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Meet South African Professor Ranked World’s Second-Best Mathematician  

Abdon Atangana, a professor of Applied Mathematics at the Institute for Groundwater Studies at the University of the Free States (UFS) in South Africa has been ranked as the second-best mathematician in the world.

The Cameroon born professor was also ranked 188th in all of engineering, science and technology in Stanford University’s top 2% scientists in the world. This list was compiled by Stanford University based on the citations from their full careers and was published in September.

He is also recognized  as one of the 10 South African scientists in the top 1% of scientists on the global Clarivate Web of Science list. A list which honors real innovators in their industry.

Asides from being the second-best mathematician in the world, Atangana is known for developing a new fractional operator, used to model real world crises arising in the fields of engineering, science and technology. His cross-industry contribution, which integrates math and applicability to actual crises, gained him a spot on the list.

The 37 year old mentioned that most of his mathematical formulae came from Europe due to performance and recognition: “When I introduced my operator, it felt somewhat decolonizing. It demonstrates that Africans can contest on the world stage. This honor is not for me, but for Africa. I work hard so that black African children can say that Africa leads the way in mathematics. There’s nothing we can’t do!”

Abdon Atangana also mentioned that he developed his operator in 2016 when he completed his doctorate degree at the university. 4 years after that, he published more than 20 leading journals of applied mathematics and was given the chance to officiate in some, as the first African-selected editor.

He was elected as a fellow of the World Academy of Science for the advancement of science in developing countries, in 2021.

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