Connect South African Students to Education

by African Institute for Mathematical Sciences
  • Pledged

    $1,000

  • Backers

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  • This campaign successfully raised
    $1,000 with 1 backers
    on March 10, 2015
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    Flexible Funding
    Flexible Funding campaigns receive all donations regardless of whether the funding goal is reached.
$50,000
goal
2%
funded

Help AIMS South Africa connect its eager mathematics students to the rest of the world by creating a Media Center.

  Education, Acoustics

We’ve Built The First Center. We Need Your Help To Make It Better.

There are 47 countries in Africa. Many of those countries – like South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, and Tanzania – are full of eager students, hungry to learn about STEM fields and acquire a world-class education in them.

None of those countries have funding for it.

AIMS is on a mission to change that. The African Institute for Mathematics Sciences founded its first center in South Africa in 2003, with the express intention of offering world-class postgraduate mathematical education. It has rapidly gained international recognition as a center of excellence that prepares students for careers in the quantitative sciences. It is a unique partnership between the three universities in the Western Cape (UCT, Stellenbosch, and UWC) and three European universities (Cambridge, Oxford, and Paris-Sud-XI).

But now it needs your help.

What We’re Trying To Do

AIMS South Africa has done a great deal to create higher level opportunities for its students, but in order to connect it to the rest of the AIMS programs – and connect their eager students to the rest of the world – they need a Media Center.

A Media Center at AIMS South Africa will allow its students to communicate with other AIMS students in 15 countries, enabling thousands of multiple-party lessons, brainstorming, and research sessions. It would also allow AIMS South Africa to build on its reputation as a world-class center for mathematics education by hosting workshops, video conferences, academic programs and short courses. Lastly, a Media Center would allow AIMS South Africa to connect its students to Wits University in Johannesburg, in a special partnership program.

AIMS South Africa was the very first center of its kind. Help it continue its mission of outstanding mathematics education in a continent that is eager to learn.

 

AIMS And The Next Einstein Initiative

AIMS seeks to accomplish its mission to provide higher education in Africa as part of the Next Einstein Initiative (NEI). Inspired by Neil Turok's award-winning TED Talk (shown below), the NEI program has partnered with AIMS centers all over Africa to encourage scientific learning. Thus far, the AIMS program has over 700 graduates. AIMS operates as a pan-African network of centers for postgraduate education, all of which offer a Master’s in Mathematical Sciences, and research and outreach opportunities in Mathematical Science.

This campaign is Flexible, meaning that the Project Leader will receive all donations collected at the end of the campaign, whether or not it reaches its goal.

Fiat Physica will also be matching donations made to this campaign by 10%, making your gift go even further.

What We Need From You:

In order to make all of this possible, we need your help:

Step 1

Upgrading teleconferencing capability of the current AIMS center. This will allow AIMS South Africa students to connect with AIMS students in the other 15 centers for learning and research opportunities, as well as with partner organizations like Wits University in Johannesburg. Wits University has just been awarded a new Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF), making it an ideal educational partner for AIMS. The partnership between AIMS and Wits will focus on mathematical paradigms for the Earth, and mathematical, statistical, and computational modeling of the Earth and the environment.

Step 2

Installing smart boards and digital video conferencing equipment in the current AIMS center. These upgrades will allow AIMS to host video conferences, and record and upload lectures to online MOOC communities. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) are free world-class educational courses that AIMS utilizes heavily in order to meet its goal of world-class postgraduate mathematics education. MOOCs are available to anyone with an internet connection, and in addition to offering traditional course materials like videos, readings, and problem sets, they also provide user forums that nurture a community between students, professors, and teaching assistants. With upgraded materials, AIMS would be able to record their courses and lectures and upload them to the internet, allowing them to not only give back to the MOOC community but also to continue attracting world-class talent.

Step 3

Upgrading the current small lecture theater. AIMS South Africa is constantly asked to host conferences and programs, but is unable to do so because of its limited facilities. This upgrade would increase the amount of students who could attend lectures, allowing a group of 25–30 to participate rather than a mere handful. The upgrade would also require installation of improved lighting, furniture, computer and internet hardware.

  Budget Breakdown

  Risks and Challenges

Team

  • Project Leader: African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (University)
  • Location: Muizenberg, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Organizer:

    Linda Camara

    Contact the organizer

Connect South African Students to Education

Help AIMS South Africa connect its eager mathematics students to the rest of the world by creating a Media Center.