June 22, 2018

Assefa is the Second AIMS Cameroon alumnus to complete a PhD in Mathematics

On Monday June 18, 2018 at the University of Buea in Cameroon, Woldegebriel Assefa Woldegerima successfully defended his PhD thesis.

He is an AIMS alumnus from the first batch of AIMS Cameroon 2013/14, and is the second AIMS Cameroon student to complete a PhD.

The jury was composed of Prof. Mama Foupouagnigni (Chairman), Prof Jean-Jules Tewa (Examiner 1), both from the University of Yaounde 1 in Cameroon, Prof. Boniface Kemzi, Prof. Gideon Ngwa and Prof. Akumah Daniel from the University of Buea Cameroon.

Before coming to AIMS, Assefa who is from Ethiopia, obtained an MSc in Analysis and was an Assistant Lecturer at Mekelle University in Ethiopia. He graduated from AIMS-Cameroon in July 2014 with a Distinction. The current Centre President, and at that time Academic Director, taking into account the excellent performance and the social qualities of Assefa, selected him as Tutor and used the good collaboration ties with colleagues at the Mathematics Department combined with the cooperation agreement between AIMS-Cameroon and the University of Buea  to register Assefa as PhD student in mathematics.

Assefa has prepared his PhD from October 2014 till June 2018 while working as Tutor at AIMS Cameroon, under the co-supervision of Prof. Gideon Ngwa from the University of Buea and Prof. Miranda Teboh-Ewungken from University of Lehigh University, USA. The two co-supervisors have been regularly teaching and/or supervising Essays at AIMS Cameroon.

Assefa has benefitted from a 3 months pre-doctoral research exchange program in Lehigh University in USA, funded by the Lehigh University and AIMS Cameroon.

Dr. Woldegerima, in his PhD thesis entitled “Mathematical modeling of the immunopathogenesis of the within human host and within vector-host dynamics of malaria parasites”, found a means for parasitaemia control in a human, strategies to inhibit sporozoite production in the vector.

He designed a program to quantify  numerically the average load of sporozoites, and used composite simpson rule to quantify the evolution of cumulative sum densities of sporozoites.

He developed mathematical models that represent the human-parasite-vector interactive framework and investigated the impact of choice of density dependent recruitment functions. In addition, the models developed and

analyzed can play an important role in the field of medicine and to the currently effort to develop vaccination against malaria parasites. The within host models helps in understanding the microscopic development, progression of the parasites and immunological process, and the ways in which they escape the immune system. So, this thesis can contribute to the ongoing and promising search for the development of vaccines against malaria parasites; in understanding of how microscopic processes develop and affect the host health and to interlink the within-host dynamical processes of the parasite to the population-level dynamics of the disease spread.

The excellent results obtained within the framework of his PhD which has been confirmed by the President of the Jury while congratulating the candidate, have not only lead to many publications in renowned journals but have helped  Assefa to secure a Lecturer position in Applied Mathematics in Mekelle University in Ethiopia starting in September 2018.

The PhD and the excellent results obtained by Assefa in another African country while tutoring at AIMS Cameroon is a clear enhancement of the African Integration going in line with AIMS core values which are Excellence, Respect, Pan-Africanism and Integrity and also in line with the AIMS mission which is “To enable Africa’s brightest students to flourish as independent thinkers, problem solvers and innovators capable of propelling Africa’s future scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency”

A photo taken with the jury: From left to right: Boniface, Daniel, Jean-Jules, Assefa, Mama and Gideon.

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