April 21, 2024

AIMS 20th Anniversary, A Joyful Reunion and Celebration of Memories: Insights from Hortence Phalonne Nana

In the midst of laughter, camaraderie, and shared memories, Hortence, AIMS Cameroon alumna, found herself immersed in the jubilant atmosphere of the AIMS 20-year anniversary celebration. The celebration was graced by the presence of esteemed mathematicians and research group members, each contributing to the vibrant tapestry of the AIMS community and legacy. Hortence had the honor to engage with AIMS German research chairs, namely Nicholas Monk (AIMS Ghana), Abebe Geletu (AIMS Rwanda), and the youngest member of the group, Mouhamadou Sy (AIMS Senegal). “Engaging in conversation with talents like Prof Abege, who is spearheading advancements in optimization, artificial intelligence, and renewable energy systems, was both enlightening and inspiring”, she says. A highlight of the event was the chance to also meet the presidents of all the centers and the founder of AIMS, with whom memories were shared and captured in photographs.

The Siyakhula festival also offered Hortence an opportunity for heartfelt reunions with former lecturers such as Prof Olivier Menoukeu Pamen and Prof Franck Kalala, whose academic guidance continues to resonate with our esteemed alumna. In addition, “meeting fellow alumni like Abdel Njupoun and Rédrisse Djoumessi, representing AIMS-Cameroon, and several alumni from other centres in the network, added a touch of nostalgia and camaraderie to the festivities.”

As conversations flowed, Hortence found herself captivated by the progress of the AIMS-Cameroon new facilities: “I was the most interested by the progress of the new AIMS Cameroon facilities which was only a foundation when I was a student. Like all the members present in SIYAKHULA, I was also impressed by the presentation of the future projects of AIMS Cameroon by Prof. Mama Foupouagnigni.”

Hortence also had the opportunity to present a poster on her work on Reinforcement Learning by Minimizing Constraint Violation, receiving both encouragement and constructive criticism from esteemed professors.

Yet, amidst the formalities and presentations, it was the shared meals and conversations that truly left a lasting impression on Hortence’s heart, leaving her with a smile as she reflected on the joyous celebrations. “Gathering with fellow alumni, the center president, and the academic director, reminiscing about institute memories, sharing anecdotes about late-night study sessions and laughing about the trials and tribulations that shaped us, was a pure delight.”

As the event drew to a close, the alumna departed with a renewed sense of gratitude for the connections made and the memories shared. The celebration was not just a commemoration of the past 20 years but a testament to the enduring spirit of community and camaraderie that defines AIMS.

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