pursued her graduate studies at Université Paris VI and at the Université des Antilles et de la Guyane.
Kavilan Moodley is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. Moodley’s research deals with theoretical and observational cosmology. Moodley has made important contributions to the Atacama Cosmology Telescope project and is presently the PI of the HIRAX experiment, an upcoming 1024 element interferometric array to be based in the Karoo Desert in South Africa. HIRAX will map out the acceleration of the Universe, discover numerous new pulsars, and help characterize and localize fast radio bursts.
Wilfred Ndifon received his PhD from Princeton University and served as postdoctoral research fellow at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. Ndifon is currently Professor of Theoretical Biology at AIMS and Director of Research for the AIMS Global Network. He is known for, among other things, work leading to the discovery of steric antibody interference in influenza, and his theoretical explanation of both the cause and the alleviation of the original antigenic sin.
Samaya Nissanke is presently professor at GRAPPA (Gravitational Astroparticle Physics Amsterdam) Institute at the University of Amsterdam and specializes in gravitational wave detection. Following undergraduate work at the University of Cambridge, Nissanke obtained a PhD in Astronomy from the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris in 2007. She has held positions at CITA (Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics), University of Toronto; JPL, Caltech; and Radboud University in Nijmegen before coming to GRAPPA. A member of the Virgo collaboration, Nissanke received the 2016 Gruber Cosmology Prize as part of the LIGO/VIRGO team for the first direct detection of gravitational waves
Prince K Osei is the Lead Scientist & Director for Quantum Leap Africa (QLA). Previously, he was a Fields-Perimeter and Perimeter Institute Postdoctoral research fellow and the Academic manager for AIMS-Ghana. He is also the co-founder of Analytics IQ, an Analytics and Actuarial consulting firm in Ghana. Since 2007, he has been a lecturer at the department of Mathematics, University of Ghana. His alma mater is University of Ghana, where he obtained a BSc, MPhil and PhD degrees in Mathematics. Part of his PhD was done at the Department of Mathematics in the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. In 2012, he became the first person to be awarded a PhD degree in mathematics by the University of Ghana after 65 years of its existence.
*Maria Salatino specializes in CMB instrumentation. After receiving a PhD in Astronomy from University of Rome “La Sapienza”. Salatino held postdoctoral positions at Princeton University and Université Paris 7. Salatino presently works at Stanford University on the AliCPT project, a CMB polarization telescope in Tibet.
Kareljan Schoutens, currently Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Amsterdam, specializes in theoretical physics and more recently quantum computing. Schoutens received his PhD from the University of Utrecht and held positions at SUNY Stony Brook and Princeton University. As a theoretical physicist, Schoutens specializes in quantum condensed matter theory. He has a special interest in topological phases of matter and investigates how such phases can be employed for fault tolerant quantum information processing. A recent interest is the quantum control of multi-qubit quantum registers.
Balazs Szendroi is Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Oxford, and Martin Powell Fellow and Tutor in Pure Mathematics at St Peter’s College, Oxford. Born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, he studied in Cambridge and worked earlier in Warwick and Utrecht. His research interests lie in higher dimensional algebraic geometry, the geometry of string theory, and geometric representation theory.
Neil Turok specializes in theoretical physics and cosmology. Turok has held faculty positions at Imperial College London, Princeton University, and the University of Cambridge before moving to the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Canada where he served as Director from 2008 to 2018. Turok has made important contributions to theoretical cosmology, most notably in the area of cosmic strings and topological defects, the ekpyrotic alternative to cosmic inflation, and quantum cosmology. Turok founded the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences in 2003 in Muizenberg, South Africa and was pivotal in the AIMS expansion throughout Africa with new centers in Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tanzania.
[* denotes remote participation.]
Our Sponsors and Partners
This conference has been made possible thanks to generous support of David Coulson and Margaret Holen; Yang Wu and Yong Zhu; Perimeter Institute; Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi); Kavli Institute for Cosmology and Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge; African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS); International Center of Theoretical Physics (UNESCO, IAEA); Cambridge in America