Quantum Day, Maths and Programming

Dear Associates and Friends of NITheCS,

We aim to offer an interesting NITheCS diary of activities. All of these are planned following the approach that they should fit the interests of our stakeholders, including our corporate and individual Associates, bursary holders and interns, and our many collaborators at different universities in South Africa and beyond.

We partook in the online celebration of the International Day of Mathematics (IDM) on 19 March, and launched our own YouTube channel for young mathematicians. There was also our Math School Term 1 Revision for Grade 12 students early in the month.

On the topic of mathematics, we have been distributing the new UNESCO publication ‘Mathematics for Action: Supporting Science-Based Decision-Making’. It also fits closely with NITheCS’ own objectives.

As reported earlier, NITheCS is participating as a partner in the FameLab 2022 international science communication competition and will sponsor one of the FameLab 2022 heats. The competition gives scientists three minutes to communicate an aspect of their science. The winner of the national final will represent South Africa at the international FameLab final.

World Quantum Day
On the topic of special celebrations, we have three events this month for World Quantum Day. On 9 April, our event ‘What is Quantum?’ included distinguished speakers Dr Garry Kemp, Dr Yaseera Ismail and Ms Betony Adams.

At our colloquium on World Quantum Day on 14 April, Prof Barry Sanders will be our eminent speaker to discuss ‘Observing a changing Hilbert-space inner product’. On the same day, I will also be participating in a panel discussion with Prof Sir Peter Knight and Wenmiao Yu from the UK on research and technology efforts in Quantum in SA and the UK.

International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development
One of our new activities this year is to offer monthly public talks aimed at those who are interested in science but are not necessarily scientists, as well as scientists who want to learn more about research areas other than their own. We will endeavour to cover all or most of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in these talks. You are also welcome to suggest topics and speakers for these events. For more information on the planned activities for the SADC region, coordinated by ASSAF, please view here.

Software Carpentry
The first Carpentries online training course for NIThECS took place from 4 to 8 April. Twenty participants attended the hands-on software workshop which covered introductory Python, GitHub and Bash. We plan to host a Carpentries-NITheCS training course every month during 2022.

We are currently working on establishing closer contact with schools that focus particularly on science, as well as local science centres. We are also continuing the NITheCS roadshows to explain the transformation of NITheP to NITheCS and have visited almost all South African universities. If you would like us to include your academic or scientific institution on our schedule, please contact info@nithecs.ac.za.

Your feedback on our newsletter and events is welcomed and appreciated. This feedback helps us to remain targeted and relevant.

Wishing you a productive and interesting April!
Francesco Petruccione