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The 10th Annual Masamu Advanced Study Institute, or MASI, and Research Workshop in mathematical sciences was held Nov. 20–29. Over 100 participants from 55 institutions, 14 countries and 4 continents gathered virtually to collaborate on research problems in the areas of algebra, analysis, biostatistics, graph theory, mathematical biology and financial mathematics. Participants also attended the 40th Annual Southern Africa Mathematical Sciences Association, or SAMSA, Conference, presented research findings and planned continued research activities for 2021. Attendees included faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students and researchers from government agencies.

The primary goal of the Masamu, which 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, Asia 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.

Overtoun Jenda, director of the Masamu Program and assistant provost for special projects and initiatives, said, “It was very encouraging to see our largest number of Masamu participants ever this year. In a time where hosting collaborative events can prove challenging, we were able to transform our in-person institute into a successful virtual environment that allowed our participants to continue to collaborate and develop new results. The international research collaborations that we are helping to foster will continue to grow and thrive, helping to advance research and human infrastructure in mathematical sciences and related areas globally.”

The institute is supported by the National Science Foundation and Auburn University, and is administered by the Office of Special Projects and Initiatives. The 11th Annual MASI and Workshops will be held in November 2021 in Maputo, Mozambique. Other activities of the program include a STEM Education Workshop, Department Heads and Chairs Workshop and Career Development Workshop.

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