Extraordinary professor in mathematics at UP elected as TWAS fellow

Posted on November 30, 2023


Professor Abba B Gumel, an extraordinary professor from the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, has recently been elected as a fellow of UNESCO's World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).

The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries is known worldwide by its acronym, TWAS, and supports sustainable prosperity through research, education, policy and diplomacy.

TWAS fellows represent the apex of scientific achievement in their respective fields and contribute to the collective expertise of the Academy. They play a crucial role in shaping the future of scientific research and innovation in the developing world.

“It means our little effort in promoting world-class science worldwide is recognised by our peers. Nothing is more gratifying than being able to help empower others with the scientific tools they need to be the best they can become and to collectively build a much better planet for themselves and all of us,” Prof Gumel said.

Prof Gumel added, “It is always great as a researcher to be elected into an academy or scientific organisation that consists of the best. It's humbling yet empowering. It recognises our mathematical sciences work, which focuses on addressing some of the pressing challenges of our time (notably outbreaks of major infectious diseases and the effect of climate change on the global distribution and burden of diseases).

The award is, in summary, a validation and recognition of the excellent work my collaborators (particularly my students – postdocs, junior – and other colleagues from around the world) and I do to improve the planet we live,” Prof Gumel concluded.

Prof Gumel is a professor of mathematics (and The Michael and Eugenia Brin Endowed E-Nnovate Chair in Mathematics) in the Department of Mathematics, University of Maryland, College Park.

His research uses mathematical approaches (modelling, rigorous analysis, and data analytics) to gain insight and provide an understanding of the transmission dynamics of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases of public health significance. Specifically, he designs, analyses, parameterises and simulates novel mathematical models for the transmission dynamics and control of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases of major public health significance. He uses them to advance effective public health policies for containing and mitigating these diseases. In addition to studying the dynamics of various disease types of major outbreak (and pandemic) potential, a major emphasis of his work entails quantifying the impacts of anthropogenic climate change, insecticide and drug resistance, land-use changes and human mobility on the spread and control of vector-borne diseases.

Prof Gumel is no stranger to accolades: He is an elected Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), African Academy of Sciences (AAS), American Mathematical Society (AMS), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Society for Industrial Mathematics (SIAM). He received the Bellman Prize, the Merit Award for research excellence at the University of Manitoba (five times), and the Young African Mathematician Medal, African Mathematical Union, among others.

- Author Martie Meyer

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