We make a stop this week at AIMS South Africa as we catch up with Dr. Kenneth Dadedzi from Ghana.
Q: Tell us about your time at AIMS
Kenneth: Prior to AIMS, I earned a BSc in mathematics and statistics at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana. I was fortunate to serve as a teaching assistant in the Department of Mathematics under the framework of my National Service Program. Between National Service and admission to AIMS, I worked as a high school mathematics teacher at Joy Standard School, Kumasi – Ghana.
I was introduced to AIMS by Prof. Francis Benyah when I was a teaching assistant at UCC. He told me that AIMS would prepare me very well for future studies, especially my PhD, which had always been my dream. With that in mind, I applied and got the privilege to be part of the AIMS family.
I had a great experience at AIMS. I enjoyed working in a multi-cultural environment, meeting lecturers and tutors from across the globe and having 24-hour access to the internet. At AIMS South Africa, I was part of the top three candidates in the Sage Interact Competition organised by Stephen Hartke. I was also in the winning team of the Entrepreneurship Pitch organised by Arun Sharma, and these count as some of the unforgettable memories I had at AIMS. They made me understand that with a background in mathematics, I could do anything.
Q: Tell us about the impact AIMS has had on you.
Kenneth: My education at AIMS South Africa included training in several skills such as group work, academic presentations, programming in several languages such as R, Python, Sage and Julia, as well as communication skills. These skills have greatly improved my approach to studying and teaching mathematics. While at AIMS, I developed an interest in pure mathematics, and it affected my choice of topics for research for my MPhil and PhD degrees. I am currently conducting research in Spectral Graph Theory, which was first introduced to me at AIMS.
Q: Which of the SDGs is most important/relevant to you? How do you plan on addressing it in your work?
Kenneth: I am more passionate about Quality Education. Most problems in this world exist because most people do not have access to the right kind of education. Most of the world’s problems can be addressed when this generation of students are equipped with the right tools, skills and knowledge needed to tackle these issues. Quality education to me also entails relating theoretical knowledge to more visible and applicable innovation. Therefore, as a lecturer at the University of Ghana, I try to introduce students to applications of the concepts they learn in class to address real-life problems.
Q: How is your current work contributing to the development of the continent?
Kenneth: As a lecturer, I aim to encourage my students to apply their knowledge to solve problems in their communities. Several mathematics topics have direct applications in solving the worst burdens on us as a continent and globally. I try to pull some of the issues up in class and, together with my students, brainstorm how we can use the topic we have studied to solve or attempt to decipher them directly. With this, we can work together to make the world a better place.
Q: What’s your message to current AIMS students and young people across the continent?
Kenneth: Do not focus so much on your marks or grades, but rather the knowledge received. Create good relationships with lecturers, tutors and colleagues; you will need them as you journey through life after AIMS, applying acquired knowledge to solve problems.