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Thirty-nine participants from the United States, Malawi, Botswana, South Africa, United Kingdom and Nigeria came together for the 9th Annual Masamu Advanced Study Institute, or MASI, and workshops held in Blantyre, Malawi. This institute, supported by the National Science Foundation and Auburn University, ran from Nov. 22 - Dec. 1 and resulted in extensive work on high-level research problems in Analysis, Graph Theory and Mathematical Biology. Participants also attended the 39th Annual Southern Africa Mathematical Sciences Association, or SAMSA, conference, presented their research findings at the SAMSA conference and MASI workshop and planned research activities for 2020.

The primary goal of the Masamu, masamu means mathematics in Southern Africa, Program is to enhance research in mathematical sciences within SAMSA institutions, and beyond, through promotion of international collaborative research. This collaborative research network, or CRN, consists of senior research faculty from the U.S., Sub-Saharan Africa, Canada and Europe who lead research groups. The CRN works to enhance research by producing high quality new doctorates in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa, high quality joint research publications and developing prominent U.S. and Africa research partnerships comprised of researchers from diverse backgrounds.

The institute includes research groups in the areas of algebra and geometry; analysis and topology; graph theory, coding theory and information theory; mathematical biology and biomathematics; climate change and impacts; biostatistics and data science; mathematics of finance and statistics; and numerical approximations, stochastics and computational mathematics. The target audiences of MASI and Workshops are graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and early career faculty.

Overtoun Jenda, director of the Masamu Program and assistant provost for special projects and initiatives said, “it is most satisfying to see the Auburn University SAMSA Masamu Program effect, in the rapid growth of research activity in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and to witness the bonds that are being made among participants of all ages and backgrounds; thus strengthening U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa human infrastructure in mathematical sciences and related areas for many years to come.”

The 10th Annual MASI and workshops will be held in Maputo, Mozambique, from Nov. 20–29, 2020. The Masamu Program is administered by the Office of Special Projects and Initiatives at Auburn University. For more information, go to https://www.masamu.auburn.edu/.