Prof Loyiso Nongxa has been elected as a Vice-President of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) during its Annual General Meeting held during 29-30 July in Brazil. The IMU is a prominent global organisation, established in 1920, and a member of the International Science Council (ISC). The ISC was created in 2018 following the merger between the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC).
A number of challenges impede the development of high level mathematics research and education across the continent. Prof Nongxa’s extensive experience, leadership skills and networks will contribute significantly to the IMU’s engagements, and especially to the continent.
Prof Nongxa is the Chairperson of the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) and the Founding Director of the Centre for Mathematical and Computational Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. He has held a number of senior leadership positions including as Vice-Chancellor and Principal for 10 years, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of the Witwatersrand, and as Dean of Natural Sciences at the University of the Western Cape. He served as a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University and the University of Illinois, and as a Visiting Researcher at the Universities of Colorado, Hawaii, Connecticut and Baylor University in the United States, amongst others.
He was South Africa’s first African Rhodes Scholar to graduate from Oxford University with a doctoral degree in mathematics, and completed undergraduate and Masters degrees at the University of Fort Hare.
Prof Nongxa actively participates in transforming the higher education landscape in South Africa. He served inter alia as Chairperson of the Review Committee of the National System of Innovation, appointed by the Minister of Science and Technology, and was the Chairperson of the Research and Innovation Strategy Group of Universities South Africa (USAf, formerly HESA).