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SACNASP enables bright young operations researchers to attend ORSSA 2022

Updated: Apr 5

The sponsorship prospectus for the ORSSA 2022 conference included a new Development Package sponsorship opportunity. Development and reach of operations research in Africa is an important component of ORSSA. This package aimed to support promising up-and-coming students from different universities by sponsoring their attendance, travel and lodgings for the conference.

The Local Organising Committee for ORSSA 2022 was very excited to accept the offer from the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) to buy one of these packages. Their sponsorship enabled Sha-abaan Slamang, Melvin Kisten, and Mahlatse Mashao to attend as student delegates.

LTR: Sha-abaan Slamang, Melvin Kisten, and Mahlatse Mashao

Mahlatse Mashao is enrolled for a BSc(Hons) in Mathematical and Computer Science at the Department of Statistics and Operations Research, University of Limpopo. She is based in Phalaborwa and her research interests include advanced linear programming, statistical quality control, and applied linear regression.

"I started studying operations research last year. I did not have any understanding about it," Mahlatse writes. "As time went by, I started falling in love with operations research. I had a different career guide in my mind, but after operations research, I chose it as a career. I am the best candidate for this because I feel that I can contribute more to the society and learn more about operations research. I am also a co-founder of UL-SOSS(UL-Statistics and Operations Research Student's Society) I need to learn more from people who have experience in leading structures. I believe that I will be able to change the perspective that students have on operations research. In my two years of operations research, our class never reached 50 Students. Students don't know anything about it and I'm hoping to change that in University of Limpopo. I am also a student leader in the school of Mathematics and Computer Science, I have the potential capabilities of learning new things and I am a teachable person."

Melvin Kisten is enrolled for a BSc(Hons) Computer Science at the Department Computer Science and Information Technology, Sol Plaatje University. He is based in Kimberley and his research interests include applying association-based machine learning to build a student engagement algorithm.

"My research area is in the domain of computer science which is focused on learning analytics," he writes. "Most of the work done in learning analytics has gone through the first three phases of the learning analytics life cycle: descriptive, diagnostic and predictive. There is very little work done fourth phase: prescriptive phase. Thus my research work proposes to assist students in making decisions which will increase the chances of their success. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate at the conference and this will spice my quest for knowledge as I progress in my career endeavor."

Sha-abaan Slamang is enrolled for MCom Quantitative Management at the Department of Logistics, Stellenbosch University. He is based in Malmesbury and his research interests include data analytics, data visualization and simulation models for analysis of education systems.

"I have decided to pursue my master's in Quantitative Management where my research would be focused on education policy development," he writes. "My research is to understand the impact of various factors on the different socioeconomic groups, what disparities are present, and what interventions could be established to increase the opportunities for higher learning for diverse student success. This conference provided with an opportunity to broaden my knowledge, and gain new perspectives."

If you would like to sponsor students to attend the next ORSSA conference, contact the Society Secretary today for a copy of the latest sponsorship prospectus!

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