Start main page content

Mathematics in Industry Study Group (MISGSA)

Monday 13 January - Friday 17 January 2020

A Mathematics in Industry Study Group is a five-day workshop at which academic researchers and graduate students work collaboratively with representatives from industry on research problems submitted by local industry. Study Groups have been organized for over forty years in many countries around the world. The first Study Group in South Africa was held in 2004.


University of Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Contact information 
David P Mason; E-mail:


Register for the conference

Organising Committee
  • Professor D P Mason, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Mr Erick Mubai, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Dr Syamala Krishnannair, University of Zululand
  • Professor M Ali, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Dr Naeemah Modhien, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Professor M Khalique, North West University
  • Ms Pulane Ditlhake, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Rene January, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences
Design of Study Group
  • On the first day industry representatives outline about five problems posed by local industry
  • Applied mathematicians and graduate students work in small groups on the problems of their choice for three days
  • Reports back to industry on the progress made are presented on the last day
  • Further work is done on the problems after the meeting and a Proceedings is produced later in the year
Benefits to industry
  • Leading mathematicians from South Africa and overseas work on their problem
  • Obtain an initial modelling of their problem and a development of the solution process
  • New perspectives and fresh ideas are brought to the problem
  • Establish research links with academic applied mathematicians which can develop far beyond the problem posed
  • Establish contacts and develop employment opportunities for graduate students
Benefit to academics
  • Opportunity to work on problems of genuine practical importance and do good mathematics in the process
  • New research areas can be opened up leading to publications and new research collaborations
  • Opportunity to apply knowledge and skills to significant practical problems
  • Stimulate in industry the awareness of the power of mathematical modelling and scientific computing
Benefits to graduate students
  • Learn to model and solve problems of genuine practical importance by working closely with leading academics and invited guests
  • Learn leadership skills by observing the way the moderator coordinates the work on the problem
  • Learn skills in presenting research material and skills in scientific communication
Information for companies
  • Most industrial problems can be modelled mathematically. Problems that Study Groups in South Africa have investigated include rock bursts, hydraulic fracturing, optimization in mining, traffic flow, flow of molten glass, HIV in the work place, optimal distribution of goods, renewable energy, wind turbines, robot motion and image processing
  • Because the Study Group will discuss the problems openly the problems must not be of a confidential nature and must be such that the results can be published
  • There is no charge for submitting a problem to encourage industry participation
  • If you are interested in submitting a problem please contact us
  • If your problem is selected you will have to submit a detailed problem description well before the meeting and present the problem at the first day of the Study Group
  • The industry representative is expected to be present or contactable during the whole week to assist the academic participants
Information for participants
  • There is no registration fee because participants give their expertise free of charge.
  • You need to register here
  • Morning and afternoon tea, a finger lunch and a buffet dinner will be provided
  • The Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences will fund the participation at the MISG of one academic staff member and one graduate student from AIMS and each of the fifteen South African universites in the centre.


Register for the conference

Invited guests
  • Professor Neville Fowkes, University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Professor Tim Myers, Centre de Recerca Matematic, Barcelona, Spain
  • Professor Graeme Hocking, Murdoch University, Western Australia, Australia
  • Dr Denis Ndanguza, University of Rwanda, Rwanda
  • Professor Stephen Wilson, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
  • Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
  • University of Zululand
  • Hermann Ohlthaver Trust
  • African Institute for Mathematical Sciences