Meet Professor Abdon Atangana one of SA’s top mathematicians who has just released two books with his students

Professor Abdon Atangana from the University of the Free State continues breaking barriers. Photo: supplied

Professor Abdon Atangana from the University of the Free State continues breaking barriers. Photo: supplied

Published Mar 11, 2022


Cape Town - A professor from the University of the Free State (UFS) continues making headlines, this time by collaborating with his students to release two books.

Professor Abdon Atangana, 36, originally from Cameroon, has called Bloemfontein home for the past 12 years and is the professor of applied mathematics in the Institute for Groundwater Studies at UFS.

“The book Mathematical Analysis of Groundwater Models was published online at the end of last month. The book Fractional Stochastic Differential Equations: Applications to Covid-19 Modeling was posted 10 days ago and will be official in April. Since 2015, I have got six books published and four are in the press,” Atangana told IOL.

In 2020, Atangana, a mathematician, made headlines after he was recognised as one of 10 South African scientists in the top 1% of scientists on the global Clarivate Web of Science list.

He is known for developing a new fractional operator used to model real-world problems arising in the fields of engineering, science and technology.

In 2021, Atangana was elected as a fellow for the World Academy of Science for the advancement of science in developing countries.

While Atangana has no reason to collaborate with his students, he has a strong belief in preparing the way for the next generation of African professors.

“Both books are important for me because they are first-time published books with my own students. There is a time to prepare the way for yourself and a time to prepare ways for the next generation. It is time for me to prepare the way for the next generation of African professors.

“The content coverage includes a brief history of Covid-19 spread worldwide from December 2019 to September 2021, followed by statistical analysis of collected data for infected, death and recovery classes,” he said.

Atangana said Mathematical analysis of Groundwater Flow Models serves as a valuable resource for graduate and PhD students as well as researchers working in the field of groundwater modelling.

He said it included features such as modified numerical and analytical methods for solving new and modified models for groundwater flow and transport, new flow and transform models for groundwater transport in complex geological formations, and examination of fractal and crossover behaviours and their mathematical formulations.

“In these books I used purely these concepts suggested by myself to solve several problems, including groundwater flow and spread of infectious diseases.

“It is part of decolonisation as African students can use concepts introduced by an African mathematician to solve their own problems.

“It is time for me to open doors for the next generation of African professors; teach them how to write research papers and books that will be used by the rest of the world,” Atangana told IOL.

According to the Stanford list of 2% single-year table, Atangana is ranked number 1 in the world for mathematics, number 1 in Africa in all fields and number 186 in the world in all fields.

According to, a leading academic platform for researchers, Atangana is ranked number 1 in South Africa and number 219 in the world.

According to the platform, which recently released the 2022 edition of its Ranking of Top 1 000 Scientists in the field of Mathematics, the ranking is based on the H-index metric provided by Microsoft Academic and includes only leading scientists with an H-index of at least 30 for academic publications in the field of mathematics.

Atangana said he wishes the next time the list is released it will be filled with many of his students.

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