This week, we make a stop at AIMS Ghana to catch up with Theoretical Physicist and AIMS alumnus Seth Kurankyi Asante.
Q: Tell us about yourself
Seth: I started my undergraduate studies at the University of Ghana in 2007. In my first year, I studied a combination of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computer science. I enjoyed mathematics more than the other courses, and I was fascinated by the use of mathematics to solve real-world problems. I opted to continue with a major in mathematics after my sophomore year. I was one of the four students who majored in mathematics in the 2011 graduating class.
Q: Tell us about your time at AIMS
Seth: I first heard about AIMS from a visiting professor who encouraged me to apply right after my national service. The AIMS advertisement mentioned renowned visiting professors from top universities worldwide; this was enough reason for me to choose to attend AIMS. I feel fortunate to have been part of the first cohort at AIMS Ghana. I had many wonderful experiences during my time at AIMS. For example, meeting new colleagues (now friends) from all over Africa and learning about the rich cultures across the continent, taught professors from top universities from the US, the UK, and many more. The meals were excellent. The after-block parties were so much fun. There were also some tough experiences like sleepless nights spent working on assignments and limited study time. Overall, I had a wonderful time at AIMS, and I absolutely learnt a lot in 10 months.
Q: Tell us about the impact AIMS has had on you
Seth: The experiences I had at AIMS prepared me for the next stages in my academic journey. First, it helped me to be more confident about which path I wanted for my further studies. Because of my educational background, I got a chance to study at the Perimeter Institute (PI), one of the world’s top physics institutes. The learning techniques and programming tools I picked up from AIMS were beneficial for my survival at Perimeter Institute. The research phase at AIMS opened my eyes to many research resources that have helped my research work.
Q: Which of the SDGs is most important/relevant to you? How do you plan on addressing it in your work?
Seth: All the SDGs are important to me, but Quality Education is more aligned with my goals. I believe that having access to quality education will empower people with the tools and understanding that can open up endless possibilities for development. I have had the opportunity of learning from the best researchers in my field. Thus, I can add to the quality education goal by passing on my knowledge and skills to the future generation.
Q: How is your current work contributing to the development of the continent?
Seth: I am currently a theoretical physicist working in the field of quantum gravity. As one of the few Africans in this field, I serve as a support system for future African researchers. I am open to mentoring new students in the field. Having enough experts in theoretical physics across Africa will help contribute to the development of science in the continent. Physics has proven to be at the heart of the development of new technologies in the modern world. My research tries to understand how gravity and quantum particles interact. Testing these theories require developing new technologies, which will improve our lives.
Q: What is your message to current AIMS students and young people across the continent?
Seth: Make many friends, and keep them close!