Samford University math and computer science professor Kwadwo Antwi-Fordjour has received a Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics (CURM) grant to fund an undergraduate research group at Samford for the 2022-23 academic year. The grant–funded by the National Science Foundation–will provide $18,900 for a faculty course release, supplies, travel and stipends for four students who will work on a research project ten hours per week.
Antwi-Fordjour, as principal investigator, will recruit students to work on the project, which will utilize biological control measures via mathematical modeling of systems of differential equations for the control of infectious disease.
The Samford students, along with students at project partner Spelman College, will be exposed to high-level interdisciplinary research and training necessary for the advancement of their knowledge in applied mathematics and related areas, including the process of presenting research at academic conferences and to peer-reviewed journals. Antwi-Fordjour said the Samford students also will apply their skills as volunteer judges in the engineering and math category for the Alabama Junior Academy of Science (AJAS) or Gorgas competition in spring 2023.
Beyond the experiential value to students, the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the broad importance of their research. “Controlling the spread of infectious disease is one of the most critical challenges facing environmental conservationists, population ecologists and epidemiologists,” Antwi-Fordjour said.