Finding Synergies in the Mathematical Sciences

Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (2016)

Cite: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), (2016). Finding Synergies in the Mathematical Sciences. [Online] Available from: DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/assaf.2016/0008

Workshop Proceedings

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) convened a workshop on Finding Synergies in the Mathematical Sciences in Cape Town on 15 – 16 September 2016. The meeting sought to promote and seek a discursive space to explore synergies and an inclusive approach to mathematics across all the scientific disciplines and the adoption of a broader, more integrated vision of the role of mathematics in education and society. The meeting also aimed to explore the feasibility and desirability of a broad consensus study which would inter alia conduct an audit of initiatives and best practices that address issues of synergising the mathematical sciences in South Africa. South Africa’s National Development Plan projects that the number of school-leavers, who should qualify for entrance to a Bachelor’s degree for which mathematics is a prerequisite, will more than double by 2024 and will treble by 2030. At the same time, the relationship, or lack of one, between mathematics and mathematics education represents a matter of concern, potentially exacerbating the limited performance of South African pupils and students. The workshop sought to address these significant capacity challenges and the increasing permeation of mathematics across academic disciplines by exploring potential synergies and collaborations among the mathematical sciences, with the interconnected goals of improving educational and research outputs and supporting the country’s development and transformation.