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Home » Meet Prof Abdon Atangana, Second-best mathematician in the world

Meet Prof Abdon Atangana, Second-best mathematician in the world

Stanford University has named a professor from South Africa‘s University of the Free State (UFS) the second-best mathematician in the world and No. 188 in science, technology, and engineering.

Abdon Atangana works at the Institute for Groundwater Studies at the UFS as a professor of applied mathematics.

UFS says that Stanford University made a list of the top 2% of world-class researchers based on how many times their work was cited over their careers. The list, which came out in September, shows that 195,605 researchers are in the top 2%.

The UFS also said Stanford “has created a database of highly cited scientists that is open to the public and has standardised data on citations, h-index, co-authorship adjusted hm-index, citations to publications in different authorship positions, and a composite indicator” (c-score). Impact over a lifetime and a single recent year are shown as separate numbers.

IOL said that Atangana, who is 37 years old, was born in Cameroon but has lived in Bloemfontein for the past 12 years. In 2020, the news source said that he was one of 10 South African scientists in the top 1% of scientists on the global Clarivate Web of Science list.

Atangana is also known for creating a new fractional operator that is used to model problems in engineering, science, and technology that happen in the real world.

Atangana said of Stanford’s list, “It is always encouraging to see a researcher from a developing country at the top of the list in a hard scientific field like physics, chemistry, or mathematics.” “Many academics from the global South made it onto this list, busting the myth that only researchers in the global north can do high-quality research.

David Hilbert said, “The fact that an African-Black person is the second-best mathematician in the world shows that math is not limited by geography or race.” Math is a subject that is not limited to any one country. “The top mathematician in general comes from Stanford, but his real area of expertise is computer science,” he said.

The UFS said that Atangana’s ranking of 188th in the world in all of science, technology, and engineering is very important because it shows that the influence of his study can be compared to other fields that are still ranked among the top 200 in the world and is not just limited to mathematicians.

“I am the creator of several important ideas in pure and applied mathematics.

For example, I made the Atangana-Baleanu fractional derivatives and integrals, a new type of calculus based on the available Mittag-Leffler kernels. First used in 2016, this fractional calculus has been used in many areas of science, technology, and engineering, the professor said.

Prof Abdon Atangana
Prof Abdon Atangana

“I came up with different ideas in epidemiological modelling, numerical analysis, and integral transformations.

I was also the first to come up with fractal-fractional calculus, which is used in all fields of applied science. Piecewise differentiation and integration are the most recent ideas I came up with.

Along with Atangana, 22 UFS researchers made a list. These include Prof Ivan Turok (Research Chair in City-Region Economies in the Department of Economics and Finance and the Centre for Development Support, ranked 21,680), Prof Jorma Holsa (Research Fellow: Department of Physics, ranked 84,593), Prof Melanie Walker (NRF Chair in Higher Education and Human Development: Centre for Development Support, ranked 67,313), Prof Maxim Finkelstein.

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