Where do we come from? How far can we go?
While there is a definite answer to the first question there is no limit to the second. You could formulate it mathematically. It starts here and goes to infinity. But there is more to life than mathematics. And at AIMS, there is more to mathematics than textbooks and tough problem. There is life.
As we are about to celebrate the graduation of the 2010-2011 AIMS class, we are humbled by their stories. This year, around 55 students from all over Africa, from mountains and plains, from coasts and deserts, have come together at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences and embarked on a journey that delivered more than anyone could have anticipated.
As the AIMS academic year begins, challenges seem insurmountable. There is language, there is computer programming, there is living with lots of strangers from different cultures and there usually is at least a few thousand kilometres to home.
As the year progresses, every challenge is faced and surmounted – together with fellow students, with the support of tutors, and with the wise guidance of lecturers who are deeply invested in making every student succeed.
The students are not the only ones learning from the experience. It would change anyone’s life to see such talent unfold and blossom. The lecturers are humbled by the opportunity to bring something to students so significant that it is tangible. The students suddenly believe in their capacity to excel, and everyone grows close, as a year of study becomes a year in a new family.
It is not a new story. Every year since 2003 this miracle has happened, over and over again. The students all have a story, they all come from somewhere. But how far they can go remains to be discovered, as they are all about to begin a new life as talented scientists, with a new family and new skills. And perhaps the most important of all; they know they can break new ground, in Africa and for Africa, and that’s a great place to be.
So as we are proudly about to graduate a new generation of brilliant minds, we wish them to succeed in their future endeavours, to reach new heights, to create new paths and to define new futures, as others have done before them, and as many will do in their footsteps.
Congratulations to all on your growth and your hard work and we look forward to seeing you come back one day and tell us your unfinished success story of African science.
Below are videos of students who graduated from AIMS a few years ago, and whose stories are an inspiration to all of us. May this generation’s graduates fare as brilliantly!