The Mathematics in Industry Study Group in South Africa will take place at AIMS South Africa

11 -14 January 2017: Graduate Workshop

16 - 20 January 2017: MISG

23 - 27 January 2017: Project write-up

A Mathematics in Industry Study Group is a five-day workshop at which academic researchers and graduate students work collaboratively with representatives from industry on research problems submitted by local industry. Study Groups have been organized for over forty years in many countries around the world. The first Study Group in South Africa was held in 2004.

African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, 6 Melrose Road, Muizenberg, Cape Town, South Africa

Contact information 
David P Mason; E-mail:

Organising Committee

  • Professor D P Mason, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Professor M Ali, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Precious Shabalala, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Professor M Khalique, North West University
  • Rene January, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Registration / Information for participants

  • There is no registration fee because participants give their expertise free of charge.
  • Breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, lunch and dinner will be provided

Design of Study Group

  • On the first day industry representatives outline about five problems posed by local industry
  • Applied mathematicians and graduate students work in small groups on the problems of their choice for three days
  • Reports back to industry on the progress made are presented on the last day
  • Further work is done on the problems after the meeting and a Proceedings is produced later in the year

Benefits to industry

  • Leading mathematicians from South Africa and overseas work on their problem
  • Obtain an initial modelling of their problem and a development of the solution process
  • New perspectives and fresh ideas are brought to the problem
  • Establish research links with academic applied mathematicians which can develop far beyond the problem posed
  • Establish contacts and develop employment opportunities for graduate students

Benefit to academics

  • Opportunity to work on problems of genuine practical importance and do good mathematics in the process
  • New research areas can be opened up leading to publications and new research collaborations
  • Opportunity to apply knowledge and skills to significant practical problems
  • Stimulate in industry the awareness of the power of mathematical modelling and scientific computing

Benefits to graduate students

  • Learn to model and solve problems of genuine practical importance by working closely with leading academics and invited guests
  • Learn leadership skills by observing the way the moderator coordinates the work on the problem
  • Learn skills in presenting research material and skills in scientific communication

Information for companies

  • Most industrial problems can be modelled mathematically. Problems that Study Groups in South Africa have investigated include rock bursts, hydraulic fracturing, optimization in mining, traffic flow, flow of molten glass, HIV in the work place, optimal distribution of goods, renewable energy, wind turbines, robot motion and image processing
  • Because the Study Group will discuss the problems openly the problems must not be of a confidential nature and must be such that the results can be published
  • There is no charge for submitting a problem to encourage industry participation
  • If you are interested in submitting a problem please contact us
  • If your problem is selected you will have to submit a detailed problem description well before the meeting and present the problem at the first day of the Study Group
  • The industry representative is expected to be present or contactable during the whole week to assist the academic participants

Invited Guests


Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences
Hermann Olthaver Trust

Study and Graduate Group Problems and Final Presentations

Study Group Participants

Study Group Programme

Graduate Workshop Participants

Graduate Workshop Programme


Students will be accommodated at the AIMS appointed accommodation. Delegates requiring accommodation can contact the establishments listed below to arrange bookings.


Bed and Breakfast