#AlumoftheWeek — Daphne T. Machangara, AIMS Cameroon ‘19

Do I have to hold a first-degree certificate in Mathematics before I can apply to AIMS? What if I read Economics for my undergraduate studies or Engineering? Is there any chance for me?

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is a training centre of excellence that grooms and nurtures its students beyond mathematics. This criterion creates an avenue for everyone with a significant amount of mathematics on their undergraduate transcripts, not necessarily restricting access to only students with undergraduate training in Mathematics. As a Mastercard Foundation-sponsored institution, AIMS recruits the best African students with a sense of responsibility towards their local communities, countries, and Africa. Today on the #AlumoftheWeek, we highlight the Mastercard Foundation Alumna Daphne T. Machangara. Daphne was in the Coop Masters program in AIMS Cameroon in 2019, specialising in Industrial Mathematics.

Before arriving at AIMS Cameroon in 2018, she completed an undergraduate program in Operation Research and Statistics at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Zimbabwe. At this stage, she discovered the existing bit of mathematical sciences and its inevitable application to day-to-day situations.

Operational Research is a branch of Science that help its learners to convert operations of systems such as businesses and networks of machines into numerical values and employ mathematical methods in other to solve a less subjective version of the problem at hand. It usually deals with the allocation and control of limited resources.

During her time at AIMS, Daphne added to her arsenal many tools and experiences that make her competent enough for the real world of work and education. The introduction to scientific programming and the periodic oral examinations with visiting lecturers and other skills gathered at the Centre made her realise her full potential, capabilities, strengths and weakness.

“AIMS influenced my career by giving me direction regarding career choice and exposure. After the AIMS journey, I was involved in the retail industry, then got into the academic sector, where I was a full-time lecturer at the Department of Applied Mathematics at NUST-Zimbabwe until 2022. I have also been involved with various voluntary communities like Deep Learning Indaba and SisonkeBiotik. I have also been an active member of the DLI Central Steering Committee and at the National level as an IndabaX organiser. The Data Science related skills that I obtained from AIMS and the give-back activities have assisted in shaping where I am currently”.

Working currently as a Researcher at SisonkeBiotik, Daphne is using her experience in machine learning to create solutions for some of Africa’s most significant challenges in health delivery.

SisonkeBiotik is an open and inclusive community of researchers, practitioners and enthusiasts at the intersection of Machine Learning and Healthcare working together to build capacity and drive forward grassroots research initiatives in Africa.