Student seminar boosts maths and computer science in PNG

| September 19, 2018

The University of Papua New Guinea’s Mathematics Statistics and Computer Sciences Students Association successfully held its inaugural MSCS Seminar on 10 August 2018 at the University’s Main Lecture Theater.

Organised with the assistance of the MSCS Discipline in the School of Natural and Physical Sciences (SNPS), the theme of the seminar was “Introducing young Scholars to Contemporary & Innovative Advancement in Mathematics and Information Technology”. The seminar was the first of its kind for both the MSCS Students Association and the MSCS Discipline.

Invited speakers included academics, experts and professionals within the field of mathematics, Statistics and Computer Sciences. The guest speaker was Professor Samuel Kopamu (PhD, Pure Mathematics), who is the Dean of School of Science and Technology at Pacific Adventist University, and also the immediate President of the Papua New Guinea Mathematical Society.

By special invitation, Professor Cecilia Nembou (PhD, Operations Research), the President of Divine Word University also spoke to the audience to promote mathematics in PNG.

The two other invited speakers were professionals from the field of Information technology who spoke on behalf of the professional bodies and fields they are part of.  Winifred Kula AMINI spoke on behalf of the Papua New Guinea Digital ICT Cluster and the ISACA – PNG Chapter was represented by Justin Wohuinangu, who is the Chapter’s immediate past President.

The aim of the seminar was to engage experts, researchers and professionals within the fields of Mathematics, Statics and Computer Science to speak to the students and provide insights on the latest changes, developments and innovations taking place within these fields.

The speakers were invited to deliberate on the progress these fields have taken in solving real world problems and the challenges they face, with a view to inspiring and motivating students to redefine their goals within these fields.

The event was held to remedy the fact that students lack exposure to the trends and innovations underway in their fields of study, particularly in terms of technology. The other driving factor is the gradual decline in the number of students enrolling in these fields at the University of PNG.

The MSCS discipline had witnessed fading student interest in these fields in recent years and the Seminar was designed to not only provide motivation and inspiration to students studying within these fields but to build the interest of other students to see the importance of these fields today.

The seminar was an eye opener for both students and the academics within these fields. It had a positive impact on all attendees, both students and staff, and the presentations served to inspire and motivate them, achieving the seminar’s aim.

In the light of its success, the Seminar will become a yearly event for the association to boost interest in the discipline. Such events encourage continuous collaboration and dialogue between students and professionals on current events and future developments within the fields of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Sciences.

Benjamin Kamaka

Benjamin Kamaka is the President of the MSCS Student Association at the University of Papua New Guinea. He studies mathematics, statistics and computer science at the UPNG.