From the University of Cape Coast to AIMS Ghana and now Arizona State University, this week’s edition of our #AlumoftheWeek series visits the journey of Theophilus Kwofie, AIMS Ghana ’20 alumnus.
Q: Tell us about your journey before AIMS.
Theophilus: I had my Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Cape Coast, where I pursued Mathematics with Business. I was privileged to be appointed Teaching Assistant under Professor Emmanuel Kwame Essel, who later introduced me to AIMS.
Q: How would you describe your time at AIMS?
Theophilus: I must admit that AIMS Ghana was my dream institution of study. Friends of mine who graduated from AIMS inspired me with their quick research time and the marvellous results that accompanied them.
Teamwork was one of the most remarkable experiences I had at AIMS. Working in groups helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses. The collaboration allowed us to complement each other and complete tasks within the shortest time possible, despite personal inadequacies.
My favourite memory would be the concurrent typing of three assignments (typed in Latex) submitted every week on Saturday at 4:00 pm, which we named “the pressure moment.” However, the moment I wouldn’t forget was the last-minute assignment that got lost from the system (Laptop), and I had to retype it in Latex and submit it at the same deadline. It was at that moment I realized that pressure is critical for growth.
I enjoyed my weekends! We used to go swimming and have fun in the pool with colleagues, tutors, and lecturers.
Q: Tell us about the impact AIMS has had on you.
Theophilus: The training I received at AIMS is unique; I know friends from different parts of the world would argue about this, but that is a fact. AIMS exposed me to a broad spectrum of courses with appropriate programming languages, such as Matlab, Sage, and Python. Such studies included Mathematical Epidemiology, Advanced Numerical Analysis, Pattern Recognition, Functional Analysis, and many more. As a result of the training I was ushered into, I learned to work under pressure to complete a task within the shortest possible time.
Currently, I am pursuing my PhD in Applied Mathematics at Arizona State University. I am well-equipped with the necessary tools to excel at the most significant point in my academic journey.
Q: What would you describe as your post-AIMS success story?
Theophilus: AIMS is preparing African’s brightest students to flourish in Mathematical Sciences. Pursuing my doctoral degree has been a massive milestone in my life, and I am so proud of this new chapter. I believe AIMS has paved the way for me to be here. I do appreciate the support, investment, and training AIMS gave me.
In the next five years, I see myself becoming a great professor, using Mathematical approaches in solving one of Africa’s grand challenges, including Climate Change.
Q: Which of the SDGs is most important/relevant to you? How do you plan on addressing it in your work?
Theophilus: My research involves using Mathematical and Statistical approaches to gain insight into transmission dynamics and control of emerging and reemerging diseases of public health importance. Such infectious diseases include but are not limited to, Malaria, Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya, Schistosomiasis, Tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, and COVID-19. So, one of the SDGs I am tackling is Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3).
Q: What is your message to current AIMS students and young people across the continent?
Theophilus: To attain the impossible, you must endure and work hard. Always keep in mind that success is not handed to you on a silver platter. You have to put forth the effort.