The Department of Pure and Applied Mathematics has launched a new mathematics course: Bachelor of Science in Industrial Mathematics, starting September this year.
According to Dr. Jotham R. Akanga, the Acting Chair of the Department, the course is mainly tailored towards equipping students with skills necessary for formulating and developing mathematical models and applying them in solving problems in engineering, science, medicine, among others in the society. The emphasis is on using mathematical models and computational techniques in solving societal problems.
By design, students enrolled in the programme will undergo a rigorous study of relevant advanced courses in mathematics, optimization and computational techniques that find applications in the areas of industrial investments. In addition, students will study specialized courses in chemistry, physics, accounts and financial marketing.
Dr. Akanga says the programme is inter-disciplinary by nature, driven by the spirit to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice. The graduates will be able to secure employment in software industries, electronic and computer manufacturing industries, pharmaceutical, chemical and petroleum companies as well as in research organizations and government agencies.
The programme also provides an excellent preparation for entrance to postgraduate programmes in applied mathematics and industrial mathematics.
The department was formed following the splitting of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, giving birth to two departments namely; Statistics and Actuarial Science (STACS) and the Department of Pure and Applied Mathematics (PAM).
Currently, the department is in the process of modeling sugarcane stalk-borer in Western Kenya and other sugarcane growing regions where the insect has caused substantial damage to sugarcane thus compromising its quality and production. The research is at the formulation stages and already, entomologists, agriculturalists and other stakeholders are engaged in discussions to formulate a multi-pronged inter-disciplinary approach to drastically minimize the menace of the sugarcane stalk borer.
The above research initiative comes in the wake of a sugarcane research breakthrough by researchers in the Institute of Biotechnology Research who have developed new sugarcane planting materials through in vitro culture that is true to type, free from pests and diseases and higher yielding compared to the conventional planting materials that are currently being used by the industry. Cumulatively, these research outputs reflect the University’s commitment to offer innovative solutions to challenges bedeviling Kenyan farmers.