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Report Padmanabhan Seshaiyer Tanzania 2012

As a part of the Volunteer Lecturer Program sponsored by the Developing Countries Strategy Group of the International Mathematics Union (IMU) , in cooperation with International Center for Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA) and the U.S. National Committee for Mathematics, Professor Padmanabhan Seshaiyer from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at George Mason University, USA had the opportunity to visit NM AIST-Arusha from August 9, 2012 to September 6, 2012.

During this time, he worked with faculty in the School of Mathematics, Communication, Computational Science and Engineering (MCCSE) to develop an introductory mathematical modeling and scientific computing course employing MATLAB that all future incoming students to NM-AIST will be expected to take in the first semester. The course will cover all fundamental concepts in modeling, analysis and computation adapted to the 5-week modular form of coursework that NM-AIST offers. This course will become a fundamental course for all the students at NM-AIST that will help them develop a strong Masters and PhD proposal in their program. As a part of the course development, he created a detailed course guide in the form of a textbook is being created which will be posted on his website soon.

Research Interactions

He also had the opportunity to visit several leading scientists and directors of prominent programs who visited NM AIST-Arusha for the Second Annual East African Universities Mathematics Programme (EAUMP) conference. He gave the first Keynote address at the meeting on "Multidisciplinary research in mathematical aciences with applications to real world problems in biological, bio-inspired and engineering systems."

Interaction with Students

The highlight of this trip was his interaction with student and, in particular, to work with them on helping them develop their Master's and Doctoral research proposals. During this time, he had the opportunity to interact with students and faculty on a regular basis from various schools at NM AIST-Arusha including Mathematics, Computational and Communication Science and Engineering; Life Sciences and Bioengineering; Materials Science and Engineering and; Water Resources and Environmental Science and Engineering. Having directed students on a variety of projects at all levels in the last decade on these areas, he was able to share his work with them and discuss potential collaborations that they can build from both their experise. In this regard, he was able to help out by giving lectures on creating effective research proposals and also helped many students to help come up with a focused research topic that they will work on to obtain their Masters or PhD in the next year or two.

He was happy to engage the students by providing them interdisciplinary collaborative research opportunities that helped to promote the much needed awareness of the applications of mathematics to real-world problems. He was (and the NM-AIST students as well) very happy to learn that NM-AIST offered him an adjunct professorship that will give him an opportunity to either co-advise or advise students as they work towards getting a Ms or PhD. They will work with him on a variety of projects that will involve the development of efficient mathematical model and simulation of real-world problems of national importance in Tanzania that will be in the areas of agriculture, food-security, bio-diversity, mobile-medicine, m-learning, disease modeling and prevention, waste management, water resources, tobacco and the environment, petrol adulteration, fish harvesting and many more. He is really looking forward to this collaboration. (Text from his website)

More information and pictures can be found here: