## MATH+ Welcomes New Cohort of YAM Fellows for 2024/25

**We are delighted to introduce Sintia Laura Nyaffi Achikwoue, Gil Wilfried Laken Kouatche, and Sergio Germain Tinaharimanjaka as the second cohort of MATH+ YAM Fellows in the Young African Mathematicians (YAM) Fellowship Program for the academic year 2024/25. Congratulations to them, and welcome to the MATH+ community!**

The fellows have just arrived and were excited to participate in the BMS Orientation Week. They will remain in Berlin until the summer of 2025. As YAM fellows, they are also part of the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) through the Young African Mathematicians (YAM) Fellowship Program. In an interview with MATH+, they shared their thoughts on the YAM Fellowship, their study plans in Berlin, and their aspirations, which are summarized in their direct comments below.

**Sintia Laura Nyaffi Achikwoue (Cameroon) – Mastering Algebra and Cryptography **

*Supervisor: Angela Ortega, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin*

Sintia Laura, a mathematician from Cameroon, has a passion for pure mathematics. After completing her Master’s in pure mathematics at the University of Douala, focusing on algebraic coding theory, she has broadened her expertise to include Riemannian geometry, algebraic curves, and cryptography. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Limbe, Cameroon, exploring sub-Riemannian geometry. Sintia aims to deepen her knowledge in abstract algebra, with a focus on commutative algebra and functors. She is working on groundbreaking topics, eager to develop new insights in both theory and applications. At MATH+, Sintia looks forward to enhance her independent research skills while collaborating across disciplines. Sharing her thoughts on her future, she remarked:

“*Receiving the admission letter wasn’t just about getting in or a one-year scholarship – it felt like the start of a new chapter in my life. I was thrilled! When my Berlin supervisor introduced me to algebraic geometry with such passion, I immediately became interested. My goal is to master computational algebra and then delve into algebraic geometry. I want to make an impact in science, especially for women mathematicians. After the YAM program, I plan to pursue a PhD and eventually become a professor, inspiring girls to pursue STEM careers. I dream of doing my PhD in Germany, to further explore the culture and language.*“

**Gil Wilfried Lakena Kouatche (Cameroon) – From Mathematics to Health Statistics **

*Supervisor: Tim Conrad, Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB)*

Gil Wilfried is another mathematician from Cameroon, with a strong foundation in pure mathematics and data science. After earning his Bachelor’s degree and completing Master’s coursework at the University of Douala, he transitioned to the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Cameroon to focus on data science. His current studies cover advanced topics such as statistical inference, Bayesian statistics, and machine learning, with a focus on analyzing randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Gil Wilfried aspires to become an expert in health statistics, a critical field for understanding healthcare interventions. At MATH+, he hopes to deepen his applied statistics knowledge and pursue a PhD, making impactful contributions to the field of health data analytics. He reflected:

*“Germany is one of the best countries for studying, especially in mathematics. Through the YAM program, I’ll meet mathematicians from diverse backgrounds, and my supervisor specializes in the field I want to pursue. I was thrilled to receive the fellowship, as I’ve been looking for a way to continue my studies and experience the difference between studying in Germany, Cameroon, and at AIMS. I aim to combine what I have learned in my research in Africa, which is pure mathematics and data science. I’m particularly interested in geometry, data analysis, and simulations that connect mathematics with real-world applications. After the YAM fellowship, I plan to pursue a PhD and contribute to solving problems in Africa, especially through data analysis.”*

**Sergio Germain (Madagascar) – Innovating with Data Science for Global Challenges **

*Supervisor: Ralf Borndörfer, Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB)*

Sergio Germain, a data scientist from Madagascar, is currently studying at AIMS Rwanda. His journey in education has been shaped by resilience, overcoming disruptions in Madagascar’s education system due to frequent teacher strikes, which led him to become largely self-taught. Despite these challenges, Sergio excelled academically, focusing on addressing real-world problems. His Master’s thesis involves designing a cost-effective seawater desalination system to combat water scarcity in Madagascar. At MATH+, Sergio aims to strengthen his skills in applied mathematics, data analysis, and machine learning. His current project on biometric identification using deep learning for security enhancement aligns with his broader goal of using technology to address global challenges. Thinking about his time in Berlin, he remarked:

*“I was excited to apply for the YAM fellowship and I was proud to be selected, knowing how competitive the program is. Arriving in Berlin, others who came earlier helped me adjust to the weather, transport, and local customs. My supervisor specializes in optimization and discrete mathematics, while my background is in data science which is a great chance for me. I enjoy programming and am particularly interested in flight scheduling and optimization. So, my project will combine machine learning with discrete mathematics. I plan to pursue a PhD in Germany and build a career in aviation and flight planning, depending on what comes after the YAM program.”*

**—**

**About the YAM Fellowship Program:**

The Young African Mathematicians (YAM) Fellowship Program is a collaboration between five of the African Institutes for Mathematical Science (AIMS) and four German Clusters of Excellence: Hausdorff Center for Mathematics (Universität Bonn), Münster Mathematics (Universität Münster), STRUCTURES (Universität Heidelberg), and MATH+ (Berlin). The YAM program welcomes talented African students in mathematics to join one of the four clusters for nine months. They can take courses and seminars and gain experience in working on research projects.