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39-Year-Old African Professor Becomes World’s Leading Mathematician

Abdon Atangana, a 39-year-old professor at the University of the Free State (UFS) in South Africa, has been named the world’s top mathematician according to Stanford University’s World’s Top 2% Scientists list.

Abdon Atangana, a 39-year-old professor at the University of the Free State (UFS) in South Africa, has been named the world’s top mathematician according to Stanford University’s World’s Top 2% Scientists list.

This recognition places him as the number one in applied mathematics, mathematical physics, mathematics, and statistics globally, and 260th across all fields of science, technology, and engineering.

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This marks a historic achievement for both Atangana and his institution, as he becomes the highest-ranked scientist from UFS ever included in Stanford’s annual ranking, which evaluates researchers based on citations throughout their careers, spotlighting over 100,000 leading scientists.

Atangana expressed pride in this accomplishment, emphasizing that it demonstrates the significant contributions Africans can make to global science and technology from within the continent.

“This also shows that Africans in Africa can have an impact on the world. My motivation is to tell the next generation that Africans do not always need to graduate from the top universities of the global North to make a global impact,” he said.

He advocates for enhancing the academic quality and reputation of African universities to attract international students, particularly from developed regions.

Atangana believes the development of Africa should extend beyond cultural exports like sports and music, focusing on excellence in STEM fields.

“Having the best scientists, mathematicians, and engineers in the world in Africa should be the strive of all Africans,” he added.

Originally from Cameroon, Atangana has resided in South Africa for 14 years. In 2022, he was ranked as the world’s second-best mathematician and 188th in all of science, technology, and engineering by Stanford University.

Atangana has introduced significant mathematical concepts, including the Atangana-Baleanu fractional derivatives and integrals in 2016, which are based on the general Mittag-Leffler kernels and represent a novel approach in calculus.

He was also recognized in 2020 as one of the top 1% of scientists globally on the Clarivate Web of Science list for his development of a new fractional operator used to address real-world issues in engineering, science, and technology.

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SOURCES: ALLSCHOOL, SCHOLARSHIP REGION

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