AIMS-IMAGINARY / Maths Communication in Africa


AIMS-IMAGINARY / Maths Communication in Africa
Nov. 5, 2014 to Nov. 7, 2014
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences - South Africa|6-7 Melrose Place|Muizenberg|Cape Town|7745|ZA

Submitted by


Organized by AIMS-South Africa and IMAGINARY, a project by the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach.
Rosita Yocgo
Charmaine Meyer
Antonia Mey
Andreas Daniel Matt
Supported by: 
Supported by the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences - Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI), the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach (MFO) and IMAGINARY and the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). Partner for the workshops (supervision, coordination): School of Sciences and Technology, Mathematical Division, University of Camerino.

A workshop-exhibition to understand and plan maths communication and maths outreach activities in Africa, organized by the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences - Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI), IMAGINARY and the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach. The workshop and exhibition will be hosted at AIMS-South Africa, in Muizenberg, Cape town.


Africa, like the rest of the world, faces major challenges in keeping students interested in Mathematics and Sciences. In Africa, this is exacerbated by a lack of correlation between the application of maths and sciences to daily life experiences, and the low quality of mathematics teaching. Parents also have a pivotal role to play in the manner in which their children eventually perceive and appreciate maths. 

Various African organisations and governments are working in diverse ways to bridge the gap in the way maths is perceived and utilized. The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI), a pan-African network of Centres of Excellence across Africa, with operating centres in Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa, teaches mathematical sciences in a broad manner to top postgraduate African students, empowering them with the skills to tackle Africa’s challenges. AIMS-NEI also has a strong outreach component which contributes to the positive perception of mathematics and its role in transforming the continent. For instance, the AIMS School Enrichment program at AIMS-South Africa provides teachers with interactive classroom tools to improve learning outcomes. From the University of Abidjan, Prof Josephine Guidy Wandjan, the first African woman in Mathematics, uses cartoons to attract youths to mathematics through her “Yao crack en maths” slogan. Recently, AIMS-Tanzania, in collaboration with IMAGINARY/MFO, organized a special interactive math event at the Pi Day celebration organized by the Mathematical Association of Tanzania. This event was attended by over two thousand students and teachers from 3 universities, 33 Secondary Schools, 14 Primary Schools and one Teacher Resource Centre. 


Concerted efforts need to be made in Africa and in partnership with other institutions worldwide to promote maths and science. Key to this is the way mathematics can be presented, perceived and applied to improve desired outcomes. The objectives of the AIMS-IMAGINARY workshop is to:

  • Share experiences and challenges in presenting and applying mathematics internationally with a focus on the African continent.
  • Network with AIMS, IMAGINARY/MFO representatives, and other partners in the field of mathematics and sciences.
  • Through an exhibition, expose various stakeholders in Africa to innovative open softwares and mechanisms in which maths is being utilised to improve learning outcomes.
  • Form a dedicated global community of people that will support each other in promoting mathematics and science.
  • Plan outreach activities in various African countries to promote mathematics, and engage children, students, parents, academics (including teachers), organisations and policy makers.

The format of this workshop-exhibition has been designed to be highly interactive and participative. There will be short presentations, working sessions on special topics and activities, and on-going exhibitions to present interactive mathematics and hands-on modules to the audience. The ultimate goal is to showcase interactive mathematics learning tools, to work on dedicated activities for Africa, and to jointly plan future activities.

Workshop topics include: communication of mathematics, communication of current mathematical research, organisation of mathematics outreach events (exhibitions, media work, and competitions), school & student activities, teacher training, math & art activities. Exhibits will consist of a combination of visual and physical objects which will be useful to a broad audience. 

This event is targeted to mathematicians, people from other academic disciplines interested in, or, applying mathematical science tools, students, math teachers, decision makers and the general public. 


  • Day 1:
    Information exchange on mathematics communication and global outreach initiatives.
    Opening of the exhibition and special events for school children, teachers, lecturers and the general public
    Breakout group for workshop
  • Day 2:
    Parallel sessions: workshops and exhibitions
    Workshops with interested participants to plan future joint activities (in smaller groups with presentations)
    Continuation of exhibitions and special activities
    Special dinner
  • Day 3:
    Parallel sessions: exhibitions and workshops
    Continuation of workshop from Day 2 (in smaller groups with presentations) including funding, concrete plans for 2015-2016

The detailed programme including the speakers and workshops can be found below in the “Files” section. It is regularly being updated.

Participation & Registration

Participation is free and open to everyone! However, Delegates are responsible for their travel to South Africa and their stay during the period of the event. There are limited spaces, so we suggest that you pre-register.  Preferred participants for the workshops should fulfil one or more of the following criteria:

  • High interest in maths communication and maths outreach in Africa
  • Experience in mathematics communication, especially on the African continent
  • Profound dedication to belong and be part of a global community to advance mathematics communication and outreach activities in Africa

International experts are specially invited to support peers in Africa to share experiences and join future activities. There are spaces for talks and presentations on international activities and activities in Africa. Abstracts are welcomed from interested participants.

To register, please download, complete and submit this form. Persons interested in delivering oral or poster presentation can do so by submitting an abstract to after registering. The abstract should include the title of your talk, your name, title, and a short description of your talk. The title of your talk should be in bold while the rest of the text should have a font size 12 and written using the font Arial.

Schools (teachers and students), universities (lecturers and students) and various groups (maths and science communicators, media and artists etc.) interested in showcasing their interactive visual or physical exhibit or, science projects and those interested in viewing the exhibitions and bringing school children, students, teachers, lecturers to this interactive learning exhibition space, should send an email to to book an exhibition booth or slot. 

The final registration deadline is September 30, 2014. If you would like to submit an abstract or give a talk, then please let us know as soon as possible. The deadline for abstract submission has now been extended to September 30, 2014. Please note that approved applicants can confirm their coming to the conference also after the September 30 deadline.


Sponsorship for this event is highly welcomed from individuals, organizations, and companies.

As a sponsor, you would be able to:

  1. Facilitate participant attendance.
  2. Provide support for African school children and teachers in remote disadvantaged communities to take part in and benefit from these exhibitions.
  3. Contribute to the cost of hiring or acquiring ICT and other equipment.
  4. Contribute to the cost of organizing the workshop.

For this and other ways of how you can participate and support this event, please email Dr Rosita Endah Yocgo, or write to: Dr Rosita Yocgo, AIMS-NEI secretariat, ABSA on Grove, 3rd Floor, 11 Grove Ave, Claremont, 7708, Western Cape, South Africa.


Additional Information for Delegates

Kindly find below additional information for Delegates to assist you with your travel plans and stay in South Africa. 

Kindly use this form to communicate your travel itinerary to us once you have booked your flight and made your hotel reservation. This is to ensure for timely pick-up from the Cape Town airport.

IMPORTANT: As confirmation of your participation, we will require payment for the conference dinner, meals and airport transport, as indicated in your registration application. Please use this link to make the payment and in this way confirm your participation.

Should you have chosen independent meal options and no conference dinner, please confirm your participation by email to and inform us about your accomodation during the workshop.

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