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About us

DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (CoE-MaSS)


The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (CoE-MaSS) was established on 1st April 2014 in order bring together areas of research excellence in the Mathematical Sciences and Statistics in South Africa.

Host Institution
University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

Prof Fazal M Mahomed (Wits)

Deputy Director
Dr Ashleigh Hutchinson (Wits)

Founding Nodes
* North-West University (NWU) - Leader: Prof Louis Labuschagne
* University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) - Leader: Prof Bernardo Rodrigues
* University of Pretoria (UP) - Leader: Prof Michael Chapwanya
* University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) - Leader: Mrs Yoko Chhana

Collaborating Partners
* African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (Cape Town) – Leader: Prof Barry Green
* Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Leader: Prof Regina Maphanga
* Durban University of Technology (DUT) – Leader: Prof Kevin Duffy
* Nelson Mandela University (NMU) – Leader: Prof Gary Sharp
* Rhodes University (RU) – Leader: Prof Denis Pollney
* Stellenbosch University – Leader: Prof Andre Weideman
* University of Cape Town (UCT) – Leader: Prof Hans-Peter Kunzi
* University of Johannesburg (UJ) – Leader: Dr Andrew Craig
* University of Limpopo (UL) – Leader: Prof Maseka Lesaoana
* University of South Africa (UNISA) – Leader: Prof Inderasan Naidoo
* University of Venda – Leader: Prof Winston Garira
* University of the Western Cape – Leader: Dr Justin Munyakazi
New Partner (MoA in progress)
* University of Zululand (UniZulu) – Leader: Dr Syamala Krishnannair

Subsidiary Partners

South Africa
* South African Statistical Association (SASA)
* South African Mathematical Society (SAMS
* South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) – Siyanqoba Programme: Dr Belinda Huntley 
* Southern Africa Mathematical Sciences Association (SAMSA
* Institute of Certificated and Chartered Statisticians of South Africa (ICCSSA
* Queenstown Education Foundation (QEF)

* Al-Azhar University, Gaza – Leader: Prof Awni Sawan
* German Jordanian University, Jordan – Leader: Dr Dia Zeidan
* Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Pakistan – Leader: Prof Ghulam Shabbir
* Lahore University of Management Sciences – Leader: Mr Muhammad Faisal
* National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan – Leader: Prof Feroz Tooba

About Us


The DST-NRF CoE-MaSS is managed on a day-to-day basis by a Management Committee. The Man/Co meets via electronic means (emails and videoconferences) as frequently as is required to address day-to-day running and management matters. Due to the nature of the management and administrative functions of the Centre taking place at the admin hub at Wits University, the Man/Co is comprised of Wits staff. It is, however, important to note that the Man/Co frequently call on the other three Founding Node Leaders for assistance with funding decisions to ensure that the wider partners are also consulted on matters of importance.

Ex officio Members
CoE-MaSS Director Chairperson (Prof Fazal Mahomed) 
CoE-MaSS Manager (Ms Caryn McNamara) 
Dean of the Faculty of Science (Prof Rob Veale)
Business Manager of the Faculty of Science (Mr Manfred Molomo) 

Co-opted Members
Ms Yoko Chhana (Wits node leader)
Prof Louis Labuschagne (NWU node leader) 
Prof Michael Chapwanya (UP node leader) 
Prof Bernardo Rodrigues (UKZN node leader)


The DST-NRF CoE-MaSS is governed by a Steering Committee (formerly known as the Advisory Board). The Steer/Co meets twice a year, and consists of ex officio, founding node leaders, and external individual members: 

Ex officio Members
Wits’ DVC Research Chairperson (Prof Zeblon Vilakazi)
CoE-MaSS Director (Prof Fazal Mahomed)
CoE-MaSS Manager (Ms Caryn McNamara)
Dean of the Faculty of Science (Prof Rob Veale)
DST representative (Ms Rose Msiza)
NRF representative (Dr Makobetsa Khati)

Founding Node Leaders

Mrs Yoko Chhana (Wits node leader)
Prof Louis Labuschagne (NWU node leader)
Prof Michael Chapwanya (UP node leader)
Prof Bernardo Rodrigues (UKZN node leader)

External MaSS Experts

Prof Daya Reddy (UCT, RSA)
Prof Wen-Xiu Ma (USF, USA)
Prof Peter Sarnak (Princeton University, USA)