Collaboration with AIMS

The IRMP, especially thanks to prof. Jan Govaerts, collaborates with the network of Centers of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) coordinated through the Next Einstein Initiative (NEI):, and also with the promotion of Next Einstein Forum:

On February 4, 2019, UCLouvain awarded the title of doctor honoris causa to the founder of AIMS and former Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI, Waterloo, Canada), Prof. Neil Turok,

The AIMS Centers (South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, Rwanda) organize intensive 10-month training programs, with the participation of academics from all over the world experts in many fields using mathematical sciences in a broad sense. Advanced and intense lessons are given over periods of 3 weeks and during 30 hours of activities. Each AIMS Center hosts between 30 to 50 students. The last two months of student training are dedicated to an “essay”, a “mini-thesis” on an original research subject proposed by a researcher or academic (from any continent) following the annual call launched by AIMS via their mailing lists to which it is easy to subscribe. By also aiming for a gender balance, students, coming from all African countries, are selected on the basis of an application file. The number of applications largely exceeding the reception capacities (some 2000 students have been AIMS Alumni since 2003 ). These are extremely motivated students, not limiting their efforts or their work, as they want to make the most of the unique privilege offered to them. All their costs during these 10 months (including travel) are fully covered by AIMS. Very often these students then pursue a MSc and then a PhD at a host university in Europe, North America, Australia, or Africa (usually then South Africa).

Each year a call for advanced course proposals is launched by AIMS (it is easy to subscribe to the mailing lists from the website above), on the basis of which the AIMS Centers organize their teaching programs for the following year. Subjects extend from abstract mathematics to their specific applications in bioinformatics, financial mathematics, theoretical and mathematical physics, quantum physics and quantum field theory, condensed matter, atomic physics and quantum optics, astrophysics and cosmology, etc..

In addition to the subjects for the “essays”, each year a call for applications is also launched as a “tutor” (assistant) in an AIMS Center, which during the year accompanies courses offered by visiting teachers and supervises the students. In any case all these possible contributions are unique and enriching personal experiences and with very motivated students


Through such collaborations with NEI / AIMS it is therefore possible to identify African students who can subsequently be hosted for a doctorate in the IRMP research groups, in mathematics and physics.