Universität Bonn

Young African Mathematicians Program (YAM)

The Young African Mathematicians Program is a cooperation with the African Institute for Mathematical Science (AIMS). It enables excellent graduates of the AIMS Master Program to spend an academic year at the HCM in Bonn immersing themselves in a rich and stimulating mathematical environment and working on a research project under the supervision of a mentor. Hosting our YAM Fellows provides a valuable experience for everyone involved and solidifies our partnership with AIMS, and with our partners within the YAM Network Germany. The International Office of the University of Bonn supports the YAM program and helps us to make the time in Bonn as fruitful as possible for our YAM Fellows.

YAM Fellowships

YAM Fellowships are the cornerstone of the Program. Each academic year 2-4 recent graduates of the AIMS Master Program are selected on a competitive basis to become YAM Fellows and spend one academic year - or 9 months - at the HCM Bonn. The insight into a highly skilled international research environment and the active participation in the rich mathematical life of the Bonn mathematics community is intended to have a lasting influence on the Fellows' personal and professional development.

YAM Fellows spend their first semester taking selected courses to enhance their mathematical knowledge and prepare them for independent research in a specific area. During their second semester they work on a research project under the supervision of a professor who serves as their mentor.

YAM Fellows receive a monthly fellowship, accommodation, travel arrangements as well as close and personal academic and practical support. They are also invited to two annual networking events as part of the YAM Network Germany.

© Barbara Frommann

Meet our YAM Fellows

We are proud of our YAM Fellows and all they contribute to the mathematical community in Bonn. We are specifically happy that AIMS educates so many talented female mathematicians who can join the YAM program. Here we want to introduce you to some of the our Fellows:

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© VL

Sefah Frimpong, Ghana

Sefah Frimpong was our first YAM Fellow in 2021. Sefah works on the interface between mathematics and the life sciences and completed a research project on "xxx" under the mentorship of Prof. Jan Hasenauer. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Longterm, he plans to work in mathematics in Ghana.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Barbara Frommann

Angelo Kitio Tsague, Cameroon

Angelo Kitio Tsague was a YAM Fellow in 2022. He worked under the mentorship of Prof. Martin Rumpf and Josua Sassen on the project "Approximation of the mean curvature flow of surfaces".

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Barbara Frommann

Kevine Meugang, Cameroon

Kevine Meugang visited us as a YAM Fellow in 2023. She worked on a project in the area of optimal transport. She is now pursuing a PhD in Leipzig.

Interview with Blen Belete Shebeshe and Leolin Nkuete

AIMS - Our pan-african partners

© aims

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences is a pan-african network of centers of excellence for post-graduate training in the mathematical sciences. In the five centers in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon and Rwanda, AIMS educates promising students to flourish as independent thinkers, problem solvers and innovators capable of propelling Africa's future scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Magdalena Balcerak Jackson

YAM Network Germany

In 2023, our YAM Program grew into the YAM Network Germany!

The network is a cooperation between four German excellence clusters with a focus in math and AIMS to provide more promising students from Africa with the opportunity to learn and to do research at an excellent mathematical institution in Germany. In addition, the collaboration allows us to strengthen the YAM Program by organizing two annual networking events that build and foster a strong community among the YAM Fellows at the different institutions.

As the birthplace of the YAM Program, HCM Bonn coordinates the YAM Network and the Bonn YAM Team serves as the main point of contact.

Each institution in the YAM Network Germany hosts 2-4 YAM Fellows per year chosen by a collaborative selection process. The partners take turns organizing networking events during which YAM Fellows from all partner institutions can meet, talk about their research and create a community by sharing their experiences. In addition to two annual YAM Fellow Networking Events, the local YAM Teams from the four partner institutions meet once annually to discuss the development of the YAM program for future years.

The initiator of the YAM program, Prof. Franca Hoffmann (now at CalTech), retains a position at AIMS and supports the program as the AIMS YAM Liaison.

YAM Program FAQs

YAM Fellowships provide a fully-funded structured study and research year at an excellent mathematical institution in Germany.

The academic program is divided into two phases: During the first semester - the course phase - YAM Fellows take selected courses to prepare for their research projects. Mentors help their YAM Fellows to pick suitable courses among the large selection of advanced mathematics classes offered at the University of Bonn. During the second semester - the research phase - YAM Fellows work on a previously agreed upon research project under the supervision of their mentor. They also receive the opportunity to present and discuss their research with other members of the Bonn math community and with other YAM Fellows from the YAM Network Germany.

YAM Fellowships include a comprehensive financial and practical support package: a monthly Fellowship of 700 Euros, all travel arrangements (including booked flights, visa support etc.), accommodation in Bonn, administrative support with local formalities (registration at the city office in Germany, registration at the university, bank account, mobile phone etc.), as well as close and personal support and advice.

YAM Fellows are selected on a competitive basis amongst recent graduates of the AIMS Master program in cooperative selection process between AIMS and the four YAM Network Germany partner institutions. Students apply at a local AIMS center in early spring of the acadermic year preceeding their Fellowship year citing their area of research. In a first step, each AIMS location nominates several applicants and presents them to the selection committee based on their academic track record, their motivation and their commitment. The selection committee creates a first shortlist and distributes shortlisted applicants to the four German locations based on fit with their proposed area of research. The final selection is based on interviews conducted remotely. In June, successful applications receive invitations to join their host institution for then upcoming academic year.

The Hausdorff Center for Mathematics - like the other hosting institutions - puts great care into matching promising applicants with suitable and motivated mentors during the selection process. Mentors are identified among the professors of our math department and are highly regarded researchers and faculty members with extensive experience in mentoring students. Mentors need to work in the relevant area of research to provide good academic guidance during the course phase and expert advise during the research project phase. They need to be willing to integrate their YAM Fellows into their working groups and meet with them on a regular basis.

We are fully aware that a research year in Germany is a big step for our YAM Fellows and that they might face numerous practical and personal challenges while they are here. This is why we make sure that our YAM Fellows have a strong and diverse support network:

  • Advisors help Fellows with the selection of courses and with their research project work.
  • The YAM Academic Director can answer fundamental academic questions and help facilitate a good working relationship between Fellows and their mentors.
  • The YAM Program Director answers all general and organisational enquries and serves as the main point of contact and  during the Fellows' time in Bonn.
  • The International Office and the BIGS Math staff help make travel, living and financial arrangements.
  • YAM Buddies are fellow students that serve as a source of peer-support in Bonn to help students feel at home at the University of Bonn and to assist them in various practical matters.

We are lucky that from 2023 we could expand the YAM Fellowship Program to other universities in Germany that host excellence clusters with a focus on math. This allows us to also expand the range of activities of the YAM Program: Each year all the YAM Fellows from the four partner institutions meet twice for networking sessions that allow them to share their experiences and present and discuss their work.

YAM Team

Avatar Balcerak Jackson

Dr. Magdalena Balcerak Jackson

YAM Program Coordinator
Avatar Eberle

Prof. Andreas Eberle

YAM Academic Director
Wird geladen