Straight A student, Ms Chevarra Hansraj, has attained top accolades from school to university.
The former Eden College learner, who matriculated with eight distinctions, attributed her success to the dedicated staff who allowed her to develop a good attitude toward learning and hard work.
Since childhood Hansraj was fascinated with the subject of cosmology and astrophysics. Her dad, Dr Sudan Hansraj, a senior lecturer in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (MSCS), had a huge influence on her love for Mathematics. ‘My father is the epitome of “hard work will yield good results”.’
Hansraj grew up in a home where Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking was a common topic and the subject of many school essays. The constant exposure to cosmology and astrophysics led Hansraj to pursue a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).
Hansraj’s passion and family support guaranteed her success which saw her graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude. After working on a school project with Dr Matt Hilton and completing her degree, she realised she wanted to pursue her honours degree at the thriving world-class Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit (ACRU) at UKZN.
‘I always wanted to get involved in research and knew that if I pursued an honours degree, I would have the opportunity to conduct research in the form of a project,’ said Hansraj. Her passion was evident when she completed her honours degree summa cum laude.
Hansraj attributed her success to commitment and work ethics. She also emphasised the importance of attending lectures and tutorials. Her advice to students: ‘If you fall, get up and work hard to make up for what is lost. Continue striving for excellence.’
Hansraj was grateful for the support from her parents and lecturers from the Mathematics department, Dr Sergey Shindin, Dr Rituparno Goswami and Professor Sunil Maharaj.
Dr Sudan Hansraj said: ‘Chevarra has always been a determined and dedicated individual. At school she attained a number of academic accolades and this trend continued throughout her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at UKZN. Naturally our family is filled with great pride on account of her exceptional achievements in mathematics. We wish her further success in her future endeavours.’
Professor Sunil Maharaj, MSCS, Research Chair, said: ‘Ms Chevarra Hansraj is a student with an outstanding academic record. We were very pleased to hear that she intends pursuing research in modified gravity theories in our research unit. She has already generated some promising new results in this direction.’
Hansraj, who is currently doing her Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics with Professor Sunil Maharaj and Dr Rituparno Goswami, plans to undertake doctoral research in Astrophysics.
Some of Hansraj’s accomplishments include winning the 2017 Allan Gray Achievements Awards, with a cash prize of R20 000 and an iPad mini.
Words: Leena Rajpal