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Interview of Samuel Wale Akingbade

Samuel Wale Akingbade

 

1. Can you introduce yourself in a few lines? What training did you undertake? Which course?

My name is Samuel Wale Akingbade. I hail from Oyo town in Nigeria. I am a full time academic staff member (Mathematics instructor) at Federal University Oye-Ekiti, in Nigeria. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti and a Master’s degree in Mathematics at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.

I am currently a PhD student in Mathematics, specialising in the area of Dynamical Systems (more specifically in Hamiltonian Dynamics and Celestial Mechanics) at the Yeshiva University’s Katz School of Science and Health in New York, USA.

 

2. Can you tell us more about the scholarship and fellowship?

I won a PhD scholarship from Yeshiva University, New York, covering 100% of tuition charges and university fees, including health insurance. I also won a generous fellowship under Professor Marian Gidea’s National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, to work on research in Dynamical Systems towards a PhD degree in Mathematical Sciences.

 

3. Why did you decide to participate in a CIMPA School? How many CIMPA schools have you attended?

As part of the Organisation’s mission to foster the development of research in Mathematics in developing countries. I took advantage of this to learn more of what I am passionate about.

In 2018, I attended a CIMPA school on Dynamical Systems at Dangbo, Republic of Benin. In 2019, I attended a CIMPA school in partnership with the African Mathematical School on Partial Differential Equations, held in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast. In October 2019, I was accepted on full funding to participate in the CIMPA school on Functional Analysis and Applications in Johannesburg, South Africa, this year, but was already in New York as at the time of the school.

 

4. Have you ever travelled as part of your studies?

Yes, I have travelled to several countries for workshops, conferences, courses and research schools to further my professional and academic training.

 

5. Why do you want to study abroad? What made you want to study at Yeshiva University?

The United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and France, to mention just a few, have the best educational systems in the world. My country’s educational system is still developing and after acquiring two academic degrees in the country, continuing there may not provide me with many of the skills needed to thrive in research. I see this change as a way of broadening my knowledge and experience, in order to gain a global mindset to steer the future.

I am excited by the many ways that studying at Yeshiva University would enable me to advance in Mathematics. I have found opportunities for personal growth and development not only academically, but also to expand beyond classroom knowledge through research. I am interested to be working with Professor Marian Gidea, whose research interests are broadly in Dynamical Systems, Chaos Theory, Celestial Mechanics, Applications to Mathematical Physics and Financial Mathematics, etc. He has done some work in problems motivated by physical applications, which aligns very strongly with my research interests. Also, studying at Yeshiva University is an avenue to learning alongside a dynamic and creative student body, and being surrounded by unparalleled diversity in the most vibrant city in the world.

 

6. How did you find out about this scholarship?

I met Professor Marian Gidea of Yeshiva University at the CIMPA school in Dangbo, Republic of Benin, in 2018. The school was generally interesting and I had the opportunity for sound discussions with all six teachers, who are specialists in the area of dynamical systems. This helped me a lot in reaching a conclusion on what I want in the field of dynamical systems. I continued communicating with Prof. Gidea and Prof. Rafael de la Llave of Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, after the school, with in-depth mathematical questions on the research work I wanted to undertake if I had a PhD opportunity.

In 2019, Prof. Gidea informed me of a PhD opportunity at Yeshiva University. I was delighted with the news and I applied.

 

7. Did you find the process difficult? What did you do once you were selected?

The application process was lengthy, and, of course, admission was competitive and challenging, but I did not give up.

Once selected, I started another round of applications with the US Department of State with a view to securing a nonimmigrant F1 visa.

 

8. How did your integration on site go? How was your first day in New York?

My first day in New York was great. A current PhD student at the University came to pick me up at the airport and helped me settle in. I had jet lag, though, but was able to recover after a few days.

 

9. Does this fellowship allow you to have a decent standard of living?

Yes, it does.

 

10. Do you think today that it will be a springboard for your professional evolution?

My goal is to complete a doctoral degree. It is not, however, the degree that drives me, but the Mathematics. I want to learn as much as I can about Mathematics and do my personal best to make a contribution to Mathematics, so that someday, I can give something back to my country, Nigeria, to improve its research and education in Mathematics. Thus, I would love to become a researcher and professor. I have had the opportunity to experience both teaching and taking part in Mathematics research. I can see myself doing both for the rest of my life.

I also hope to be a CIMPA member in the future and have stronger collaboration with this great organisation.

 

11. What advice can you give to those who wish to obtain a scholarship and study abroad?

  • Work hard.
  • In your application, put in the time and effort.
  • Connect to the right source and never give up on your dreams!

 

Click here to learn more about Samuel