College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

Mr Victor Uzor.

International Mathematical Union Fellowship for PhD Candidate

Mr Victor Uzor, who graduated with his Master of Science in Mathematics summa cum laude earlier this year, is celebrating receiving a Breakout Graduate Fellowship (BGF) from the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

The IMU BGF grants assist recipients to complete their PhDs. They are made possible by donations from winners of the Breakthrough Prizes in Mathematics and are provided by the IMU with the assistance of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the Friends of the IMU (FIMU) to postgraduate students in developing countries pursuing doctorates in Mathematical Sciences.

The IMU said its limited number of grants recognise highly motivated and mathematically talented students in various developing countries, with selections made from nominations by professional mathematicians, who nominate candidates with consistently good academic records who are interested in pursuing a career in research and teaching Mathematics.

‘I am very privileged to be awarded this prestigious funding,’ said Uzor. He described the BGF as a source of motivation as it will support his research and subsistence.

Uzor’s PhD study focuses on fixed-point iterative methods to approximate solution of nonlinear optimisation and fixed-point problems.

Originally from Nigeria where he completed his undergraduate degree in Mathematics with First Class Honours at the Michael Okpara (Federal) University of Agriculture in Umudike, Abia State, Uzor’s interest lies in pure mathematics. This led him to enrol for his master’s degree at UKZN under the supervision of Professor Oluwatosin Mewomo and Dr Timilehin Alakoya.

Appreciative of UKZN’s research-friendly environment, Uzor produced excellent research for his master’s that involved formulating mathematical model algorithms and proving their validity for application to solve optimisation and other real-life problems in communication and technology, medicine, economics and more.

‘Optimisation and fixed-point theory have amazing applications to solve real-life problems, like image processing, signal processing, and optimal control problems,’ said Uzor.

His PhD, also under the supervision of Mewomo, will advance his research in this area and develop his interest in functional analysis.

Uzor expressed gratitude to those who have played a role in his success, firstly to God and his Lord Jesus Christ, and then to Mewomo for nominating him for the IMU BGF and for his on-going support and mentorship. He also thanked Alakoya, his MSc co-supervisor, for his help in proofreading and editing his research proposal and his assistance in his research. Finally, he expressed appreciation to his parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, mentors and pastors for their moral support and prayers.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Supplied