Prof Kerstin Jordaan – Professor in Mathematics in the Department of Decision Sciences at the University of South Africa (UNISA)
This week on Womanity-Women in Unity, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to Prof Kerstin Jordaan, who is a Professor in Mathematics in the Department of Decision Sciences at the University of South Africa (UNISA), and part time Executive Director of the South African Mathematics Foundation. She holds an NRF B rating and is one of only three women in the country to hold a B rating for mathematics.
Prof Jordaan gives some insight into the multidisciplinary nature of decision science and reflects on the role of AI and machine learning in evolving the field, particularly when it comes to analysing huge amounts of data. Mathematics is a fundamental subject; however not enough people are studying mathematics to satisfy the job market in industry or academia. Prof Jordaan discusses some of the grassroot projects in place that attempt to drive mathematics education to make a meaningful difference in South Africa. These initiatives bring together mathematics educators, be that professionals working at university or teachers at schools or universities that educate teachers.
In our conversation on leadership we remark that women are under-represented at the top of the academic hierarchy. Mentorship is an important mechanism to nurture and steer a person’s development. Prof Jordaan shares experiences of mentorship opening opportunities for people to advance and remarks on the importance of pursuing a purpose that is bigger than yourself.
Tune in for more…