Bridging Opportunity Gaps
There are wide discrepancies in access to education and opportunities across the globe, and even within the same education system. Over the past 10 years I made it one of my key missions to help bridge these opportunity gap. In particular, I have been active both locally at the institutions I worked at at the time, and across the the African continent, initiating and institutionalizing frameworks that provide opportunities for people to receive support and motivation in their academic aspirations.
Here are some of my past engagements in this direction:
- Founding member of SIAM Student Chapter, University of Cambridge (UK);
- STEP Mentor for the STEP correspondence course, University of Cambridge (UK): pilot project to prepare high-school students from disadvantaged backgrounds for university mathematics admission examinations;
- Founder of the Maths HelpDesk, Imperial College London (UK);
- President of SIAM Student Chapter, Imperial College London (UK);
- Cohort Building Activities for mathematics PhD students, Imperial College London (UK);
- Mathematics Camps for school children at Wimbledon High School and Kings College London (UK);
- Science outreach for school children in Pasadena close to California Institute of Technology (US);
- Development of an artificial intelligence course for the general public as a pilot project with Pasadena City College and California Institute of Technology (US);
Bridging theory and practice
In order to bridge the gap between mathematical theory and practice, we need to build partnerships with organizations that are tackling concrete real-world challenges, and would benefit from the type of mathematical expertise and insights that researchers have to offer.
Building a community
In order to find concrete paths to action, I believe we need to develop and foster an international community of researchers and practitioners that provide support to fill these opportunity gaps. If we can work collectively to allow talented individuals to reach their full potential, we all benefit. In the context of African mathematics, I aim to support building a pan-African community of practitioners across mathematics research and education that work towards this common vision and mission.
In this direction, I recently organized the workshop Cross-Pollination in Mathematics Education at the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Ghana. Initiatives like these provide a platform for key actors from across the African continent to discuss implementation, sustainability, scalability, impact, good practices and challenges for a range of mathematics education initiatives.