Maiden Pi Day celebrated at UR to give impetus to Mathematics

14 March, 2018; the University of Rwanda joined the world to observe the International Day of Mathematics known as Pi Day (π-day) with a view to demystify sciences and recognize the importance and applications of mathematics in society. The event was organized in collaboration with UR-Sweden Programme, the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and East African Institute for Fundamental Research.  

In his opening remarks, Prof Philip Cotton, UR-Vice Chancellor encouraged young science students in attendance to join the University of Rwanda where they will be groomed to be scientists at the best. He also informed female students that the University of Rwanda has female staff members with PhDs in mathematics who should inspire young girls to do mathematics.

Opening remarks by Prof Cotton, UR Vice Chancellor

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Bengt-Ove Turesson the UR-Sweden Programme Coordinator and representative of Swedish Embassy at the event said Sweden will maintain support to University of Rwanda’s education and infrastructures development programmes. He also called on UR to consistently organize the annual event in a bid to inspire and attract aspirant scientists. 

Dr Bengt-Ove during his address to particiants in Pi day

“We hope Pi Day annual celebration will get bigger and repeated because Mathematics is a pillar to other STEM areas” said Dr Bengt-Ove

According to Dr Ignace Gatare Principal of College of Science and Technology, University of Rwanda, the celebration is an important day to all mathematician and society in general and a moment to acknowledge the importance of mathematics in all science subjects.

“Mathematics is core in all aspects of people’s daily lives” he said

The event in Kigali featured a mathematics competition for secondary students from 10 science schools, including eight based in Kigali and two from the countryside.

students during the competition

The challenge winner was Yvan Gatete from Lycée de Kigali followed by Arnaud Sebukono, from College Saint André in Nyamirambo, and Eric Ishimwe from Lycée de Kigali.  

Yvan Gatete receiving a certificate from the Vice Chancellor

The winner was awarded $500 and an Ipad while the second, third and fourth winners were granted school fees sponsorship at their respective schools for this year courtesy of UR-Sweden programme.

The award for best female student went to Aline Utetiwabo from Gashora Girls Academy.

Dr Gatare handing certificate to Utetiwabo; best female student

Participating schools were Gashora Girls Academy, Maranyundo Girls Schools, Lycée De Kigali, APE Rugunga in Kigali, Fawe Girls School, Lycée Notre Dame de Cîteaux, College Saint André in Nyamirambo, Green Hills Academy, Nu Vision High School in Kabuga, and White Dove Girls School.    

A section of students participants at the event

By  Darius Murangwa
Communications Officer