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HomeAFRICAN RESEARCHER OF THE MONTH - MALEJune 2024: Professor Abdon Atangana – African Male Researcher of the Month

June 2024: Professor Abdon Atangana – African Male Researcher of the Month

African Researchers AwardJune 2024: Professor Abdon Atangana – African Male Researcher of the Month

South African Professor Abdon Atangana, a distinguished figure in applied mathematics at the University of the Free State (UFS), has achieved the remarkable title of the world’s number one mathematician. His exceptional contributions span across applied mathematics, mathematical physics, and statistics, securing him a top position globally. In the broader fields of science, technology, and engineering, he ranks 260th according to the Stanford University World’s Top 2% Scientists list.

This prestigious recognition marks the second consecutive year that Professor Atangana has been acknowledged as the leading scientist from UFS, reinforcing his influence and contribution to the global scientific community. The Stanford University list is a revered compilation that identifies the top 2% of researchers worldwide based on their significant and impactful research outputs.

Impact on African Scientific Community

Professor Atangana’s recognition is not just a personal accolade but a significant milestone for African science. “The ranking provides us with the impact of our outputs, and it shows that Africans can contribute to the development of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while still in Africa,” Atangana emphasized. This achievement challenges the traditional notion that global scientific excellence is predominantly anchored in the institutions of the global North.

Atangana’s work demonstrates that African universities can reach the same level of prestige and academic rigor as their northern counterparts. He hopes to inspire the next generation of African scientists to strive for excellence and contribute to global knowledge from within the continent. “We must work hard to make our African universities reach the same level as those from the global North, such that a student from the global North will wish to enroll in our universities,” he added.

Pioneering Contributions in Mathematics

At just 39, Professor Atangana has made groundbreaking contributions to various mathematical disciplines. He is the originator of the Atangana-Baleanu fractional derivatives and integrals, a novel form of calculus based on the general Mittag-Leffler kernels. Since its introduction in 2016, this new form of fractional calculus has found applications across numerous fields including science, technology, and engineering.

In addition to his work on fractional derivatives, Atangana has introduced several other significant mathematical concepts. These include new methodologies in epidemiological modeling, numerical analysis, and integral transformations. He is also the pioneer of fractal-fractional calculus, a tool now widely used in applied sciences. More recently, he has developed innovative ideas such as piecewise differentiation and integration.

Recognition and Future Aspirations

In 2020, Atangana was recognized as one of the top 1% of scientists globally on the Clarivate Web of Science list. His ongoing work continues to address real-world problems through advanced mathematical models and theories, especially in the realms of engineering, science, and technology.

Professor Atangana’s influence extends beyond his personal achievements. He serves as a beacon of excellence and a source of inspiration for African scientists, demonstrating that impactful research can be conducted within Africa’s borders. His story is a testament to the potential for global impact and scientific leadership originating from the African continent.

Other UFS Scholars on the Stanford List

The University of the Free State boasts several other distinguished scholars who have made it to the Stanford list. These include Prof. Hendrik Swart, Prof. Melanie Walker, and Prof. Maryke Labuschagne, among others, highlighting the diverse expertise and research excellence within the institution.

The recognition of these scholars underscores the university’s commitment to advancing global knowledge and innovation across various scientific fields. As Prof. Vasu Reddy, UFS Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation, noted, “The representation of our researchers from a variety of disciplinary domains in this prestigious ranking is confirmation of their excellence, impact, and the global esteem they hold.”


Professor Abdon Atangana’s achievements underscore the immense potential and capabilities of African scientists. His groundbreaking work in mathematics not only elevates the status of UFS but also sets a high standard for researchers worldwide. His journey serves as an inspiration, encouraging young scientists in Africa to pursue excellence and make significant contributions to global scientific progress.

Cite this article as (APA format):

AR Managing Editor (2024). June 2024: Professor Abdon Atangana – African Male Researcher of the Month. Retrieved from


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